How to Boost Your Self-Esteem After 50

Getting older has its benefits, but it can also be challenging.

By middle age, you’re likely juggling numerous responsibilities at the same time. What mattered to you a decade ago may no longer carry the same relevance today. Likewise, fears about the future may have you feeling stressed.

Research shows that self-esteem steadily increases as people age. However, it typically starts declining around the age of retirement. That said, you aren’t doomed to feel poorly about yourself. Experts have identified several variables that maintain or even improve your self-esteem. Here’s what you need to know.

Prioritize Your Relationships

Some people find it harder to maintain or make new friends as they age. But your social connections are essential for your well-being. Spending time with loved ones can reduce loneliness, depression, and anxiety- they also provide a significant sense of purpose.

Take some time to evaluate the people in your life. For example, is it worth reaching out reconnecting with an old friend? Could you make more of an effort to know your neighbors? Should you ask one of your new colleagues if they want to go out to lunch with you?

Remember that quality trumps quantity when it comes to these relationships. It isn’t about having the biggest network of social support- it’s about having trustworthy people whose company you genuinely enjoy.

Look After Your Physical Health

Aging inevitably changes your body in many ways, affecting anything from your cardiovascular health to your memory to your sex drive. With that in mind, prioritizing your physical well-being can keep you feeling strong and healthy.

Even if things seem okay right now, commit to embracing preventative healthcare. This includes staying physically active, eating nourishing foods, limiting or avoiding mood-altering substances (like alcohol), and getting enough sleep. You don’t need to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight; smaller changes are often more sustainable and can lead to greater long-term success.

Looking after your physical health also means being proactive with treatment recommendations. Aim to stay up-to-date with any routine exams, take your prescribed medication regularly, and reach out to your doctor if concerning medical symptoms arise.

Assert Yourself and Express What You Need

People with high self-esteem recognize the importance of boundaries. They also know that others can’t read their minds and that it isn’t fair to say yes to every social request.

Take some time to reflect on your own assertiveness. Do you overextend yourself, causing you to feel tired and resentful? Are you passive in your relationships? Do you enable other people’s inappropriate behavior or rescue them when you assume they need it?

If so, these patterns can certainly affect your self-esteem. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make other people happy, you shouldn’t always do it at the expense of yourself. If you do, you reinforce a self-fulfilling prophecy that your needs (and feelings) take a backseat to everyone else’s.

Keep Practicing Gratitude

You’ve likely heard about the benefits of gratitude, but have you taken them to heart?

Focusing on all the good you have in life can help you feel calmer, happier, and more present. Subsequently, research shows that expressing gratitude can improve sleep, boost immunity, and even reduce the perception of chronic pain.

Think of it like a daily medicine you need to take. Pick a consistent time each day where you can set a timer for 1-2 minutes and simply reflect on the goodness in your life.

You should also routinely tell people how much they mean to you. Doing so will make both of you feel good, and this can reinforce a deeper connection.

Embrace More Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is often the remedy against low self-esteem. The kinder you can speak to yourself, the more you promote an internal sense of patience and acceptance.

Remember that nobody is perfect. You can and will make mistakes in life. Hardships will happen to you, and to everyone else. But if you trust yourself- and you practice self-forgiveness- you become more resilient. The challenges you face may no longer seem as catastrophic.

In that vein, self-compassion doesn’t mean having an inflated ego or disregarding your wrongdoings. Those traits are signs of cockiness or denial, and they can counteract your self-esteem.

Instead, it means holding yourself accountable, trusting that you’re still a good person, and working hard to love yourself (and others) deeply. This is an ongoing process, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

How Therapy Can Help Improve Your Self-Esteem After 50

Middle age often coincides with many life transitions. So whether you’re on the cusp of retirement, preparing for your children to leave home, or struggling with marital issues, therapy can help.

If you feel down about yourself- or you are struggling with your self-esteem- I am here to support you in this new season of life. Contact me today to learn more and get started.

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 988-3363

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