Low self-esteem is a prevalent issue among men and women in our country. It can be associated with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, or can be a lingering effect of trauma or abuse. The media in our society can cause feelings of low self-esteem as well. Generally, self-esteem issues are the result of failing to meet your, or other’s expectations of you.
People with low self-esteem are typically hypersensitive and hypervigilant. They also tend to struggle with assertive communication, setting healthy boundaries, and forming/maintaining healthy relationships because of poor social skills. These symptoms of low self-esteem work to perpetuate this condition.
To break the cycle of low self-esteem, try some of the tips below:
Develop Awareness and Test Reality
Start to become aware of the negative thought patterns you engage in. This can be done by keeping a traditional journal, or just making notes in your phone when you start to think negatively. Then, begin to challenge your thoughts using evidence. For example, if you typically say to yourself “Everyone hates me” think of some people who show that they like you. Think of people who call, text, or want to spend time with you. Being able to identify even one person who likes you proves that the irrational thought “Everyone hates me” isn’t true.
Once you’re able to identify and challenge the negative thought patterns that perpetuate your low self-esteem, begin replacing them with positive thoughts. Positive affirmations are uplifting statements you make to yourself. They can be about what you are good at, or what you like about yourself. Research shows that positive affirmations can increase self-esteem and alleviate feelings of depression.
Consider Seeing a Therapist
It can be difficult to completely eradicate low self-esteem on your own. If this is the case, consider seeing a therapist. A therapists can help you identify and challenge your irrational negative thoughts. They can also help you identify things you like about yourself. Therapy can help you address the underlying issues that contributed to your low self-esteem.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with low self-esteem consider contacting The Light Program. Receiving extra help with a situation you are going through with is a great step on the road to recovery.