Improving self-esteem yields many benefits. Anyone can live a happier life by making positive lifestyle changes.
Growing older is associated with both advantages and disadvantages. While our dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal or being drafted by a professional sports team may become more unrealistic with each passing year, we typically evolve as time marches on, becoming more confident about our abilities to navigate life’s emotional and career challenges.
Why Self-Esteem Declines After Middle Age
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that self-esteem peaks at about age 60 and then starts to decline. Theories about why midlife appears to be the time when adults claim to feel the most confidence abound. Richard Robins of the APA cites a highly stable career and family relationships during middle years as a viable explanation for people’s self-assurance during their 40s and 50s.
These years are often peak years for holding positions of power at work. Reaching a certain status in life promotes a sense of accomplishment and self-assurance. In sharp contrast, older adults often experience a decline in physical and mental prowess that can lead to lower levels of self-esteem when retirement finally rolls around.
Ageism and a general feeling that you are no longer relevant can have a significant negative effect on older adults. The good news is that there are proven strategies for addressing these self-esteem issues.
Below are a few ideas for embracing life at any age with optimism and vigor.
Physical and Mental Activities That Improve Self-Confidence
Harvard Health Publishing recommends that you always make an effort to look your best. Getting cleaned up each morning and dressing for the day is important. When you make the effort to look nice, you feel better about yourself.
Treat your body with care. Get regular exercise and eat foods that contribute to good health. Granted, we’ve heard these types of statements our entire life. As simple and logical as this advice sounds, it can make an enormous difference in the way you feel.
Challenge yourself mentally and physically with realistic goals you can achieve with some dedication and work. For example, train for a 5K and complete one. Regular exercise is satisfying because it promotes both physical and mental health.
Accomplishing mental goals is also an excellent way to build self-confidence. Learn a new language or activities like chess. Take up a new hobby like painting or writing. Being open to learning new things makes life exciting.
The simple task of writing down all of your accomplishments is an excellent exercise for days when your confidence needs a boost. Get detailed with that list, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve already accomplished.
Stay Connected and Contribute
BestLife recommends joining groups of like-minded people. While having friends is a definite mood booster, getting involved in a group and sharing experiences as a community of writers, artists or book lovers, for example, validates who you are.
Become a mentor. After 40 years of life, you have attained a wealth of knowledge that can be passed along to help others. Few things build self-confidence like teaching.
Eliminate Self-Defeating Habits and Thinking
Thrive Global suggests that people stop being so hard on themselves and stop expecting perfection. Perfectionists can become depressed if they don’t simply appreciate their own efforts and value personal improvement with realistic goals.
Replace negative thinking with constructive thoughts. Mayo Clinic recommends using hopeful statements when talking to yourself. Most people are much kinder to others than to themselves. Treat yourself with the same kindness that you extend to other people.
Forgive yourself for mistakes: Everyone makes them. Learn from them and move on. Mistakes aren’t forever and do not reflect poorly on you.
A wise saying claims that we are all “works in progress.” As we mature, we must make an extra effort to remain confident and optimistic about our abilities and future. The tips above will set the stage for living a confident life as you age.