by Sujatha Nanjundeshwara | 03 JAN 2018
Teenage years often prove to be the most difficult part of growing up.
Not only is your body undergoing physical changes, your emotions are in turmoil as well. There are intense heartbreaks, anxiety, and low self esteem issues to deal with, all under the glare of peer pressure. To top it all, there’s always someone around with a handy mobile camera, to capture your distress and post it within a matter of minutes on social media.
So what are some things you can do as a teenager to build up your self esteem during this period?
Professor Padilla Walker has the answer. Her team worked with 681 adolescents aged 11-14 years recruited form 2 cities in the United States between the years 2008-2011 to study the link between generosity & self esteem in teenagers.
These teenagers were asked to evaluate themselves on a set of 10 statements from a broad spectrum of “I feel useless at times” to “I am satisfied with myself”.
They also had to agree/ disagree with statements like “I help people I don’t know, even if it’s not easy for me”, “ I go out of my way to cheer up my friends”
And the results were astounding.
Give selflessly! When you are generous and help around, you feel good about yourself and end up feeling more confident in the long run! So the next time you are inclined to vent your anger and throw things around, count till 10 and look out of the window.
Teach street kids, rag pickers, slum dwellers and help them find a brighter future.
Join that cleanliness drive in your neighborhood. Educate people on waste segregation.
You could even start a clothes/ toy collection drive to distribute to the less fortunate members of our society.
And you don’t need to wait till Diwali, Dusshera or Christmas to get started. Tomorrow is as good a day as any!
Not anti social, choose pro social behavior! Altruistic behavior could be as simple as helping that new kid in school find her way around. You wouldn’t believe it, but these generous acts could leave you with a higher self esteem with the effect lasting upto an year than your less-altruistic-peers!
As Prof Padilla Walker explains that as this study explores helping behaviors towards multiple different targets and found a link between prosocial behavior & self esteem over a 1 year period. It therefore suggests a stable link between helping and feeling better about oneself across the early adolescent years.
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