Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself and while it may not seem all that important, how we view ourselves can have an incredible impact on our lives. Those who have low self-esteem tend to have a very critical view of themselves and do not really like who they are.
While we tend to talk freely about depression and anxiety these days (well we’re getting more accepting of it), we often ignore the all important view of ourselves which can actually contribute to depression, anxiety, relationship breakdown and generally unhappy lives.
What are the signs of low self-esteem?
People with low self-esteem probably never talk about this aspect of themselves but just accept it as a valid part of who they are. Often, people with low self-esteem will:
- Be very critical of themselves
- Pay no attention to the achievements they have made
- Use negative words to describe themselves (fat, ugly, stupid, a failure)
- Have trouble accepting compliments
- Allow others to treat them in a manner which is not acceptable
- Have difficulty saying no
- Avoid activities so as not to be judged by others
- Become an overachiever to try and cover up or compensate
- Exhibit self harming behaviours such as drinking/drug abuse or eating disorders
- Lack in self confidence
How to improve low self-esteem
1. Positive thinking exercises.
A major part of low self-esteem is the constant critical, negative self talk. For this exercise, write down (don’t just think it), a list of positive qualities about yourself. Aim to get 20 things on this list and complete it over a few weeks. Eg, I’m kind, patient, help others etc. If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends what they think. This can seem like a really daunting task but it is usually because you have never stopped to think about the positives – they are there.
2. Track the thoughts [Read more…]