Did you know that your self-esteem or self-worth can significantly impact your mood? It can also affect your behaviour and decisions. People with healthy self-esteem usually experience higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress. In contrast, someone with low self-esteem may experience shame, social withdrawal, and self-criticism.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem, in its core, is how you feel about yourself. Although our self-esteem begins to develop in early childhood, it is not permanent. Self-esteem is ever-changing throughout your life. Some days your self-esteem is at an all-time high, and at times it may drop to a low. An unwanted dip in self-esteem may be due to a stressful life event or mental health struggle, like clinical depression. Everyone has the power to develop their self-esteem independent of help from others, and the benefits are significant.
Healthy self-esteem is like the unconditional love a parent has for a child, even with all its faults, habits, and unrealised potential. Likewise, people with healthy self-esteem still choose to love, accept and take care of themselves with all their good and bad qualities. They give themselves what they need, just as they would care for a sick child or encourage a healthy child.
Combat Mental Health Issues
Boosting your self-esteem is not merely about liking yourself more. It is a way of improving your mental health. In fact, for those with existing mental health struggles, such as depression and anxiety, boosting your self-esteem can increase feelings of worth and help you control your feelings of sadness and emptiness. Additionally, a healthy self-esteem can help ward off mental health issues altogether, as low self-esteem is one of the causes of major depression. Self-esteem matters to mental health because it’s a commitment to being healthy.
Show Yourself Compassion
High self-esteem can also create healthy habits that may increase your mental well-being. When we value ourselves, we may be more likely to take good care of ourselves. A prominent symptom of high self-esteem is the ability to show yourself compassion. When you have compassion for yourself, you may be more likely to extend it to others. It can create a positive feedback loop that makes it easier for you to be kind to yourself and others!
If you say things about yourself that you would never say to someone else, you may need a self-worth boost. The habit of negative self-talk can increase negative emotions like worry, sadness, and powerlessness. People usually go through periods of low self-esteem after stressful or traumatic life events, like divorce, job loss, illness, or something else.
Take Better Care Of Yourself
During difficult times, it is especially important to be forgiving and kind to yourself and to remind yourself of your value. You can choose to keep your mind and body healthy because you have rights and you are valuable, like everyone else. You deserve to be taken care of simply because you exist and make the world a better place just by being in it.
Get Help If You Struggle
If low self-esteem is getting you down, it may help to talk to a mental health professional to address whatever may be causing these negative feelings about yourself.