How Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Mental Health

Having a low self-esteem is something many people of all ages deal with. Most of us can remember a time in our life where our self-esteem could have used some boosting. While a low self-esteem is not considered a mental health condition itself, the way we think about ourselves directly impacts our mental health and overall well-being.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the way people feel about themselves. Someone with a healthy or high self-esteem thinks positively about themselves and their abilities. They believe they are deserving of respect and have no problems setting healthy boundaries. Having a high or healthy self-esteem does not mean that you are self-centered or egotistical. Healthy self-esteem is about having a healthy sense of self.

Individuals with low self-esteems do not feel very good about themselves. They constantly compare themselves to others and always come up short. They may not think they are worthy of love and respect and will typically not set healthy boundaries, allowing others to take advantage of them. Low self-esteems usually comes with a really mean inner-critic that is constantly pointing out what you are doing wrong and ignores any positive areas of your life.

How Does a Low Self-Esteem Affect Mental Health?

The following are some ways a low self-esteem can impact a person’s mental health:

Poor Relationships 

Human beings are wired for connections. But when we have low self-esteem, we tend to not put ourselves “out there” socially and even tend to isolate, which can lead to poor relationships and loneliness.

Addiction

Studies have indicated low self-esteem in childhood can lead to addictions later in life. Mandy addicts use alcohol and other substances as a way to cope with negative feelings about themselves.

Depression and Anxiety

Living with low self-esteem day after day, week after week, can very much take its toll and eventually lead to the development of depression and anxiety.

How to Build Your Self-Esteem

Building self-esteem is important for mental health and to live a happy life. But it’s not necessarily easy to do it. It’s not like losing weight where you can say I am going to eat less and move more.

That is why I recommend working with a trained therapist who specializes in helping people build their self-esteem. A therapist can help you identify your core negative beliefs and determine where they came from. He or she can then help you develop a new, realistic self-esteem that reflects who you truly are.

If you or someone you know is suffering with low self-esteem and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to us at Bozeman Counseling Center. We would love to help you work on your self-esteem!

SOURCES:

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2016/Why-Self-Esteem-Is-Important-for-Mental-Health

https://www.hormona.io/why-self-esteem-affects-your-mental-health/

https://fherehab.com/learning/self-esteem-mental-health