The love that one has for oneself, is the purest form of love. There is a little selfishness in every kind of love, that is hidden under a well-disguised illusion. And it's nothing to be ashamed of. It is quite healthy and totally justified for a person to love himself or herself more than he claims to love another. But, like every other aspect or emotion, self-esteem too should have its limits. And while some people take it to a far-reaching level of self-adulation that they end up becoming narcissistic in nature, there are others who take it to an extreme in the opposite direction: Low self-esteem.
The causes of low self-esteem may be many, but the effect is more or less the same. The constant bouts of self-abomination and self-loathing can take dangerous forms, and take the person spiraling down the emotional ladder. Overcoming low self-esteem is totally up to the person. Whether he or she finds the emotional stamina to get over his or her low self-esteem, is a matter of personal choice. And the fact that you're reading this, shows that you're willing to take the initiative, and make an effort to open a new chapter in your life, or help someone who needs it. Given below are some self-esteem exercises that you can try your hand at. Follow them, and you'll notice the difference in yourself.
Exercises to Build Self-esteem
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of low self-esteem, when they begin to manifest themselves. The issue should be tackled before it is too late, else it becomes very difficult for the person himself and the people around him to cope with it. Numerous self-esteem building activities have been proven to help people suffering from low self-esteem. Given below are some that can help you rejuvenate your soul and have a brighter perspective.
It is a depressing phenomenon to see the levels of low self-esteem in children today. The causes may be myriad, but the fact of the matter is that kids begin to become unappreciative of themselves at a very young age, and this can trigger off emotions and reactions that can prove to be detrimental to their healthy emotional growth. Building self-esteem in children is a far easier task than in their adult counterparts. Read the activities given below and bring about the transformation in them.
Tell a Story
This exercise has to be carried out in a group. Have a group of kids sit in a circle. You have to come up with a character, and ask the kids to weave a story revolving around the character. Give them a theme and ask them to say one sentence each about the character that you created, highlighting positive emotions and actions. Praise each kid when he says a line and ask all the kids to give three claps after each sentence. This way, each kid feels important and special.
This is a good activity for teenagers. You can have an entire classroom do it, or just a group of teenagers. Give each person, a paper and pen, and ask them to write their name on top, and the ten best qualities about themselves on one side of the paper. Then, hand it over to the person sitting next to them. They must just read the name on the sheet passed to them, and write nice things about that person on the other side of the paper. Repeat this with every kid, and finally when they get their own sheets back, they can open them and read all the wonderful things that people have said about them. They get an affirmation that they too are good at something and that people do appreciate them.
Worksheet of Feelings
Another good exercise for girls and boys alike, is to have them maintain a worksheet. Not a worksheet about their day-to-day activities, but a worksheet of their feelings. It's quite simple, actually. Ask them to begin in the morning and write down what they felt instantly as they woke up. As the day progresses, have them keep a record of all the significant activities of the day, how they fared in them, and how it made them feel. At the end of the day, they must recap and read the worksheet to check what things made them happy. This will help them understand what gives them a positive energy.
Many adults too, have low self-esteem issues. It may have been festering in them as a child and gone unnoticed by them or by the people around them. But once you know that you have an issue, you ought to take the necessary steps to uplift your mind and make you feel good about yourself. The first step towards that is to make yourself aware that you have a problem. Then make up your mind to get ready to face the problem. Once you've decided to face it, you have to be open to change. A change in surroundings, behavior, perspective, reactions, etc. Given here, are some self-esteem building activities for adults.
I'm Good At
This one is a simple, yet very effective exercise if you want to boost your self-esteem. What you have to do is, keep a diary. Everyday, write down one thing about yourself that you think you did well. It could be as simple as making a perfect omelet, or opening the lock on the door single-handed. Small, silly, or seemingly mundane things. At the end of the week or month, open the diary and read through the pages from the beginning. You'll see all the things that you're good at, and it will definitely boost your self-confidence!
This is a relatively extreme exercise and may take a while. You need to be patient and persevering, in order for this exercise to be a success. Stand or sit in front of the mirror, for at least ten minutes everyday, and take a long, hard look at yourself. Look deep inside, and try to figure out the root cause of this low level of self-esteem. It could be a relationship gone bad, an unfortunate incident in your childhood, dissatisfaction with your work, etc. Any reason at all. Once you've discovered what the reason is, begin the trashing! By trashing we mean it literally. Throw out anything and everything that makes all the negative feelings come back to you. Discard any clothes that you think remind you of bad things, stop going to places that you're not comfortable at, etc. Simple but effectual, and it will help you to see things in a new light by lifting a heavy weight off your shoulders!
This exercise is quite the opposite, or some may say, the next step to the exercise mentioned just above. After you get rid of anything that generates bad vibes for you, it's time to take care of yourself. Take care, physically and mentally. They can be absolutely anything, like going on a diet that you always wanted to, exercising regularly to tone up your body, having regular grooming visits to the salon, cultivating and pursuing hobbies, meeting new people, treating yourself to your favorite foods, showing off your talents to people you know or the new ones you meet, being impulsive and splurging once in while on something, etc. The bottom line is, that you should feel completely fulfilled by the end of the day, with no regrets whatsoever!
Count off all the blessings that you have in the form of your family, friends, pets, your health, a roof over your head, etc. They are what will keep you ticking! And remember, as long as you are beautiful to yourself, you are beautiful to the world!