3 ways to improve self-esteem and let go of anxiety
To understand the link between anxiety and self-esteem, we need to go right back to the beginning. When we are children, we have a need to feel loved and secure in order to be sure of our safety, of ourselves and for a sense of belonging to grow. If this is in any way disrupted or not present at all, that sense of belonging and safety will not be able to develop and we will be left with insecurities.
As we then grow older these insecurities begin to develop into negative core beliefs such as ‘I am not good enough – that is why I wasn’t made to feel safe/loved/nurtured/taken care of.’ Or, ‘I am not deserving – that is why bad things have happened to me’ Or, ‘I am not important – that is why nobody wants to keep me safe.’ These are all very damaging core beliefs and when we grow with damaging beliefs we evolve with a low or hurt self-esteem. This low self-esteem combined with our lack of security are the perfect ingredients for living a life filled with worries, concerns, perceived threats and fear, in other words, anxiety. If, however we work to improve this self-esteem, our sense of belonging, self and security will grow reducing the amount of fear or concern we live with.
Here are three ways you can boost yourself esteem and watch your anxiety drop away:
1) Realise and retrain
When we suffer with low self-esteem, we become our worst critics, reinforcing the negative core beliefs we have taken on over time. Although it may feel like we can’t do anything to alter that inner critic, actually we can. We just have to first notice what it’s telling us and then be dedicated enough to re-train that critic. There are a huge variety of ways we can do this but self-love is a great place to start and five minutes each day is all it takes! Simply start your day with noting down one positive thing about yourself. This could be about your physical appearance, your personality, talents or accomplishments. Over time you will build up a long list of compliments about yourself which will begin to retrain your brain to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.
2) Acknowledge and appreciate
Commonly when we have low self-esteem we have a low opinion of our physical appearance, criticizing and shaming various parts of our body. Again this simply reinforces our negative beliefs, making it harder to shift them. So instead, acknowledge each part of your body from your feet up to your head, appreciating it and showing gratitude for the part that area of your body plays in making you, you! For example, ‘thank you feet for carrying me all the places I need to be every day.’ Notice how much more you begin to appreciate your body and feel connected to it rather than hate and shame it.
3) Decide and declare
Believe it or not we do have the ability to decide exactly how we feel about ourselves and how we choose to think about ourselves, although at times it may not feel like it. Positive affirmations are a great way to take time to decide how we want to feel about ourselves. They are simple sentences we can choose, about the way we want to feel, so once we have decided what they are we can then declare them to ourselves on a daily basis. For example, ‘I am confident and positive.’ ‘I am brave.’ ‘I am capable.’
Hypnotherapy is hugely effective for supporting you in growing your self-esteem. Positive and confidence building suggestions in hypnosis can all help your self-esteem to grow as well as helping you to overcome and let go of negative beliefs that hurt or damage your self-esteem.
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About Emily Hughes
My name is Emily and I am a qualified hypnotherapist and counsellor working out of London, Canary Wharf and Essex. I specialise in taking a holistic approach to physical and mental wellness and my main areas of focus are diet and weight control, anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.