9 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Toxic Relationship
A toxic relationship takes a more significant toll on mental and emotional health than just physical health. An unhealthy relationship can leave you with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and insecurities. These mental health conditions can affect all future relationships as well as current relationships with your family and friends.
But after a breakup with a significant other, how do you regain the person you once were? How do you make yourself better every day? Learn how to work on building self-esteem one step at a time.
Nine ways to build self-esteem after a toxic relationship.
It is possible to rebuild your self-esteem after a toxic relationship. These tasks will not happen overnight, but the minor changes over time will add to a better, stronger you – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. These will take work, so bring out a sheet of paper and a pen.
It is time to take your life back and make plans for the future. God created you to operate in His Spirit and power. Cowering under the weight of low self-esteem is not for you. It is time to break those chains.
Identify toxic beliefs about yourself and flip the script.
The beliefs you hold close and the inner voice that speaks negatively often originates from other people’s words or cues. If someone constantly tells you how unattractive they think you are, you begin to believe it for yourself. Even when the words are lies, the subconscious twists the lie into a belief. This belief interferes with how we perceive the world.
Once you can identify the toxic thoughts about yourself, it is time to flip the script. Instead of hearing, “I’m not beautiful. No one will ever want me,” flip the script to “I am made in God’s image, and He has someone for me. No matter what, I am a blessed child of God.” This takes practice, and you may need to write down all the negative beliefs you have about yourself and rewrite positive affirmations to practice throughout the day.
List your positive attributes.
Toxic people hurt others, often with their words. They will hurl slurs, insults, and backhanded compliments at their victims. Over time, this type of behavior can make you forget your own strengths and positive attributes.
Make a list of things that you know to be true. You may need to pull on strengths from your past. For example, “I am good with people. I am intelligent and am a fast learner.” These affirmations may seem awkward at first, especially if the negative comments are engrained in you. Give yourself grace as you rediscover who you are.
Toxic people do not follow the rules and will consistently cross boundaries to get the reaction they want from you. So, you must create boundaries for all future relationships after you have cut ties from a toxic relationship.
What are non-negotiables for you in a relationship? How accessible are you in a new relationship? What are your priorities? It can be said that most activities that bring us displeasure are because they take away from our priorities. Toxic relationships can do the same, isolating you from your friends and family or developing codependency.
Nurture healthy relationships.
After a toxic relationship, you need a support system. Whether this is your family or a close friend, you need someone to confide in and who is willing to tell you the truth. Having support builds self-esteem as you relate to others and feel a sense of belonging. Having someone by your side to build you up is priceless. Nurture these relationships; spend time with people who care about you and want to see you achieve in life. Be that support for someone else too.
Take care of your body.
Unhealthy relationships are draining and leave us spending too much time catering to the wishes of another instead of seeing about our own health. Sometimes the toxic person will call the victim selfish or accuse them of not caring about them. This is a form of manipulation that only lowers the victim’s self-esteem.
It is time to take stock of your health and decide what needs to be done to live a longer, fuller life. Check with your physician for an annual exam and have bloodwork collected. Do you need to eat healthier meals? Do you need to add exercise to your life? Make a list of changes you can start today to take care of your body.
Along with making physical changes for a healthier you, begin adding in some of the me-time you desperately need. Practicing self-care is not selfish; it is necessary to reset yourself. You can use your time to journal, study God’s word, read a new book, or work out. Perhaps you need a day out getting a trim or getting your nails done. Any positive action will make you feel better and give you more confidence.
Declutter your environment.
A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind. The act of throwing away or donating items works its way into your psyche. Suddenly, you are ready for a new start. A clutter-free room or home makes it easier to breathe and reduces stress. If your environment is heavily cluttered, take this process in baby steps. Try working on clearing out a small area for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Eventually, you will have the physical space cleared as well as your mind.
Back away from social media.
Social media is a thief. Comparing your life (and your love life) to social media posts will rob you of your joy. Keep in mind that most people edit and filter their posts for the public. They do not air the rough patches of life (or a relationship).
If you have “friends” who post negative comments all day, this can bring down your confidence and leave you feeling anxious and depressed. Comparing your body shape, weight, size, or appearance to an influencer online will derail your self-esteem. Monitor the time you give to scrolling on social media and work on your own happiness and joy.
In the past, did you ever set short and long-term goals? Now is the time to focus on building your self-esteem by setting and achieving your goals. Make a list of everything you would like to accomplish this year. If that seems too daunting, how about what you would like to achieve over the next 90 days or one month?
Try to choose manageable goals that can be completed during the time frame you have allowed. Are the goals specific? Create goals for every area of your life: spiritual, family, relationships, finance, hobbies/interests, health, etc.
Open God’s Word.
The Bible is a living book full of God’s words to you. If you pray and ask God to show you what you need to know in this season of your life, He will be faithful to do it. For example, the Book of Joshua reads, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT) That is a confidence-building scripture! Open and read His word. Look for the nuggets of truth that pertain to you.
Take it slow and implement one of these self-esteem-building ideas at a time. Recreate your life, and your self-esteem and self-worth will follow.
If You Need Help Building Self-Esteem
If you have been through a traumatic event, a toxic relationship, or an emotionally damaging childhood, you may need help rebuilding your self-esteem. Feelings of low self-worth and bitterness can lead to other mental health conditions or even suicidal ideation.
Reach out for help today if you are having these negative thoughts. We provide one-on-one counseling sessions and group therapy to help people rebuild their self-esteem while growing closer to Christ’s love and grace. Call us today.
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