Fact: Each and every one of us has self-esteem. Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts you have about yourself and plays a role in almost everything you do. Having healthy self-esteem is really important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be your own person, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations.
Low self-esteem can have harmful effects on your mental health, your decisions about your appearance and ultimately your future. It’s not easy to like every part of the way you look, but getting stuck on negatives can really bring down your self-esteem. In fact, we have found that 47% of people want to change their appearance, 48% want teeth whitening, 17% breast implants, 6% liposuction and 5% botox. This means it’s vital that we openly talk about low self-esteem as it’s nothing to be ashamed of or hidden away. If you are suffering from low self-esteem, it’s important that you know you aren’t alone and that it’s actually really common. Bullying is often found to be a cause; 87% of those who have been bullied felt it had a negative effect on their self-esteem.
Do you have low self-esteem?
It is completely normal to feel negative about yourself from time to time but if this feeling is long lasting then you may have low self-esteem. Picking up on the signs is important so you can help yourself. Our quiz can help you figure out if you need some work on your self esteem…
If you need to work on your self esteem, read on for 10 top tips…
Top 10 tips for overcoming low self-esteem
It’s important to believe, deep down that you can change. Change doesn’t necessarily happen easily or quickly, but it can happen. There are simple interventions aimed at helping you increase your self-esteem and below our experts share their top tips.
- Challenge bad thoughts you have about yourself: Replace them with more positive thoughts which celebrate things you’re good at. You can do this by writing down a list of at least three things you do well. Remember this list when you start feeling low, this will help bring yourself back to reality.
- Take care of you: Eating well and exercising boosts endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, which make you feel good on the inside and stimulates a more positive mood. When you exercise, you’ll ease stress and feel better about yourself. Having a cheesy dance in your bedroom, or going for a jog around the block are great ways to boost your self-esteem.
- Relax: Stress plays a huge role in self-esteem. Reduce your stress by taking time out to do something you find relaxing. This can be anything from taking a bath, meditation (or asking your friend for a massage). If you’re feeling more adventurous maybe hot yoga or a cup of herbal tea could be for you.
- Set Goals: Take the time every day to think about what you’d like to achieve. Then set yourself realistic goals for each day and keep track of your progress by writing down all your accomplishments. This can be as simple as finishing of a piece of work or tidying your room (we know how challenging this can be). We know this will make you feel great.
- Help someone out: This can be a friend, family member or even a classmate who is struggling with their work or having a tough time. You could give them some advice or just be there to listen to a problem (even offer them that neck massage you owe them). Seeing what you do makes a difference to someone will help build your self esteem.
- Take a different perspective: Try looking at the situation from an alternative angle; you can replace thoughts like ‘why should I bother?’ with ‘I won’t know unless I try’. By looking at a situation through a more realistic lens will reveal that you actually can do what you want. Doing this everytime you have a negative thought can eventually become your natural way of thinking.
- Try new things: Your brain is wired to do new stuff, this can be anything to keep your mind off things and express your feelings like picking up a guitar, getting creative and starting painting of your cat or if you’re dead wild try cooking something you’ve never eaten before, yes this can get a bit messy.
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel good: Try and spend your time with the people who show that they care about appreciate you. Distance yourself from friends who bring you down by spending less time with them, you’re better than that! This will help you feel good about yourself.
- Accept: Every part of yourself and especially compliments from friends and family. It is easy to not believe and overlook the nice things people say to you when you have low self-esteem. Try and take in and enjoy every compliment. You are beautiful! Remember that there is no such thing as perfection or being flawless.
- Keep visual reminders of things that make you feel good. This can be an inspirational quote from someone you look up to, even your favourite One Direction lyric or photo of you and your mates pulling a silly face. (See triangle of self-esteem).
BONUS: The Triangle of Self-Esteem
The aim of the triangle is to remind you that you are fabulous!
On one of its sides list 3 positive things about yourself. One another list 3 achievements from your past that you are proud of and on the final side list 3 things that you CAN do in the future. Put your triangle somewhere you can be reminded by it, for example at the front of your diary or up in your room.
Over and out. The rest is down to you.
– Team Ditch x