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4 Therapist-Approved Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem

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Of course you want to have more self-confidence, but you know it doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Improving your self-esteem is something you have to work on, so try these five methods for giving yourself a boost, as suggested by Mallory Grimste, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker who leads teen group therapy sessions in Woodbridge, CT.

4 Therapist-Approved Self-Esteem Boosting Tips

1. Talk to Yourself (Seriously)

Notice that you’re thinking negative thoughts about yourself lately? It happens. But there is something you can do about it. “When you catch the sad or negative thought, tell yourself something positive in its place — it works wonders for changing your mindset,” says Grimste. Grimste suggests starting with an “I am” statement, like “I am smart” or “I am beautiful.” “If that feels fake, then try saying something like, ‘Even though I don’t feel beautiful today, I deeply love and accept myself,’ which at least will bring you closer to a more positive place,” says Grimste.

2. Get Real About Social Media

On Instagram, it’s hard to escape all the “perfect” images of people looking happy and flawless. “Most people understand what’s real and what’s not real, yet it still hurts,” says Grimste. Know that who you are is not dependent on the amount of likes you get or followers you have. Still, if something like a cold sore is bringing your self-image down, be sure to stock Abreva in your medicine cabinet. With Abreva, you could get rid of your cold sore in two and a half days1, and only Abreva is able to heal your cold sore at the first sign of a breakout2. And you don’t have to wait forever for it to start working. Abreva starts to work immediately when used as directed at the first sign of a cold sore, based on laboratory studies. And really, who doesn’t want one less thing to feel self-conscious about?

3. Learn to Trust Your Gut

Yeah, it sounds easier said than done. After all, how do you even know if your gut is trying to tell you something? “One way to understand how your intuition works is to first ask yourself a series of easy questions you already know the answer to, like, ‘Do I like chocolate or vanilla ice cream?’” says Grimste. Answer honestly first, then answer the questions the opposite way — so if you prefer chocolate, say vanilla. “Notice how it feels weird to answer the wrong way? That’s your gut speaking up,” says Grimste. So if you feel pressure from friends or feel like what you’re doing doesn’t mesh with what feels right, start checking in with yourself, says Grimste.

4. Find a Healthy Way to Deal

Do you play sports or enjoy going to the gym with friends? You’ll probably want to keep it up. Staying active is a healthy way to boost confidence. The key, though, is to make sure you’re doing the activity in a positive way. “Any coping strategy to deal with low self-esteem can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how you use it,” says Grimste. For example, getting in 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults 18 and older is great, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re not going overboard, which can turn the healthy activity into an unhealthy one.

Boosting your self-esteem is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll not only feel great on the inside, but you’ll show that confidence on the outside, too. So why not start building up your confidence today?

1 When used at the first sign, median healing time of 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2 1/2 days
2 Among over-the-counter (OTC) cold sore products