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The Spirit

Purpose of the Spirit Page

Medical insight regarding the spirit and mind and how it affects our health.  

Little Girl Praying

Self-esteem: Take steps to feel better about yourself

If you have low self-esteem, harness the power of your thoughts and beliefs to change how you feel about yourself. Consider these steps, based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

1. Identify troubling conditions or situations

Think about the conditions or situations that seem to deflate your self-esteem.

Common triggers might include:

  • A work or school presentation

  • A crisis at work or home

  • A challenge with a spouse, loved one, co-worker or other close contact

  • A change in roles or life circumstances, such as a job loss or a child leaving home

2. Become aware of thoughts and beliefs

Once you've identified troubling situations, pay attention to your thoughts about them.

This includes what you tell yourself (self-talk) and your interpretation of what the situation means.

3. Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking

Be aware that it can be hard to recognize inaccuracies in thinking.

Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions.

4. Also pay attention to thought patterns that erode self-esteem:

All-or-nothing thinking

  • You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation

  • You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don't count

  • You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it

  • You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, "I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure."

  • You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humor

Instead of low grading yourself try acceptance and commitment therapy

1. Identify troubling conditions or situations

2. Step back from your thoughts

3. Don't beat yourself up for having negative thoughts, just try not to dwell on them

Decide to try something better:

  • Choose a quiet time for meditating, reading, and receiving inspirational encouragement

  • Take care of yourself. Follow good health guidelines. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit sweets, junk food and animal fats

  • Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to do. Try to do something from that list every day

  • Spend time with people who make you happy. Don't waste time on people who don't treat you well

These steps might seem awkward at first, but they'll get easier with practice. As you begin to recognize the thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your low self-esteem, you can counter them or change the way you think about them. This will help you accept your value as a person. As your self-esteem increases, your confidence and sense of well-being are likely to soar.

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