Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.Our self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves.
When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us able to deal with life’s ups and downs better.
When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges life throws at us.
What is high self-esteem?
Having high self-esteem is having a healthy life, seeing yourself as adequate, always acceptable everywhere you go, worthy, lovable. When you are always positive minded about life and your environment, you have a healthy self-esteem. This feeling makes you lively and you always see the world as a field of greatness. It makes us able to deal with life’s ups and downs better.
How to have healthy self-esteem
Here are some simple techniques that may help you feel better about yourself.
Recognize what you are good at and keep doing it
We are all good at something, whether it’s cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we are good at, which can help to boost your mood.
Always build positive relationships
If you find certain people tending to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions.Seek out relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.
Be kind to yourself
Be kind and compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical.
Learn to be assertive
To be assertive means respecting other people’s opinions and needs, and expecting the same from them.
One trick is to look at other people who act assertively and copy what they do. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. It’s more like picking up hints and tips from people you admire and letting the real you come out.”
Start saying ‘no’
People with low self-esteem often feel they have to say yes to other people, even when they don’t really want to. The risk is that you become overburdened, resentful, angry and depressed. It is important you don’t always give in to people’s idea. Try saying no sometimes in different ways and make sure they get your message.
Give yourself a challenge
We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. But people with healthy self-esteem don’t let these feelings stop them from trying new things or taking on challenges.Set yourself a goal, such as joining an exercise class or going to a social occasion. Achieving your goals will help to increase your self-esteem.
What is low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem is seeing yourself as inadequate, unacceptable, unworthy, unlovable, or incompetent. Many people look in the mirror and see someone they don’t like very much. They see faults, flaws and failures. They feel shame, embarrassment and maybe even anger toward themselves.These beliefs create negative, self-critical thoughts that affect your behaviour and your life choices, often lowering your self-esteem even further.
If you have low self-esteem you may feel:
- like you hate or dislike yourself
- worthless or not good enough
- unable to make decisions or assert yourself
- like no one likes you
- unable to recognize your strengths
- undeserving of happiness
- Low in confidence.
What causes low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. Teachers, friends, siblings, parents, and even the media send us messages about ourselves, both positive and negative. For some reason, the message that you are not good enough is the one that stays with you.
Perhaps you found it difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of you, or to your own expectations.Stress and difficult life events, such as serious illness or a bereavement, can also have a negative effect on self-esteem.
Personality can also play a part. Some people are just more prone to negative thinking, while others set impossibly high standards for themselves.
Think about what is affecting your self-esteem. What affects our self-esteem differs for everyone.
Your confidence may have been lowered after a difficult experience or series of negative life event, such as:
- being bullied or abused
- losing your job or difficulty finding employment
- ongoing stress
- physical illness
- mental health problems
- a difficult relationship, separation or divorce
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
Who says dealing with low- self- esteem is easy? The real fact is that it is never easy to deal with low self-esteem. Do you want a happier mindset? Here are ways to become aware of your low self-esteem, and negative thoughts as well as powerful ways to change low self-esteem into high self-esteem.
In trying to deal with low self-esteem, focus on the positive. When doing that, we feel more positive, happier and self-assured, right? Our self-esteem is heightened when we are in a positive state of mind.
Put Yourself First with Self-Care
Self-care is an important step in overcoming low self-esteem. Self-care gently reminds you that you deserve to feel good and it also produces positive feelings inward, which radiates outward.
Going to the gym, eating a healthy meal, watching that show that makes you laugh are examples of self-care. Self-care allows you to shift all focus into a positive mindset.
Get Out of Your Head
I know this can be difficult, but often times you have to change your surroundings or your current situation to shift your negative self-talk into a more positive conversation. Getting out of your head doesn’t necessarily mean what it implies, often times you might just have to leave your desk, go on a walk, listen to music, call a good friend, meditate, or read something, but don’t give room for that mood to take over. Get into proactive activities, tag along with friends on outings and from there, you get to be happy.
Connect with people who love you
It’s easy to feel bad about yourself if you always hang around with people who treat you badly or don’t appreciate you.Make a conscious effort to spend more time with people who love you and treat you like you expect to be treated. This can help you to feel good about yourself and challenge your negative thinking.
Talking to loved ones about how you feel can help you to reassess how you view yourself. Ask them what they like about you – it’s likely that they see you differently to how you see yourself.
Focus on your positives
You may automatically think you’re not good at something. This may stop you from doing the things you enjoy or trying new things, which can make you feel worse about yourself.
Why not try to:
- Celebrate your successes without belittling them. No matter how small they may seem to you, take time to praise yourself and reflect on what you did well.
- Accept compliments. Make a note of them to look over when you’re doubting yourself.
- Write a list of what you like about yourself. You could include aspects of your personality, your appearance and what you like doing. If you’re finding it difficult, ask a friend or loved one to help you.
Get support if things get too much
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you feel things are getting too much you might find the following support helpful:
- Mindfulness can help you to focus on the present and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
- Peer support. Talking to others with similar feelings and experiences can help you to accept yourself. Online communities can also be a good source of support
- Telephone support service. If you’re struggling to cope with difficulties in your life, it can be helpful to get emotional and practical support over the telephone.
- Talking treatments. Talking about your feelings and experiences with a trained professional can help you to work through these and build your self-esteem.
Where to find help for low self-esteem
Help is available if you feel you need support to start seeing yourself in a more positive light. If you want to build your self-esteem and you need help, here are some of steps you can take;
- Taking therapy sessions. Counselling or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help with your low self-esteem. Your GP can explain the different types and tell you what’s available in your area. Read more about the different types of therapy.
- You can refer yourself for talking therapies in some areas. Check whether you can refer yourself to your local psychological therapies (IAPT) service.
- You can also pay privately for talking therapies.
- You can also listen to podcasts about tackling unhelpful thinking.
- Visit healthtalk.org to hear young people talking about their experiences of low self-esteem.
Self-esteem can make or break or break satisfaction in your life. The effort to build up your self-esteem is accomplished only by your desire to do so, yet that can be so overwhelming you can defeat yourself before you even start. Never give up!
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