Self-respect is something that we develop throughout childhood and into our adult life. However, if we’ve grown up in an environment that isn’t conducive to that, we may develop low self-esteem and low self-respect. A study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that college students who based their self-worth on external sources such as appearance, approval from others, and even academic performance – reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, had higher levels of drug and alcohol use, as well as symptoms of eating disorders.
Self-respect does play a factor when it comes to substance abuse. When a person has low self-respect, they may be more easily influenced by the world around them – for example, a person may have difficulty overcoming negative thoughts. Drug abuse can easily become an activity that helps people escape the negative feelings they have. No matter your relation to substance abuse, there are several ways that you can build your self-respect that will lead you towards a happier, healthier life.
- Identify your strengths and positive attributes. Make a list of things you are good at and what other people have complemented you on. Are you funny? Energetic? Helpful? Recognizing these is a wonderful way to build your self-worth.
- Take care of your personal hygiene. Even if you don’t feel like it, dressing your best can help you feel better about yourself.
- Engage in different activities and hobbies. Learning new skills is a fantastic way to build up on what you have to offer to yourself and to the world.
- Spend more time with people who do love and respect you – people who make you feel good about yourself. These people will likely check up on you often, make you feel loved even when you do not act the way they want you to, and believe in your goals and dreams.
- Avoid people who make you feel bad about yourself. These people will often make you feel little and unheard.
Recovering from addiction can be an emotionally charged time because we face the wrongs we’ve done in the past and work to build up our self-esteem again. However, forgiving yourself is crucial to moving forward, and it’s necessary to create a support system and environment that is conducive to your recovery. Practice taking these small steps to begin building the self-respect that you so richly deserve.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking a treatment center that focuses primarily on mental health, call our parent property, New Vista Behavioral Health, at 855-398-7959. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.