Self-love is key to building happiness, but it’s also one of the things that tends to fall by the wayside when we’re feeling stressed or depressed. Some of the main ways to develop self-love are thorough positivity and self-esteem.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the need to build self-esteem in children but the ability to feel or think positively about yourself is just as important for adults.
No matter how old you are, self-esteem can help you set and achieve goals and take setbacks in stride. It’s a reflection of how you judge your own self-worth and includes the ability to have faith in yourself even if you sometimes make mistakes.
Adults with healthy self-esteem accept responsibility for their own actions. They are motivated, set challenging goals for themselves, and take pride in their accomplishments. They have tolerance and respect for others and are able to forgive themselves and others. They have love for themselves.
Having healthy self-esteem doesn’t mean being perfect, but accepting yourself as you are. For most of us, our self-esteem will fluctuate throughout our lives. One study found that for both genders, self-esteem typically is high until about the age of nine. Then it declines in adolescence, goes up afterward, rises throughout adulthood (peaking in the mid-60s), and goes down in old age.
In addition to these fluctuations, most of us experience other shifts that reflect our unique experiences. You may feel very good about yourself when things are going well at home and at work, but find that harder to do if you develop serious family, health, or job problems. That’s why it’s important not to assume that because certain things happened to you, you will always have “high” or “low” self-esteem. Even if you’re having trouble feeling good about yourself, there are things you can do to strengthen your self-love.💖💓💞
Focus on your own unique set of strengths. Identify your strengths. If you know that you do a number of things well, a setback in one area is less likely to cause problems you can’t handle, or damage to your overall feeling of self-worth. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Make a list of your positive qualities, strengths, and accomplishments. Read over your list and add to it often. Make sure you incorporate these qualities into your life; the more you live from them the better you will feel.
Take inventory. Identify negative thoughts or feelings that you experience about yourself as well as the situations that cause those feelings. Challenge your thoughts and feelings, then ask yourself: “Do they really make sense in this situation?” Determine a more positive way to react to those situations next time they occur. Remember that self-talk affects the way you feel. So be kind to yourself. Eliminate calling yourself names like “stupid,” “idiot,” or “loser.” When you catch yourself talking negatively to yourself, tell yourself to stop. For example, if you make a mistake at work and your supervisor brings it to your attention, instead of saying, “I’m such an idiot. How could I have been so stupid?” say, “I made a mistake and I’ll learn from it.”
Do something every day that makes you feel good. Feeling a lot better about yourself overall often begins with feeling a little better every day. Depending on your interests, you might exercise, listen to music, say a 🙏🏼prayer or recite an inspiring poem, cook a wonderful meal, read a story to your children, spend time with a pet, or pursue a rewarding hobby.