“The Basics” Obvious to know, Hard to do

Self esteem

Self-esteem is the concept that defines an individual’s perception of themselves. A person’s evaluation of their own qualities and characteristics can affect how they view themselves. An honest self-appraisal can develop a better sense of identity. Developing healthy self-esteem can lead to a positive and balanced self-image. The ability to accept our strengths as well as embrace our flaws can create a foundation for emotional health.

Building higher self-esteem is an important goal in therapy. A therapist can assist with recognizing daily thoughts and actions that can be damaging to healthy self-esteem. Creating a new approach to these negative habits can improve an individual’s emotional health.

“It is difficult to be emotionally healthy without the foundation of genuine self-care and self-esteem.”

Battling a negative self-image

When struggling with low self-esteem, criticism can feel like a trigger for emotions such as embarrassment, worthlessness, and self-doubt. Low self-esteem can lead to a loss of confidence which can cause withdrawal from social gatherings such as canceling plans at the last minute or turning down invitations. Feelings of inadequacy can result in anger which can lead to lashing out as a defense mechanism. In an effort to compensate for uncomfortable emotions, people can develop poor coping skills such as smoking tobacco, alcohol abuse, or drug use.

Low self-esteem can also lead to feelings of guilt such as saying “I’m sorry” too often. You may put someone’s needs and wants before your own, making it hard to speak up for yourself. A poor opinion of ourselves can also be associated with feelings of helplessness, loneliness, or sadness. It is common to feel sensitive or vulnerable.

It takes an enormous amount of courage to take an honest look at ourselves and find the willingness to change and grow. Identifying the signs of low self-esteem can be the first step in the process of developing and understanding the multifaceted inner nature of yourself. Building a relationship with oneself can start a lifelong journey in healing and personal growth. Learning new techniques to build confidence can lead to practical skills that can be utilized in everyday life.

Starting to care for ourselves

Building a strong sense of self-worth begins with having faith in ourselves, and prioritizing self-care is an excellent starting point. Self-care can teach us how to love and appreciate ourselves. It is important to remember how to laugh and have fun. A routine with small goals that build self-esteem can impact your daily life. If you want to be happier and healthier,  self-care is a necessary practice.

Positive ways to add self-care to your routine:

  • Airplane mode. Your phone can hold your attention all day with constant notifications. Set your phone to airplane mode each night thirty minutes before you plan to go to sleep.
  • Start the day with breakfast. The simple habit of eating breakfast every morning can create better moods, increase concentration, and jumpstart metabolism.
  • Relax with a book. Reading can improve focus, memory, and communication skills. It is also a chance to explore new subjects and learn.
  • Embrace the inner child. A task such as riding a bike or watching a movie from your childhood can help you reconnect to your inner child.
  • Express yourself. Find a creative way to express yourself such as painting, journaling, cooking, or building something.

Initiating a change in perception

Negative thought patterns are a common obstacle when dealing with our personal perception. Thoughts such as “I’m not happy with who I am” or “I have no reason to be happy” can have a negative effect over time. We can start to believe these thoughts are true which can leave us with an unrealistic view of ourselves. Learning to have a positive inner monologue that is rooted in compassion can lead to healthy self-esteem.

“The reality is that by changing our ingrained thought patterns and choosing healthier actions, we will develop a more positive relationship with ourselves, while building a solid foundation for emotional health.”

Learning to love yourself

Engaging in the journey of self- connection enables you to uncover your distinct qualities and what sets you apart. Embracing self-love fosters a sense of admiration and appreciation for oneself. It is possible to learn how to recognize individual strengths and accept weaknesses. Higher self-esteem can bring more confidence in making decisions, acting assertively, building stronger relationships, and making realistic expectations.

Self-love can start with celebrating an achievement or giving yourself a compliment. Learning to cherish each moment and practice gratitude will bring more meaning to small acts of kindness. Writing down a list of tasks you complete can demonstrate your accomplishments. In order to feel better about ourselves, we must make an effort to carry out actions that feel good.

Start showing yourself love in small ways:

  1. Forgive yourself. Learning to let go of past mistakes can lead to healing and relief. Letting go of the blame we put on ourselves can make way for freedom from regrets.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Honoring the place that you are in right now without comparing yourself to those around you can bring positivity into your life.

“We communicate our values and set standards by which people act towards us, by the way, we choose to treat ourselves. Self-care and self-love is at the core of leading an emotionally healthy life.”

Healing and growth can be found in many forms by undertaking a deep self-evaluation. It is not easy to struggle with low self-esteem. It can be a challenge to make changes that are better for your mental health. There are a number of different techniques that the therapists at June Health can teach their clients to build self-esteem. With time and effort, self-esteem can become a valuable asset to create a more fulfilling life.

“If you want to improve anything in your life, start with your emotional health. It is the foundation of nearly everything we do.”

We send monthly articles, interviews and new research about emotional health.