For teens, feeling good about yourself can be a special challenge. You are undergoing a lot of changes physically, emotionally, and psychologically – and, for many teens, this period in their lives brings academic and social change. There’s hardly an area of your life that isn’t changing! Just about anyone would find that much change stressful.
Where does your self-image end up in all this upheaval? For some teens, it ends up pretty low. Getting some ideas on how you can feel better about yourself may help. Read on for some tips.
Identify the Cause
Sometimes, it can really help just to figure out why you feel down on yourself. Is it something going on in your life? Are you struggling socially? Maybe you are dealing with body issues, like being overweight, underweight, or having acne. If it helps, write down your feelings and try to identify their cause. You may find that it’s something trivial, or, if it is something significant, you can identify it and get help in dealing with it.
Nix the Media
Many teens look at magazines or pictures online of models, trying to find someone they look like. Teens may feel that if they can find someone who looks like they do, it will affirm their looks. But surprise – not only do the people in the magazines not even look like that without major photo enhancement, they also devote their lives to their looks. You’re a normal teen! You don’t have eight hours a day to devote to working out and make-up and plastic surgery. Put down the magazines and steer clear of model pictures online and elsewhere, and look for affirmation in other areas. That brings us to the third point.
Get Affirmation Elsewhere
Ultimately, you’re the one who has the power to affirm your worth. So a good place to start it with your own talents and abilities. What are you good at? What do people like about you? Are you funny, artistic, mathematical, organized, a good reader? You don’t have to have some enormous gift that dazzles everyone; maybe you’re really good at finding bargains, or perhaps you have a gift for encouraging others.
Write down some things you like to do (you may find you have a strength in writing!), things you are truly good at. If you’re not sure, ask your parents. They probably know you better than anyone, even if you don’t want to admit it.
Take Deliberate Steps
The only person who can change you is you. You can’t change other people, but you can take steps to be a more positive, likeable person which will help you like yourself more. When people like you, it affirms your self-image. Some steps you can take are:
* Reach out to others – write friendly notes, invite a friend over for coffee, or just make a point to smile more and make eye contact.
* Exercise regularly – this doesn’t just help with body image; regular exercise may also improve your overall health and mood.
* Compliment other people and boost their self-image – give to others what you would like to receive.