If you have poor self-esteem or lack confidence, you should know that you’re not alone. Many people struggle with these issues in their daily lives as they try to overcome the internal criticisms these issues raise. You can enjoy better emotional health and gain more self-confidence through natural means. Here are a few lifestyle changes that can help you achieve a more positive image of yourself.

See a Therapist

First off, what is therapy, and how can it help? Therapy is the traditional shortening of the term psychotherapy, but it’s also referred to as counseling. It involves meeting with a mental health professional to address the emotional health problems you may be having in your life. These can revolve around problems maintaining good relationships with others, trusting the people in your life, or dealing with inner emotional turmoil. You and your therapist will discuss your experiences to determine the best way to overcome your problems. Your therapist may use cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches you to modify your behaviors or any number of other therapies that help you cope with stressful or traumatizing situations.

Get Back to Nature

Another way you’ll help your mood and self-esteem is by spending more time outdoors. Even just sitting in a park or strolling through the woods can lift your spirits and help you feel better. In some recent studies, it was found that spending time in nature alleviated stress and reduced the risks of hypertension. It was also found that people with emotional health problems, including depression and anxiety, experienced fewer symptoms when they spent time outdoors in nature.

Give Back to Your Community

Volunteering your time with a charitable organization is going to benefit you in several ways. Primarily, it will allow you to do good for others, which is a significant confidence booster. You’ll feel a strong sense of joy in seeing that your efforts are helping the less fortunate to improve their lives. Additionally, you’ll meet people from all walks of life through your volunteer opportunities. When you’re socializing and forming new friendships, you’ll spend less time focusing on your own self-criticisms.

Get More Exercise

We all know that daily exercise is essential for maintaining good physical health, but it also boosts emotional health. As you spend time engaged in moderate to high-intensity exercise, your brain will release endorphins or “feel good” neurotransmitters that will stimulate the pleasure center of your brain. Engaging in more exercise will create an even more euphoric sensation, helping to regulate mood and reduce stress. As you see the positive results that exercise has on your physique, you’ll also feel more confident in your appearance, and that will give your self-esteem a boost.

Choose a Healthier Diet

Research has found that processed foods, particularly those containing high amounts of starch, sugar, and trans fat, have adverse effects on mood and emotional health. Alternatively, ditching those unhealthy foods for more plant-based foods will give your brain and body the vitamins and nutrients needed to function well. Instead of the quick burst of euphoria and energy that sugar and carbs provide, the vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients in plant-based foods will give you better emotional health and sustained energy throughout each day.

Practice Stress Reduction Techniques

People who feel less stress generally feel better about themselves, making it especially important to take an active approach in reducing stress each day. Some good ways to reduce your stress are meditating, practicing yoga, or taking a warm bath. You can enhance the effects by lighting scented candles and playing soothing or inspiring music. If you don’t find these activities relaxing, try reading a book, writing in a journal, or doing a puzzle. Any activity that you find enjoyable and relaxing will help alleviate stress.

Through regular practice, all of these suggestions can improve your self-image, which will lead to a more positive outlook on life. As you begin to feel better about yourself, you’ll find that you’re more successful in your career and happier at home. Even when problems do arise, you’ll find that you’re better equipped to deal with them as you rely on your newly discovered confidence and higher self-esteem.