The Path from Self-Esteem to Inner Happiness

(DailyVibe) – It’s difficult to be truly happy when we just don’t love ourselves. The way we think about ourselves influences how we perceive the world around us.

Researchers have linked self-esteem to better socialization and both physical and mental health. Interestingly enough, it has been found that half of our self-esteem comes from genetics and the rest comes from our environment.

What this means is that we may be predisposed to certain levels of self-esteem, but we are capable of improving it. In fact, by building our self-esteem we can simultaneously learn to develop inner happiness.

Be Your Own Best Friend

We often participate in negative self-talk without even realizing it. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to our closest friends. To build better self-esteem, it’s important to practice thought-stopping and thought-replacement when our brains produce negative chatter.

When we recognize that we are speaking negatively to ourselves, we stop the thought rather than following it. Then, we replace the negative thought with a kind but true replacement thought. In this way, we build our self-esteem by being a friend to ourselves and not allowing negative self-talk to determine how we feel about ourselves. A good rule of thumb is that we don’t say anything to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to our best friend.

Positive Self-talk through Affirmation

By practicing positive self-talk, we begin to feel better about ourselves. In short, we change the narrative of our lives. Using daily affirmations can be a key practice in developing positive self-talk, and research has shown that affirmations can reduce stress and improve motivation.

Practice gratitude

A gratitude practice has been linked to higher levels of self-esteem. Focusing on what we’re grateful for can help us be more mindful and present. Doing so takes our attention away from catastrophizing negative events by offering a broader perspective. Developing a gratitude practice is a simple way to build up our self-esteem.

Develop Body Positivity

Poor body image has been linked with lower levels of self-esteem. That makes sense. If we don’t like how we look, we typically don’t feel great about ourselves. When we develop body positivity, we also improve our self-esteem.

In addition to the above recommendations, we can also do the following to help ourselves become more body positive:

  • Don’t compare ourselves to others.
  • Compliment other people frequently.
  • Focus on health rather than weight or size.
  • Focus on what we love about ourselves rather than what we don’t. Play up these features.

Grow Self-compassion

According to Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff: The first thing to know is that self-compassion and self-esteem do tend to go together. If you’re self-compassionate, you’ll tend to have higher self-esteem than if you’re endlessly self-critical. And like high self-esteem — self-compassion is associated with significantly less anxiety and depression, as well as more happiness, optimism, and positive emotions.

Growing self-compassion involves learning to both accept and forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We will make mistakes–often, that’s how we learn. Self-compassion is a great way to grow our self-esteem and contribute to our inner happiness.

Half of our self-esteem may be influenced by genetic factors, but we can empower ourselves to increase our self-esteem and, in turn, our inner happiness. By incorporating these techniques, we begin to notice the things that make us both lovable and extraordinary. As we build that self-love, our happiness increases.

Inner happiness doesn’t just impact us on the individual level, either. begins to infiltrate how we see the world. Rather than seeing through rose-colored glasses, we’re seeing clearly–finding the things we love about ourselves, forgiving imperfections, and accepting that what the world needs is exactly who we already are. This is the path from self-esteem to self-happiness, and it is only waiting for us to take the first step.

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