We all have times when we lack confidence and don't feel good about ourselves. But when low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it can have a harmful effect on our mental health and our lives. Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us able to deal with life's ups and downs better. When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges life throws at us. Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems such as depression and anxiety.
Ways to Improve Self Esteem
Recognize your strengths and talents: We are all good at something, whether it's cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we are good at, which can help to boost your mood.
Build Positive Relationships: If you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions. Seek out relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical. Think what you'd say to encourage a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.
Give yourself a challenge. We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. People with healthy self-esteem don't let these feelings stop them from trying new things or taking on challenges.
Adapting to change can be hard, as even beneficial life transitions tend to cause some stress. Throughout a persons life one can expect to experience a significant amount of change. Some of these changes, such as marriages, births, and new jobs, are generally positive, although they may be accompanied by their own unique stressors. Other major life transitions, such as moving, retirement, or entering the "empty nest" phase of life may cause a significant amount of stress. Those who find themselves experiencing difficulty coping with life transitions may find it helpful to speak to a therapist in order to become better able to adjust to changes they cannot control.
Types of Life Transitions
Marriage or Remarriage
The Birth of a Child / Postpartum Depression
Empty Nest Syndrome
Midlife Changes / Crisis
Dealing With the Aging Process
Caring for Elderly Parents
Identity / Gender Questions
Spiritual / Moral Questions
Death of a Loved One
Starting a New Course
A Child Leaving School
Getting a Promotion at Work
Going to Univeristy
Living on Your Own for the First Time
Building good relationships with other people can greatly reduce stress and anxiety in your life. Actually, improving your social backing is associated to better mental health in general, since having good friends can act as a "safeguard" for feelings of anxiety and low mood. This is especially true if you are socially anxious and desperately want to make friends but are either too fearful to do so or are unsure about how to reach out to others. As a result of these anxious feelings, you may even be avoiding social situations. It is important practice to develop strong communications skills that would increase the chance for successful relationships.
Social Skills Training Should:
Focus on facilitating the desirable behavior as well as eliminating the undesirable behavior.
Emphasize the learning, performance, generalization, and maintenance of appropriate behaviors through modeling, coaching, and role-playing. It is also crucial to provide immediate performance feedback.
Employ primarily positive strategies and add punitive strategies only if the positive approach is unsuccessful and the behavior is of a serious and/or dangerous nature.
Provide training and practice opportunities in a wide range of settings with different groups and individuals in order to encourage students to generalize new skills to multiple, real life situations.
Draw on assessment strategies, including functional assessments of behavior, to identify those children in need of more intensive interventions as well as target skills for instruction.
Look to enhance social skills by increasing the frequency of an appropriate behavior in a particular situation. This should take place in "normal" environments to address the naturally occurring causes and consequences.
Stress is very common and in many cases is a good thing. Stress can help us feel attentive and can help us accomplish many tasks very well. In addition, if we are too calm during certain situations we can feel less motivated which will lead us not to react well and possibly make a bad decision. The issue occurs when we have too much stress and many times comes from overusing our bodies natural resources. This can lead to physical problems such as difficulty sleeping, heart disease, obesity, depression and anxiety disorders. However, stress can be managed with certain steps and help from therapy.
Stress Management Tips
Deep Breathing: This is always a sure fire way to lower your stress by lowering your heart rate. By taking deep breaths it increases the amount of oxygen in your blood and will instantly make us more relaxed.
Smile More: Experts agree that smiling more makes us feel more relaxed and happy. It can trigger a key emotional center in our brain that helps us be more calm. It is a very simple thing we can do to lower our stress, so why not try it now?
Mediation: This technique is probably the best one to practice. Mediation is extremely effective and it increases your calmness. It can help get rid of many negative thoughts and will help you focus.
Less Coffee: Caffeine is a stimulate that tends to make you more anxious and is linked to certain psychiatric disorders. Try going decaf or even drinking green tea instead of coffee.
Everyone has certain physical features that they don't like about themselves. These features could be feet, nose, ears, knees or even hair. This is normal and most people don't let it effect their daily lives. However, if you tend to ruminate about these perceived flawed body parts for more than a couple hours a day, you might be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a serious disease that many times can effect individuals quality of life by hindering their ability to interact with friends or family and can cause them to isolate themselves. Other physical problems and mental disorders can arise if not treated properly.
Although one of our experienced and qualified therapists must diagnose Body Dysmorphic Disorder, here are some Signs & Symptoms:
Being engrossed with physical appearance which often others can't see.
Obsessed with looking or avoiding mirrors.
Excessive grooming, such as hair combing or plucking.
Avoid being in any pictures.
Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction.
Believes that other notice ones appearance in a negative way.
Difficult dealing with any social situations.
Envy of a friends physical appearance and constantly compares their bodies.
Always seeking reassurance about their appearance from others.
Being so preoccupied with appearance that it causes major distress in social life.