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Ways to raise your self-esteem
Posted: February 15, 2012
Last Updated: February 15, 2012

People can feel bad about themselves from time to time, but continual negative thoughts about you could be a sign of low-self esteem. Usually feelings of low-self esteem stem from being treated poorly by someone else recently or in the past, or by a person’s own judgments of him or herself. Low-self esteem can cause depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, delusional thinking, illness or disability. You don’t have to be trapped in a downward spiral of sadness, everyone has the right to feel positive about the person they are.


Fortunately, there are some activities you can do right away to help raise your self-esteem.


Pay attention to you: Listen to what your body, mind and heart are telling you. Stop taking what your needs are as a bad thing, instead listen to what you want and take those thoughts seriously.


Take very good care of yourself: As you were growing up, you may not have learned how to take good care of yourself. You might be focused on taking care of others, instead of yourself. Be good to yourself. Eat healthy food and avoid junk food which contains sugar, fat and salt, which can all contribute to a negative mindset. Keep a regular sleeping schedule, and don’t deviate from it, even on weekends. Exercise regularly, you should try to take a daily walk which has been proven to benefit your health and attitude.


Take time to enjoy: You may be busy, or overwhelmed by all your responsibilities, but remember to take time for you. Do those special things you enjoy like your hobbies, playing music, or going fishing. Try top make a list of the things you like to do and indulge in one thing every day, just for you.


Do something you have been putting off: Many times the list of chores seems endless. Your expectation is to get everything done is unreal, instead try to get one thing done you have put off. Clean out a drawer, wash a window, pay a bill, or make your bed.  Little things can add up quick and relieve some of your stress, and negative attitude.


Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Avoid people who treat you badly.


Make your living space a place that honors you. Whether you live in a single room or a large home, make that space comfortable and attractive for you. Keep items you like and honor the special times and people in your life. If you like a color, use it more in decorating. If you have a favorite thing like an animal, hobby or thing—include it in your space so you can enjoy it.


Do things you know will make you feel better. Do you like the outdoors? Take a walk in the park or plan to visit the forest. Try to keep your living space clean, if when it’s dirty upsets you. Try to exercise regularly or make time for a project you need to finish. 


Remember, continual negative thoughts can be a sign of other mental health issues, like depression. These negative messages may have been told to you when you were young, or by people you loved. Relearning to be positive about yourself can take time, and help. Counselors and mental health professionals can give you activities to help transform your inner dialog from negative to positive.


In negative thoughts about yourself are hindering your life call Border Area Mental Health Services. To reach Border Area Mental Health Services in Grant and Hidalgo Counties, call 388-4412; in Catron County, call 533-6649; in Luna County, call 546-2174.  For CRISIS, call 538-3488 or outside Silver City, call 1-800-426-0997.

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© 2008 by Border Area Mental Health Services and Putting the Web to Work. Front-page photo copyright by Bob Pelham, Pinos Altos Cabins, and used by permission. All rights reserved. For the privacy and comfort of our clients and staff, the photographs used in this site are representative and do not show specific individuals associated with BAMHS.