6 Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is necessary during recovery because it gives you the confidence to keep moving forward. If you find your motivation weakening, then the confidence you feel in your abilities may also falter. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve how you think and feel about yourself. Psychotherapy is often used in facilities like White House Recovery and Detox to help clients learn to embrace recovery and grow in multiple areas, including self-efficacy.  According to research from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, "self-esteem may tap into positive aspects of one's self, and as such constitute a source for resilience." How much you value yourself determines the path of your recovery. Strong self-esteem encourages accountability, increases self-awareness, and enhances the desire to continue making positive changes. Low self-esteem can lead to doubt, anxiety, and a potential relapse. 

Adolescents, Self-Esteem, and Substance Use Disorder

Adolescents and young people are at the highest risk of developing a substance use disorder if they suffer from low self-esteem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shared a study that states, "low self-esteem may be a crucial factor in substance use among adolescents." Some risk factors include:
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Domestic abuse or living in a toxic family environment
  • Childhood physical or sexual abuse
  • Bullying
  • Lower than average school performance

Self-Esteem and Relapse Prevention

A lack of self-esteem can cause an increased risk of relapse after the completion of treatment. How you feel about yourself directly translates into how you treat your body. If you do not believe in your own worth, you will be less likely to look after your physical and emotional wellness. According to MedlinePlus, “Encouragement . . . can build confidence and a strong sense of self” to prevent children and adolescents from using substances. Self-encouragement can also help you maintain your sobriety.

6 Tips for Building Self-Confidence 

Your recovery will benefit from building self-confidence and increasing self-esteem. The following are six things you can do every day to improve your mental and emotional health:  #1. Take care of your body by eating balanced, nutritional meals and getting plenty of sleep at night. When you feel well-rested and energized throughout your day, it is easier to feel confident about yourself.  #2. Practice positivity in the way you think and the words you use to describe yourself and others. Show grace and patience when interacting with others or looking at your progress. You can enhance positivity by incorporating meditation and mindfulness-based techniques into your daily routine.  #3. Make a list of things you like about yourself or have accomplished, like graduating high school or attending treatment. Write down the positive emotions those moments created at the time. Keep adding to the list and validate your achievements until it becomes a habit.  #4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Without using judgemental language, create a list of steps you can take to start overcoming them. For example, if you are often late to work, you can write down a list of easy, positive actions you can take, including setting multiple alarms or starting your day earlier. #5. Set a series of achievable goals and then mark them off. Continue to do this for numerous areas of your life. Celebrate each success and allow yourself to feel pride for the things you have accomplished. Over time your self-esteem will improve as you automatically begin to create and mark off recovery goals.  #6. Accept praise from others without questioning it or feeling unworthy. Take the good things people say about you, no matter how big or small, and use them as motivation to keep making improvements. 

Increase Your Confidence By Actively Engaging in Recovery

As a member of the sober community, you can positively influence others by sharing your history and current progress. Actively taking part in your recovery means doing the following:
  • Taking advantage of resources like support groups, therapy, and prescription treatments
  • Volunteering or doing other activities to support the community
  • Educating yourself and others about the dangers of addiction and relapse prevention
  • Joining peer groups and becoming a role model for others
Passive interest in your recovery gives others control over your future. By choosing to take action and make a difference in your community and family, you will begin to notice increased self-confidence. You have the potential to be an inspiration for others who are looking for a way to get healthy. In addition, watching others make changes based on your progress can be an exhilarating and humbling experience. Your self-esteem will continue to improve as you keep meeting personal goals and moving forward in recovery.  How you feel about yourself has a direct impact on your recovery. The more confident you feel about your abilities, the easier it will be to overcome difficult situations and cope with stressors. Building self-esteem is a part of healthy self-care and involves becoming more self-aware about your achievements and growth. Accepting yourself and your strengths can be frightening at first because with control comes responsibility, and that is okay. Self-esteem makes it easier to feel confident in your decisions. Most facilities have activities for building self-confidence. The White House Recovery and Detox team works with every client to improve self-efficacy and self-confidence through therapy and social interactions. We can help you find your voice. Discover more about our facility and services by calling White House Recovery and Detox at (800) 510-5393. You can make a positive change today by getting the help you deserve. You are in control of your recovery.