Identify the thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms, and behaviors associated with low self-esteem. Choosing to take care of yourself a few minutes a day is all it takes not only to raise your own self-esteem, but also to serve as a great example for your kids. Also, if you have a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, or other types of disorders, this can have an effect on your self-esteem.[13] Getting treatment for a mental disorder can improve the quality of your life.
For example, if a person with low self-esteem needs to study for an exam in school, the person might say, “I don’t know why I’m bothering.
When undergoing CBT therapy, the therapist, who will most likely be a counselor or psychologist, works in partnership with the client to change those automatic beliefs.[15] The counselor might suggest testing the client’s hypothesis—the client will fail no matter how hard the client studies.
Many people mistake these thoughts, behaviors, and feelings with personality characteristics.[2] However, negative thoughts are not the same as actual characteristics. If you find that one or more of these behavioral statements apply to you, your self-esteem may be having a greater impact on the way that you live than you realize.
Whether you realize it or not, your own thoughts in your head are trapping you inside the cycle of low self-esteem. Now that you know some reasons why loss of self-esteem occur and the basic negative thoughts that are responsible for perpetuating low self-esteem, you can begin the process to change your beliefs about yourself.


In the next column, write “How I Act When I Think and Feel Like This.” Then try to think of a recent event that will help you realize how you behave. It’s about doing things that will help you work more efficiently in your life, and help you have healthy relationships, which in turn helps your self-esteem and happiness. Learning how to be assertive can help increase self-esteem.[8] Assertiveness helps encourage other people to treat you with respect, which will help encourage positive self-esteem. Consider how the person you are speaking with feels, and be willing to strike an agreement that pleases both of you.
If you are having trouble with raising your self-esteem or would like to see quicker progress, consider going to professional therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)[14] has been shown to be effective at improving self-esteem.
These types of thoughts, feelings, physical signs, and behaviors are like “symptoms” of low self-esteem.
To feel better, it’s productive to identify when these types of thoughts are happening, and find ways to overcome them.
Anything that will make you feel good about yourself and help you appreciate who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how far you’ve come in your life can be written or typed on this page.


As you’re improving your self-esteem, if it’s possible, minimize contact with people you notice are saying negative remarks to you, even if they are close to you or are at work. Some behaviors from other people can have a direct impact on your self-esteem if you hear it long enough. Not only do we become attached to foods because it gives us comfort (like mom’s chocolate chip cookies), but once your body is in an unhealthy cycle, processed foods like white sugar play hormonal havoc on your body and the craving for sweets cycle becomes self-sustaining.[11] When you’re fighting your body to end the sweet cravings, this can make us feel like we’re not in control of what we eat, which can lower self-esteem. However, if you stop focusing on yourself and neglect yourself, this can detract from being the parent you really want to be.
Childhood issues and events are often explored to help the client understand how the past affects them and ties in with their present. This will help you see how your thoughts and feelings are interconnected with the way you act.



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