18 Jul Mindful Thoughts to Cure Low Self Esteem

Today’s world seems to be in a frenzy of sorts. Our popular culture with constant media bombardment, social media, and digital identities have made us act as overly confident and happy people. But deep down, many people do not feel worthy of it. They feel as if they won’t amount to anything in life. Low self esteem is a real issue with millions of people suffering from it. From the outside, we portray as being normal human beings, however, dig deeper and one shall find all the muck and grime that a person sub-consciously carries deep in his heart all the time. In fact, low self-esteem is the mother of all mental diseases – depression, anxiety, excessive fear, etc.

We know intuitively when a person with low self esteem enters a room. Droopy shoulders, diffident voice, irregular speech, etc. are some of the common signs of low self-esteem. But also, an overly high tone of voice, aggressive behaviour, and abrupt walk are also a reflection of low-self esteem. It’s just that in the latter, the person hides his low-self esteem with signs of over-confidence that are agreed upon by society.

So, how does one ‘cure’ low self-esteem issues that haunt almost all of us round the clock? Mindfulness or being aware of yourself and your thoughts is one of the most effective ways to increase self esteem. Let’s delve deep into our minds to see how it works.

Here are some of the ways you can snap out of low self-esteem in a matter of seconds or minutes:-

1. Have a healthy relationship with yourself

More often than not, we berate ourselves thinking that we are not good enough and that becomes a dominant way of thinking, so much so that, we just can’t seem to get out of it.  Thoughts like, “I’m not good at anything”, “I’m too fat”, or “I’m not good at relationships” constantly arise in our mind making us feel low. This is because we do not have a healthy relationship with ourselves. Soon, it impacts our performance and also affects our relationships.

The way to overcome this is to start loving yourself and respecting yourself as you would respect anyone else. Why do you want to treat yourself so badly? You don’t have to judge yourself at every moment. Instead try to shape your thoughts positively - “Yes, I am fat, so what, let me give this a try.” “I believe I can do it, or worse, at least I will give it a good try.” 

2. Never believe your thoughts totally

Just as the sun constantly gives out light, our mind too always gives out thoughts; for it is essential to living and surviving in the real world environment. Our mind continuously analyses people, environment, surroundings, and situations. Due to this, we do a lot of things sub-consciously, as if on autopilot.

The same is true of any negative thoughts. If it is a negative thought, we accept it without questioning its validity. In fact, psychology has found out that we should never ever believe our thoughts as being 100% true and accurate. The reason for this is that our conscious mind can almost create a false situation or thought and pass on to the sub-conscious as reality. Thus, our thoughts become our reality, which does not have a real base of its own.

Also, all of us are born with certain thought and behavioural patterns influenced by our parents, family, culture, upbringing etc. The only way to break these mental barriers is to challenge your core-beliefs on a regular basis; so that any negative thought is replaced with a positive one.

3. You are not your thought

This is where most people go astray because of their thoughts. You may think that you are no good to do a certain thing, for eg., “I’m not good at talking to people”. And this becomes your truth.

With mindfulness, you could transform your thoughts as “I’m having a thought that I am not good at talking to people”. When you do this, at that very instant, we separate out thoughts from ourselves. You stop the identification of a negative thought with yourself. And most importantly, you give space to yourself to work on it.

The way to do this is to first close your eyes when you are having a bombardment of negative thoughts and calmly repeat to yourself, “I am having a thought that I am lazy”. Repeat this several times over. People who have done this have reported significant improvement over a period of time.

4. Self-Love more important that self-criticism

One thing associated with self-esteem is self-criticism. You just cannot feel bad about yourself unless you have the habit of criticising or this habit of being perfect. Self-critical people are compassionate with others but are very harsh with themselves. The only way to overcome this is to be more compassionate with yourself. With mindfulness, you would be able to rectify this nature of your thoughts and also acknowledge that you do have certain areas to improve on, but that is no reason to justify being too critical of oneself.

Dr Shanthi Lakshmi Duraimani

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