We generally like ourselves more when our levels of healthy self-esteem are higher. This supports the upkeep of our mental wellness.
Conversely, mental health problems like depression are linked to lower levels of self-esteem. Individuals who lack self-worth frequently lead lower-quality lives. For instance, having low self-esteem may increase our likelihood of believing that we are not intelligent enough to acquire that job or that we should be treated poorly because we are unworthy of love.
Self-worth is important in an individual’s life. Your capacity to develop positive relationships and come to terms with who you are might be significantly impacted by feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. Seek assistance if you suffer from self-pity and find that it has a detrimental impact on your life. Reevaluating your thoughts and feelings about yourself is something that therapists can teach you.
Is self-esteem defined?
A high sense of self-worth reflects our perception of ourselves. Positivity, wellbeing, and emotional stability are all linked to higher levels of self-esteem, which is regarded as healthy. People who don’t feel good about themselves often struggle with feelings of inadequacy, negative thoughts, and unhappiness with their lives. We frequently base our evaluation of ourselves on traits and attributes like:
- Our perception of our bodies, looks, or self
- Our perception of our capacities and accomplishments
- Our ideals and the extent to which we believe we uphold them
- How we are perceived and treated by others
How prevalent is poor self-worth?
It’s challenging to determine the prevalence of poor self-esteem. Since self-esteem is difficult to quantify and is not a diagnosable mental health issue, it is frequently disregarded. Diverse definitions exist about what constitutes “low” self-esteem.
One extensive study that looked at changes in self-esteem over a 16-year span in over 3,000 Americans discovered that:
Overall, women’s self-esteem is lower than men’s.
Around the age of 60, high levels of self-esteem peaked, and as people aged, they gradually decreased.
About 25% of 16-year-olds in a different study on self-esteem in teenagers conducted in the United States reported low self-esteem.
Indices of low self-worth
While self-doubt, insecurity, and poor self-esteem are common emotions for anyone, those with low self-esteem are more likely to experience these feelings frequently, if not always. Some indicators that you might be down on yourself are
Having severe self-judgment
- Having a tough inner critic or being too hard on oneself
- unable to recognize or discount your excellent traits
- Negatively comparing oneself to others and having low self-esteem
- Negative self-talk or negative thoughts about oneself
- denying yourself credit for your accomplishments
- Having trouble believing compliments
- Taking personal responsibility for errors you make or dwelling on them in the past
- Being angry or irritable
- Sadness or depression, an overall pessimistic view of life
- Relationship issues, encompassing friendships and romantic partnerships
- feeling unworthy
- Being anxious
- worrying a lot or experiencing anxiety
Problems with mental health linked to poor self-esteem
A strong sense of self-worth is essential to mental wellness and is intimately related to overcoming hardship, creating coping mechanisms, and fostering positive connections. The following mental health conditions have been connected to poor self-esteem; however, having self-esteem problems does not imply that you have these conditions:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Stress & Fury
- issues with food, such as eating disorders
- misuse of substances, such as alcohol and drugs
- What steps should you take if your self-esteem is low?
If your self-esteem is low, you might want to try using some of the following strategies to help change your thoughts and feelings about yourself:
- Therapy: Talking therapies can assist persons in developing positive self-esteem and increased self-confidence in both individual and group settings. A few therapy options to think about are covered in more detail below.
- Have self-compassion exercises: Taking care of yourself with kindness might help you develop positive self-image and stave off despair. Try being compassionate with yourself instead of being critical of yourself when you find yourself in a bad emotional loop. To have a healthy sense of self-worth, this is an essential first step.
- Talk kindly to yourself: Try reminding yourself that you are extremely capable of doing your job instead of negative self-talk like saying that you are too foolish to perform it! Consider what you would say to a friend, then use those same words with yourself. Consider keeping a notebook in which you chronicle your good experiences and personal attributes. Try doing this every day.
- Get comfortable taking praise: Though it may not feel comfortable at first, accepting good feedback can help you develop a positive self-concept and boost your self-esteem.
- Quit evaluating yourself against others: Everybody has advantages and disadvantages. On the other hand, when we evaluate ourselves against others, we often find shortcomings in those individuals for whom this is a personal strength. This is not representative of who they are or who you are, and it is not helpful!
- Social assistance Speak with a family member or trusted friend about your feelings and bad ideas. They might be able to demonstrate to you how your personal perception of your value differs greatly from theirs. This might be a great source of knowledge to help you feel better about yourself.
- Take initiative: Many low-self-esteem individuals believe that others’ needs come first and that they should always say “yes” to others. If you’re having trouble saying no, practice it or talk to a therapist about becoming more assertive.
- Self-soothe Maintain a regular sleep schedule, watch what you eat, and get regular exercise. One of the most crucial aspects of self-love is scheduling time for the things you enjoy doing. Not to add, these lifestyle choices can improve your self-esteem and help you control your mood.
- Phone numbers for assistance: Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website if you require urgent assistance.
Types of therapy to think about for low self-esteem
Numerous therapeutic modalities are thought to be beneficial for raising self-esteem. Here are only a few instances:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, entails identifying and disputing the harmful ideas that contribute to problems with self-esteem. It supports you in analyzing and altering the fundamental self-beliefs that underlie your poor self-esteem. It all comes down to learning cognitive strategies that will help you have more balanced self-perceptions and a higher level of respect for yourself.
- Meditation Techniques: Being mindful enables you to observe your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without passing judgment on them. Positive self-talk can aid in the development of self-compassion in individuals.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT incorporates mindfulness and CBT components together with additional techniques to support an acceptance-based approach. This entails accepting positive psychology and realizing that you deserve happiness rather than endorsing the harmful ideas that lead to poor self-esteem.
- Psychodynamic counseling: This type of therapy looks at how experiences from the past may have influenced one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions today. Gaining insight into the fundamental elements that impact one’s self-worth might be beneficial.
- Creative arts treatment: For people who have trouble expressing themselves verbally, other creative therapies like art therapy or dance movement therapy may be beneficial. It aids in the development of fresh, imaginative coping mechanisms.
What to look for in a low-esteem therapist
The ideal kind of therapy for you will vary depending on your unique situation, your symptoms, where you live, and your budget. The following elements may be useful to take into account when choosing a mental health professional:
Regardless of the reason for therapy, it’s critical to think about the possibility of forging a solid therapeutic alliance with your therapist. The most important predictor of therapy success is this trustworthy relationship, which is known as the therapeutic alliance. It is crucial that you are at ease with your potential therapist.
Consider which of the aforementioned therapy modalities might be the most appropriate for you after learning a little bit more about them. While some people prefer a structured technique like CBT, others prefer a creative approach like that provided by art therapy. When examining the many forms of therapy that your potential therapists provide, bear this in mind.
credentials and background
Seek out a mental health specialist with a licensure. This guarantees that the therapist you are working with has received the appropriate training and education. Additionally, find out in advance how experienced your potential therapists are in treating problems related to self-esteem.
Requesting an initial phone consultation is the greatest approach to assess your potential feelings for your potential therapist. The majority of therapists will gladly comply. This provides you with the chance to inquire about:
- Their background in assisting those with low self-esteem
- What kind of therapy they recommend for those with low self-esteem, and how that will work
- Their involvement in insurance programs and the therapy costs
- Prior to making a decision, try to consult with a few different therapists.
Are you new to counseling? Find out here where to look for a therapist.