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Improve Your Self-Esteem and Lose Weight

Por Carola Sixto, Editor, DrTango, Inc. -
Improve Your Self-Esteem and Lose Weight

If faith can move mountains, faith in yourself can make you achieve amazing things. It helps you resist the temptation of eating extra candies and have the will of going out to jog despite the weather.
On the contrary, when self-esteem is low, everything becomes more difficult. Not to mention going out to exercise or preparing a healthy meal; the first impulse is to open the refrigerator and get a scoop of ice cream.

“Low self-esteem seems to be directly related to a distorted body image, neglecting physical activity, eating disorders, substance abuse, abusive relationships, and interpersonal problems,” explained Robert W. Reasoner, author of “Self-Esteem and Youth: What Research Has To Say About It.”
Insecurity, moodiness, and depression; negative body image, feeling awkward in public places, absence of social and personal life, low levels of adaptation, and unreal aspirations are some of the characteristics of people with low self-esteem.

5 Steps to Feel Better
According to the Mayo Clinic, the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy can help change our way of thinking. These techniques are based on the idea that our feelings and behaviors are the result of our way of thinking about ourselves and our lives.

To raise self-esteem and improve our personal image, the Mayo Clinic suggests five steps:

1.  Identify the conditions or problematic situations that negatively affect your self-esteem, such as experiencing panic before a business presentation, getting angry frequently, or always expecting the worst.
2. Become aware of your own opinions and thoughts. Once you’ve identified the problem, pay attention to your thoughts about those situations. This includes your internal dialogue and interpretation of what these problems mean. Your thoughts and beliefs can be positive, negative or neutral, rational, or rational.
3. Accurately identify negative or inappropriate thoughts. Become aware of when your thoughts become negative and watch your reactions.
a. Physical responses. May include muscle tension, back pain, tachycardia, stomach problems, sweating, or sleep problems.
b. Emotional responses. Can result in difficulty to concentrate, depression, anger, sadness, nervousness, guilt, or worry.  
c. Behavioral responses. Can be expressed by eating when you have no appetite, avoiding responsibilities, working more than necessary, spending too much time alone, obsessing about things, or blaming others for one’s own problems.
4. Modify the negative or inappropriate thought. Ask yourself if your way of thinking is consistent with the facts and logic or if there can be another explanation for the situation. Phrases like “if I don’t do this, I’m a total failure” or “I made a mistake with that report, now everyone will think I’m not competent,” only damage your own value.
5. Change your thoughts and beliefs. Once you’ve identified the negative or inadequate thought, replace it for more accurate thoughts or beliefs. This will help you build a better self-esteem. Some strategies that may help:

• Use optimistic statements. Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-prophecy. If you made a presentation you didn’t like, assume the situation and feel sure about handling it.
• Forgive yourself.  Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes don’t reflect what you are; they’re isolated situations. Think: “I made this mistake, but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”
• Avoid statements including the words: “I should.” If your conversation is full of these words, you might be demanding too much of yourself.
• Focus on the positive side of things. Think of the beautiful moments of life. Think about the good things that have happened to you recently.
• Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. Next time something “negative” happens at work, think: “I did a good job at the presentation. It may have not been perfect, but my colleagues told me it was good.”

Many self-help book authors explain that each person is unique and unrepeatable; implying that in the whole world there is only one “you.” There is only one person as unique and special as you are.

Source: “Self-Esteem and Youth: What Research Has To Say About It” and The Mayo Clinic.


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