“If someone has a negative self-concept and low self-esteem, they will behave in negative ways to be in alignment with their self-concept,” Kaufman said. “Low self-esteem tends to contribute to poor health choices, whether it’s junk food, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, alcohol, drugs, arguing, etc. Better self-esteem tends to lead to positive life choices.”
Katie McCorkle, a psychologist, founder and CEO of Balanced Heart Healing Center, and author of “A Balanced Heart: 10 Weeks to Breakthrough,” said in an email that increasing self-esteem can be a matter of looking at your successes.
“Slow down and pay attention to all the ways that you already support yourself and those you love every day,” McCorkle said. “Too often, women worry about what they're not doing, rather than giving themselves credit for all they do.”
Susanne Berger, who writes a blog at Createanewlifewithsusanne.com, has four main tips for boosting self-esteem.
1) “Smile, reward yourself, take a walk and enjoy eating. Smiling is a feeling that comes from inside you. For some reason, when you smile you stand straighter. With good posture it's easier to breathe, and it's the best camouflage for whatever stress you’re under and negative thoughts that have been on your mind. Smiling prevents wrinkles and slows down the aging process.”
2) “Reward yourself. If you don't do something nice for yourself, no one else will. Set the example and set the standard. Do you know what makes you smile? It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be as simple as an apple a day. On those tough days, it could be a double cheeseburger with french fries and a Coke. Now isn't that a treat? Remember you have to be good to yourself, especially when times are hard.”
3) “Take a walk. Walking is the simplest form of exercise. It gets you outside, and forces you to remove yourself from stressful situations. You’ll run into other people when you’re spending time outside, and you’ll certainly feel less claustrophobic. I suggest that you grab your iPod (loaded only with happy music, of course) and go for a walk.