Your self-esteem relates to how you see and value yourself. If someone has particularly low self-esteem, it means they do not feel that they have much worth in the world. Other people have especially high self-esteem which means they think of themselves as better or more important than other people and this can result in arrogance. Self-esteem can fluctuate and change from day to day depending on what is going on at the time. So what’s so important about self-esteem?
Why is self-esteem important?
If you think something is important or valuable, you are more likely to look after it and treat it well; this is true for ourselves and self-esteem. If you feel worthless and have low self-esteem, you are less likely to take care of yourself. If your self-esteem is at a healthy level, the chances are you are going to value yourself enough to make sure you are safe and healthy.
Having a good, healthy level of self-esteem is difficult, especially in today’s society, where the media and advertising are at all all-time-high and everywhere you look there are people to compare yourself negatively to. Social media is a minefield when it comes to self-esteem – we find ourselves comparing our lives to the way that other people present their’s, often forgetting that we only see a very filtered view of their lives. This leads us to feel inferior and makes it difficult to appreciate ourselves and what we do have.
How can we improve our self-esteem?
It’s certainly not easy to increase your self-esteem without going too far the other way, but it is an integral part of your mental health. Part of looking after yourself is feeling as though you are worthy of looking after.
Identify whether there is a reason you have low self-esteem – There are many reasons that someone could have low self-esteem. Perhaps they are being, or have been, bullied or in an abusive relationship. They may be struggling to find a job or a partner, or there may be other ongoing stress. Physical illness and/or mental health problems are also potential contributors. If you can pinpoint the reason you have low self-esteem, perhaps you can begin to change this.
Avoid negative self-talk – Imagine you are talking to a close friend of yours. How would you feel if you heard them say the things about them self that you think about yourself? Try to avoid negative phrases, and try to be proportionate – One cause of extremely high or low self-esteem is wrongly attributing value to your accomplishments. Someone with overly high self-esteem will think that their achievements are much better than they are, whereas someone with low self-esteem will never appreciate what they have achieved, no matter how good it is.
Talk to those who love you – If someone has low self-esteem, they may feel a burden on those around them, or not feel worthy of love, however speaking to people who love you is an important way of working on your self-esteem. Focus on your positives – When we have low self-esteem, we tend to only focus on the parts of us we dislike. It can be much harder to think about those parts of us we like or are proud of, but it is a great way to encourage a healthy level of self-esteem.
Remember that you are worthy and deserve to be happy. Work on your self-esteem, and you will find you feel much happier.