Self-image and Self-improvement


Self-esteem is the opinion we develop about ourselves in terms of our ability to meet the many challenges of life, and achieve happiness and success.

People with high self-esteem tend to act in an independent fashion, assume responsibility for their lives and their choices, feel proud of their accomplishments, etc. People with low self-esteem tend to constantly fear rejection. be passive in their interactions with others, blame others for their problems or mistakes, etc.

There are many ways to raise your self-esteem, including:

  • keep a record of all your accomplishments and reward your achievements
  • develop a list of your strengths or positive qualities
  • ask for feedback from people who know and appreciate you
  • quit comparing yourself to others
  • fill your life with healthy, positive, supportive people

More strategies to raise self-esteem

Body Image

Body image is the personal relationship you have with your body. It includes your perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about your physical appearance. It also includes how you feel in your body. Body image dissatisfaction is common: it affects 90 per cent of women and 50 per cent of men.

Strategies to improve body image include:

  • make a list of things your body can do (exercise, breath, hug, dance) and feel good about those things
  • keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself that aren't related to your body
  • view media messages critically - advertising isn't real and most photos of people in ads are photoshopped

More strategies to improve body image


Learning to communicate assertively is an essential skill, to both get our needs met and to foster healthy relationships. Some of the more common situations where lack of assertiveness is a problem include:

  • saying "no" to others
  • expressing negative feelings
  • responding to criticism
  • asking someone for a date

Strategies to practice assertiveness include:

  • practice assertive nonverbal communication (relaxed body language, respecting space)
  • avoid passive or aggressive nonverbal communication
  • believe you have the right to have your feelings respected and decide what's best for you
  • plan and think about what you want to say

More strategies to improve assertiveness

Anger Management

Anger management strategies can be particularly useful for students who meet a variety of unique frustrations and challenges as part of their experience on a university campus, including:

  • the initial registration process
  • being placed on academic probation or asked to withdraw from university
  • being overtaxed with both academic pressures and severe financial worries
  • conflict with friends, roommates, or classmates

Strategies to cope with anger include:

  • be aware of the physical warning signs that indicate you are getting angry (heart pounding, clenched fists, etc.)
  • delay responding to your anger: sing a song, count to 10, take deep breaths, distract yourself
  • reduce stress: being stressed can trigger anger more often than normal

More strategies to deal with anger