There are clear links between the way we feel about ourselves, i.e., our self-esteem, and our overall mental and emotional wellbeing.
Low self-esteem tends to work in a vicious cycle with mental health conditions. Someone who already lives with a mental illness may find that low self-esteem develops due to the social stigma surrounding mental illness. And, having mental health issues causes one to develop low self-esteem.
If you have a mental illness, you may be rejected as a friend, a neighbor, a partner, an employee and viewed as less trustworthy, less intelligent, less loving, and less competent. It becomes difficult to feel good about yourself.
Low-self esteem makes us susceptible to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. These in turn make our self-esteem worse as negative feelings mount.
A person with high self-esteem believes they are good and can recognize their good qualities and will strive for a happy and successful life.
Therefore, building and maintaining self-esteem is crucial to our mental health. When we learn to believe in ourselves and our capabilities and qualities, we can move towards a better life, a happier relationship, a more fulfilling career, recovery from addiction, and more. It helps lessen the burden of mental health issues.
Self-esteem and confidence are major traits that affect success. Developing these is a lifelong process. While the foundation can begin in early childhood, both can be built at any age if your try. It just requires motivation and commitment. You have to believe in yourself.
Here are some activities that can help build your self-esteem. Choose one or more depending on what works best for you.
- Surround yourself with people who are positive and loving
- Do something that makes you happy
- Wear something that makes you feel good
- Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums that create good memories
- Keep a daily journal and remind yourself of all the positives things that happened
- Put things in perspective and draw inspiration from people who have battled or are battling adversity - view their inspirational videos and/or read their stories
- Count your blessings
Finally, speak with others… a loved one, a friend, or people on this platform that would be happy to listen and provide positive reinforcement.