By: Alejandra Malaga Walters, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader
Some days, we don’t feel good about ourselves, and that is okay. But when that feeling continues for a longer period of time, it can have a harmful effect on our mental health.
Self-esteem is the opinion we have about ourselves. When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to be positive about life in general and about the things we can achieve. On the other hand, when we have low self-esteem, we tend to be negative about life, and we also feel less able to work through the challenges of life.
It is important to try to increase your self-esteem because having low self-esteem can harm your mental health and lead to problems such as depression and anxiety. When you have low self-esteem, you may also hide away from social situations and new challenges and avoid difficult situations.
But how can we get from low self-esteem to healthy self-esteem?
Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. When the people that surround us and even social media give us negative messages about ourselves, sadly, we tend to keep those negative messages instead of positive ones. You can also get low self-esteem when you find it difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of you or to your own expectations. For that reason, to boost your self-esteem, first, you need to identify where are these negative thoughts about yourself coming from and challenge them. Another thing that would help you increase your self-esteem is to start writing down good things about yourself, some things that you and other people say about you that make you feel good. Put that list somewhere you can see it and remind those qualities to yourself every day.
Know your worth who appreciate you and help you at appreciate you and help you go through difficult times. Recognize when someone is trying to bring you down and spend less time with them because those people will not bring you anything good.
Finally, be kind to yourself and recognize that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. Treat yourself as if you were your friend and think about what you would say to a friend in a similar situation. We often treat and give better advice to others than we do to ourselves.