Acne, excema, rosacea, psoriasis, or hyper-pigmentation getting you down? Perhaps you feel as I have, like digging a hole to hide in forever or never looking in a mirror again. Believe it or not, however, you don’t have to stay in that funk forever! Here’s a few things that have helped me to set my self-esteem aside and to take a hold of life instead.
- Turn negative into positive. Use your experience and knowledge to help others. I do this by—guess what?—writing articles about acne! When you have an issue like acne or excema, you develop an arsenal of helpful and un-helpful advice. What, though, is the use of advice if you never give it to anyone? Take the initiative! If you spread the word, it’s possible you could change the life of someone else who struggles with the same skin problem.
- Talk about your skin problem. This goes along with turning a negative into a positive. If you talk about your problem with others, you may find that your self-esteem starts to build. You won’t worry as much about how people judge you. When you explain to someone how you feel and what you’ve done to try to solve the problem, they begin to understand your feelings and get to know you as a person. They will see the beauty on the inside.
- Smile. Did you know that the very act of smiling can improve mood? Endorphins are released when you smile, so the more smiling, the better! I find that smiling helps me forget about myself for a while and focus on more important things, such as making new friends and cultivating old friendships.
- Cultivate friendships. This is important because having quality friendships in abundance can make you feel loved and better about yourself. In a study of adolescent students, a correlation was found between friendship stability and self-esteem. When friendships were most unstable, students “became less satisfied with their own appearance over time.”
- Exercise. First, getting into better shape can make you prouder of your appearance. Also, like smiling, exercising releases endorphins. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise even reduces “immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.”
- Keep busy. If you are following steps one through five, you are already well on the way to a full schedule. This is good! The busier you are, the less time you will have to dwell on your skin problem and other negative things.
- Don’t EVER give up on finding a cure! Never lose hope. I almost did, but when I look in the mirror now, I see the progress I have made in curing my acne. I never would have made it if my friend hadn’t followed step one. She turned a negative into a positive by giving me the advice that changed my life. Why? Because I was following step two, talking about my frustration with my skin. It’s the circle of life!
Along the way, you may find that following these steps may even bring you closer to maintaining a clearer complexion. Whether that will be the case or not, the choice to try to improve your self-esteem doesn’t depend on your skin. The choice is yours.