If you need to improve your self esteem, there are some therapeutic activities on self esteem you can do. We are not born knowing how to build self esteem; it is something many of us have to learn. You can do some therapeutic activities on self esteem on your own but you might find it helpful to work on these things with a counselor, particularly if you feel you have very poor self esteem or if you suffer from conditions like depression or eating disorders.
How to Build Self Esteem
Self esteem does not develop overnight. There are things you can do to build self esteem but it will take time. Some simple things that help build self esteem include:
- Spend time doing things you enjoy and that you’re good at.
- Take reasonable risks. Try new things. Learn a new skill.
- Spend time with positive people, people that make you feel good about yourself.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. If you must make comparisons, compare your present abilities to your past abilities and take note of the improvements you’ve made.
- Celebrate your accomplishments, both the big things and the small things.
- Give yourself time to learn how to build self esteem and be patient with yourself.
Therapeutic Activities on Self Esteem
These therapeutic activities on self esteem go a little bit beyond the basics. You can work on these activities by yourself but you might find it better to work on them with a counselor.
- Start keeping a journal. Use it to make lists of your accomplishments and your positive qualities. Use it to write about your thoughts about self esteem.
- In your journal, list negative thoughts about yourself on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page, write a corresponding positive thought. For instance, if you write “I am stupid” on the left, you might write “I earned a college degree in accounting. I am reasonably intelligent” on the right.
- Purchase a pack of index cards. Enlist the help of friends and family members and ask them to write positive things about you on the cards, one positive comment per card. This may feel a bit risky and you don’t have to ask anyone you don’t feel comfortable asking, but many people do find the activity useful. Keep your index cards in a safe place where you can refer to them often, particularly when you’re feeling down about yourself.
How to Build Self Esteem When You Have an Eating Disorder
The therapeutic activities on self esteem discussed here can be helpful for people with eating disorders but they should not be considered a treatment for eating disorders. Eating disorders require professional treatment and while issues of self esteem are usually addressed in counseling, the treatment of eating disorders involves much more than that.
Some things you can do to build self esteem when you have an eating disorder include:
- Limit your exposure to the popular media. The National Eating Disorders Association states that the excessive images of extremely thin people in the popular media can contribute to a poor self image and the development of eating disorders.
- Educate yourself about good health, including healthy body weight and good nutrition.
- Set small, realistic, attainable health-related goals for yourself. A goal might be to eat at least one balanced meal every day for one week or to make an appointment with your medical doctor for a check up.
Talk to your counselor about how to build self esteem when you have an eating disorder. It’s a complex issue and you should seek professional guidance.