February is Boost Your Self Esteem Month. Many of us struggle with low self-esteem, sometimes unknowingly. This can have a big effect on your relationships, work, friends and stop you from doing things that you would like to do.
Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.
When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us better able to deal with life's ups and downs.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 that life throws at us.
When does low self-esteem normally start?
- Low esteem often starts in childhood when we feel we are unable to live up to expectations of other people.
- Social Media is having a very negative impact on self-esteem nowadays and I am seeing more and more children suffering with anxiety and stress.
- Bereavement, anxiety and stress can all impact our self-esteem. Low self esteem is detrimental to our mental health as it can lead to depression and taking up unhealthy habits.
Some signs of low self -esteem are:
- Avoiding social events as you feel you have nothing to contribute to a social situation.
- Staying within your comfort zone and not trying things that you would like to in case you fail or feel you will not be good enough.
- Running over events in your mind feeling that you have not done well enough.
- Generally feeling you are not good enough.
What you can do to increase your self-esteem:
- Ensure you are having relationships with people who nurture and encourage you. Avoid people who bring you down or who have negative thoughts themselves.
- Write down things that you know you are good at. There is always something we all have our own unique talents.
- Be kind to yourself. Think how you would react to someone in a similar situation and say those kind words to yourself. Ensure you use positive words to yourself.
- Set yourself a realistic challenge and put baby steps in to reach it and notice how you feel each time you achieve that baby step.
- Don’t compare yourself with other people. Each one of us is unique and have our own special talents.
- A hard one many people struggle with is saying “No”. It is important to do this as it makes other people respect you and helps to empower you.
- Accept compliments without thinking that people are just being kind. Know that they mean it.
- Celebrate any successes, no matter how big or small.
- Talk to a therapist about how you are feeling. I am more than happy to help and offer a free 30-minute zoom consultation.
For more information and detail on some of these points. Mind have an excellent article on their website https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/about-self-esteem/