Raising Your Self Esteem for Stress Relief

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The way you feel about yourself, your self-esteem impacts your happiness level and also can make life more or less stressful for you. For example, if you trust your ability to handle what comes, you will be more likely to see difficult situations as a challenge instead of as a threat; conversely, if you don’t trust your own ability to handle things, you will be more likely to see new situations as threatening and stress-provoking. "Self-efficacy" is the feeling that you are capable and resourceful, and this can contribute both to self-esteem and stress management.

There are several things you can do to raise your self-esteem and self-efficacy that are also highly effective stress relievers. This can work in multiple ways to help you feel more in control of your life and build resilience. It can also help you to enjoy your life more. If you feel that your self-esteem could use a boost, these are the activities to try. See what resonates with you, and give them a try.

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Work on Your Optimism

If you are able to develop the ability to see the glass as half-full, this can contribute to feelings of self-efficacy as well as overall happiness and peace of mind. Moreover, there are many proven benefits to optimism, so developing a greater sense of it, creating thinking habits that skew toward optimism, can provide these benefits for your health and general happiness. Optimism involves more than simply "looking on the bright side," however; it is a trait that can be developed by shifting your focus and self-talk, but there need to be specific ways in which you view the world. Learn more about how to become an optimistic thinker.

Develop Positive Self-Talk

One thing that has a major influence on a person’s self-esteem is their "self-talk," the way they talk to themselves, interpret things and comment on life inside their heads. A thinking style that is habitually negative can perpetuate a negative view of one’s life and self, as well as cause other problems. The following resources can help you to better understand your self-talk and alter it to a more positive way of thinking, helping you to see yourself and the world in a more positive way.

  • Quiz: Are You An Optimist?
  • Your thoughts color your world and your perception of yourself. Learn how positive or negative yours are!
  • Negative Self Talk and Stress
  • Self-talk is the internal dialogue we use to view the world, explain situations and communicate to ourselves, and the type of self-talk you use—negative self-talk or positive self-talk—can affect the level of stress you experience. Learn why, and find resources for change.
  • Positive Self Talk
  • Negative self-talk can limit you, increase your stress level, and adversely affect your self-concept. Here are some ways you can stop negative self-talk from damaging you, and reduce stress and improve your life by developing the habit of positive self-talk.

Try New Challenges

Even simply becoming immersed in hobbies can help with self-esteem Learning what you are able to do well can provide you with a new view of yourself and a new level of self-respect. Hobbies can also help you to relieve stress, so hobbies can provide a double-win.

Stay Away From Toxic People

We can all feel negative from time to time, but some friends can tear you down instead of building you up, and those people can wear away at your self-esteem more than you may realize. Learning to identify and create boundaries with those who drain us of our self-esteem can help. Identifying and cultivating relationships with more supportive friends can build us up immensely as well. Help yourself cultivate the social life you deserve.

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