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  • 6/20/2013

How to Overcome Low Self Esteem

how to get rid of low self esteem

 

What is self-esteem?

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.

What causes low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. Teachers, friends, siblings, parents, and even the media send us messages about ourselves, both positive and negative. For some reason, the message that you are not good enough is the one that stays with you.

Perhaps you found it difficult to live up to other people's expectations of you, or to your own expectations.

Stress and difficult life events, such as serious illness or a bereavement, can have a negative effect on self-esteem.

Personality can also play a part. Some people are just more prone to negative thinking, while others set impossibly high standards for themselves.

How does low self-esteem affect us?

If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things and avoid things you find challenging.

"In the short term, avoiding challenging and difficult situations makes you feel a lot safer," says Chris Williams, Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow.

"In the longer term, this can backfire because it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that the only way to cope is by avoiding things."

Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems like depression and anxiety.

You may also develop unhelpful habits, such as smoking, as a way of coping.

Ways to Get Rid of Low Self Esteem

Live in the moment

When you are focused on the moment, you can choose your actions consciously and wisely, unaffected by the hurts of your past and unconcerned by worries or hopes about the future.

Develop awareness

When we’re aware, we can recognize how we are responding and reacting to our own fears, creating a moment between our emotions and our actions. We can then choose to respond in a healthier way.

Write in a journal

Many of our thoughts and feelings are locked in our subconscious mind and writing can help to bring them into our awareness. Writing about the way we feel and think can help to separate negative ideas about ourselves from the truth of who we really are.

Be non-judgemental

When we approach our lives non-judgementally, we simply accept ourselves, our experiences, our failures and successes and other people just as they are, neither good or bad, without pride or shame.

Stay connected to yourself

Mindfulness can help you to develop a sense of connection to yourself and reduce your people-pleasing ways by allowing you to stop the autopilot thinking and behavior that keeps you jumping to please others without thinking of your own needs.

Practice mindful meditation

Meditation just means letting go of the racing thoughts in your mind and accepting that those thoughts, feelings and beliefs are transient, rather than parts of yourself. Take a few moments every day to simply be still, focus on your breathing and watch your worries drift away like clouds.

Participate in your own life

Mindfulness encourages us to become active and assertive in creating our own lives.

Awareness of your thoughts and choosing your responses to them enables you to take action and participate in your own life.

Develop a beginner’s mind

When you have a beginner’s mind, you look at things as if you are seeing them for the first time, with openness, eagerness and freedom from expectation. You can see things in a new light, rather than automatically responding with the same old patterns of behavior.

Let go

Non-attachment, or letting go, is the goal of mindfulness. When you let go of what you think you should do or who you should be, you can trust yourself and choose what’s right for you.

Show compassion toward yourself

You deserve love as much as anyone else. Self-compassion simply means providing yourself with the love, safety and acceptance you need.

Sources:

nhs.uk

psychologies.co.uk


Other links:

Self-esteem and Confidence

Islamic Solution to Depression

The secret health benefits of a good cry

 

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