Living with low self-esteem is hard. Low self-esteem can make you feel awkward, unworthy, hypersensitive, and even incompetent. It can hold you back from doing great things and stop you from living a fulfilling life. It can even hurt your relationship with others, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression. In short, you can end up living a miserable life.
It is easy to tell yourself to start improving your confidence. You may change your mind one day and start doing things that can boost your self-esteem only to find that after taking one step forward, you’re going three steps back. Building up your self-esteem is not as easy as setting up an appointment with your dentist to get emergency dental care. No clinic or magic pill can instantly fix feelings of low self-worth. The good news is, there are still things you can do to start turning things around.
You can start by addressing the root of your problems. Is it because of a traumatic experience or negligent parents or guardians? Do you have peers who always undervalue your feelings or fail to give you adequate support? Could it be because of your genes and temperament? Knowing the main reasons behind your low self-esteem is one right way to start giving it a boost.
But did you know that most of the time, it is the things you do that directly harm your self-esteem? You may already be committing the following confidence-busters without knowing it.
Your Poor Social Media and Smartphone Use
People these days are undeniably dependent on gadgets and the internet. While these two things can be helpful at times, impulsive usage can lead to poor consequences. According to a study, spending more than a few hours on smartphones and the internet each day can have adverse effects on one’s self-esteem and life satisfaction levels. Impulsive usage of gadgets and social media can also lead to poor sleep quality, depression, and disordered eating.
To fix your social media and smartphone dependence, you can try doing a digital detox. Turn off your notifications and set your gadgets aside. Focus on activities you enjoy doing that doesn’t require these two things. Pay with cash, don’t take your phone everywhere you go or turn it off when you are out with friends. Have fun, relax, or spend time with nature.
Your Poor Posture
Chances are, your parents and teachers already told you countless times to stop slouching. They often tell us that bad posture can lead to back, shoulder, and neck pain. But as it turns out, your posture has something to do not just with how you look and feel, but your self-esteem as well.
According to studies, slumped posture generates negative thoughts. The study had 24 participants who have no clinical depression. Out of all the participants, 92% of them claim that staying in an upright posture makes it easier to create positive thoughts. Another study concluded that upright positions lead to lower fear, better mood, and higher self-esteem.
You can start fixing your posture by doing posture exercises. Avoid slouching and stand up and sit tall. When sitting, sit all the way back to your chair. When using any gadget, keep it at eye level. Stretch your body every once in a while, especially if you work long hours behind a desk.
Your Self-Deprecating Humor
We often make fun of ourselves to make other people laugh. Sure, it can be quite hilarious at times. It is also great that we get to laugh at our imperfections. But more often than not, this funny habit can go too far and lead to negative feelings like self-hate.
If you are not careful when practicing self-deprecating humor, this can quickly backfire. People may think you are insincere or trying too hard. It may have its perks, as science shows such kind of humor encourages psychological well-being. But like all good things, anything you fail to do in moderation can harm you.
Use self-deprecation in a positive context. Don’t laugh at yourself if it makes you feel bad inside. Be true to your feelings because your feelings are valid. Accept your mistakes and forgive yourself for making them. Remember not to overkill such humor as it can become an unhealthy coping mechanism if overused.
Many things can cause low-self esteem. Other people can be at fault as to why you now have little self-worth. Even our tendency to be self-critics is what digs our self-esteem further into the ground. Luckily, it is not yet too late to start overcoming low self-esteem. You can begin by identifying the things you do to yourself that leads to your negative self-image. Be kinder and forgiving to yourself, and you will soon realize that only you have the power to change how you perceive yourself.