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How Self-Esteem Contributes Toward Overall Well-Being

Self-esteem is vital to your happiness and happiness is vital to your health. It is a well-known fact that stress is a significant contributor to chronic disease. Whenever you go through tough times, your body responds to that stress and your mental and physical health may pay the price. 

What is self-esteem? 

Self-esteem is about how you relate to yourself regarding confidence, self-respect, and how much you feel worthy compared to others. In other words, it is the value you place on yourself, your abilities and your opinions.  

Self-esteem is important for overall well-being. People with high self-esteem tend to be happier and more resilient, and they're also more likely to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Low self-esteem can lead to all sorts of problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even eating disorders.

How do you know if you have low self-esteem?

There are a few ways to tell if you have low self-esteem. Do you frequently compare yourself unfavourably to others? Do you put yourself down a lot? Do you have trouble accepting compliments? Do you avoid taking risks or trying new things because you're afraid of failing? If any of this sounds familiar, then it's possible that your self-esteem could use a boost.

How to improve self-esteem

Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your self-esteem. One of the best things you can do is to focus on your strengths and accomplishments, rather than dwelling on your weaknesses. It's also important to be kind to yourself and to give yourself credit when you do something well. Additionally, try to surround yourself with positive people who will support and encourage you.

Once you've started to build up your belief system, it's important to maintain it. That means continuing to focus on your positive qualities, and not letting negative thoughts or comments get you down. It's also important to take care of yourself physically and mentally so that you can feel good about yourself both inside and out.

Common misconceptions 

There are a few common mistakes that people make when it comes to self-perception. One of the most common is thinking that it’s about being perfect. This can lead to perfectionism, which is actually harmful to how you perceive yourself. Another common mistake is assuming that your self-belief is fixed when in reality it's something that can fluctuate over time.

If you're struggling with low confidence, there are things you can do to overcome it. First, try to identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your feelings. Once you've done that, you can start to challenge and reframe those thoughts. For example, if you believe that you're not good enough, try to remind yourself of times when you've been successful. Without a doubt, there will be plenty. 

There are also a few general techniques for managing your emotions and self-view. They are often overlooked because of how simple they are, but they really do work. 

First, make sure that you're getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. Exercising releases endorphins, which are ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain. Exercise also changes the way you look and think about yourself, which can in turn boost your confidence. It is important to do things that make you feel good about yourself on a regular basis. This could include anything from volunteering to spending time with friends and family.

How long does it take for things to improve?

Improving your self-esteem won’t happen overnight. It’s one of those things that takes time and practice. You have to make a conscious effort to guide your mind along a more positive outlook and resist the temptation to entertain self-doubt thinking patterns. The good news is that it’s not that difficult, so long as you don’t have people that are deliberately being mean to you. 

If there are people in your life that contribute to your low self-esteem, then it is probably a good idea to limit your involvement with those people. That may not always be easy, so you may have to establish boundaries or find a way to change your circumstances. This can mean finding a new social circle, which is another benefit of finding hobbies or joining clubs. Remember, it is better to have no friends for a little while, rather than bad ones. 

Getting help

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Luckily, we are in the age of the internet, so there are lots of ways to meet like-minded people to make new friends. Also, you can always seek professional help, if your self-esteem is so bad that it is interfering with your quality of life. There is no shame or weakness in getting help. It is actually a sign of strength and courage.

After all, it is far better to get help and overcome your challenges than to needlessly suffer in silence indefinitely. 

Low self-esteem affects lots of people and will likely be an issue for everyone at one point in their life. While low self-esteem presents lots of challenges, it isn’t a life sentence, if you actively take steps toward improving how you think and feel. There are lots of things you can begin doing right away (check out our meditation blog), and there are lots of organisations ready to support you. 

Whatever the cause, make sure to speak to someone about it. You may be pleasantly surprised by how many people will empathise with you and will want to help. It is unlikely that you will encounter someone that hasn’t experienced it before. 

No matter what you are feeling today, tomorrow can always be different. Remember, that despite how bad you might be feeling, you are worthy of every gift that life has to offer, and you also have lots of gifts to offer the world, even if you don’t know exactly what your best gift is yet.   

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