How Gratitude Can Improve Your Self Esteem

Blog graphic showing how gratitude can improve self esteem

You have probably heard of the multiple benefits of practicing gratitude, but did you know it can be used to dramatically improve self esteem? I know…amazing, right? Read on to find out how you can boost your self esteem using the power of gratitude!

One downside to feeling low or even slightly depressed is that such moments or periods attract negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are like sugar ants; they call on each other really fast. “Hey fellas, there’s a moody girl here, let’s eat her up!”

Say, you just failed to pass a vacancy test and was spending longer than humanly natural dwelling on this failure, your mind goes ‘That’s how you also failed to (fill in the blanks)’. And so, your mind keeps calling on other failed occasions.

But such self-bashing only installs a false programme into our subconscious mind, which scientists and modern-day psychologists have proven has more influence on us than our conscious minds.

Just as a computer system cannot operate without a programme or programmes, so also the human system. If you choose the programmes on your computer wisely, why do less for your mind which is the Operating System of your body?

Unlike computer programmes which are installed at once then updated from time to time, human programming is often over a period of time via the following ways:

  • Daily Habits
  • Negative or positive feedback from our role models, parents, peers and teachers
  • Books we read
  • Music we listen to
  • Programmes we watch often (TV series, shows, etc)
  • Social media influencers we follow
  • Family Values we are born into
  • School norms we are nurtured with, and more.

All the above are programmers! In a few cases, programmes are installed suddenly and at once. For example, the result of a ghastly accident from which we escape but loved-ones die can install a programme of fear in us. Fear of driving, fear of public transport, fear of holidays, etc.

But other than such examples, most human programmes are installed instalmentally. There is need for repetition for a habit to be formed, either mentally or emotionally, either consciously or unconsciously.

So how do all of this connect to gratitude?

When we are feeling low, we focus on many more events that reinforce the lowness. To short-circuit or cut off this tendency, we can consciously focus on things that do the exact opposite, such as focusing on things we are grateful for.

So even if you don’t immediately feel better you won’t drop further down on the pain-pleasure scale. In case you have never heard of the emotional pain-pleasure scale, here’s an image to get you started, below:

Image shows the various eotions humans face on a scale from happiest to saddest
image credit:

Think of three major things you are grateful for in that instance. Better still, write them down in your gratitude journal or any sheet of paper near you. There are also gratitude apps on Playstore and I-store and worst-case scenario you can type on your phone in your notes app. The important thing is to make these three points of gratitude override the false programme being currently installed by the fact that you failed the vacancy test.

That you failed the test doesn’t make you a failure.

But if you wallow in self-pity, I can tell you confidently, you will install an “I am a failure” programme in your human system! All it takes is a few instances and suddenly the programme is solid and ready to start working, influencing other areas of your life with FAILURE.

Suddenly you’re also failing at your relationships, at your diet plans, at your daily things to do, at maintaining your other good habits.

Habits we keep are like the company we keep. Positive habits attract other good habits. Negative habits attract other negative habits.

Start today to say thank you more often when negative events occur in your life. If nothing at all, you would have stopped the installation of a negative programme in your life. But the best part is recognising the gifts in your life during a low moment can actually bring clarity to help you take new and better decisions regarding same event or a future event.

Start today to say thank you more often when negative events occur in your life. If nothing at all, you would have stopped the installation of a negative programme in your life.

Hope this has helped you. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Stay grateful, stay blessed.

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