Self-esteem is an overall sense of one’s self worth. It captures how much someone likes and values themselves as a human being— it’s an important psychological resource and an essential part of well-being.
Unfortunately, according to one study, it's estimated that about 85% of people worldwide struggle with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can infiltrate almost every aspect of someone's life and can negatively impact relationships with family, friends, or partners. It can even increase feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Recognizing low self-esteem and how it impacts one’s life is the first step towards improving one’s perception and value of themselves. Our experts at Psychology Beverly Hills are here to help, with tips on how to boost your self-esteem.
Learn to identify (and redirect) negative self-talk
Self-talk is the dialogue in one’s head. When someone has low self-esteem, their self-talk may at times have a strong tendency to be negative, critical, harsh, and unforgiving.
For example, they might find themselves thinking that they’re not good enough or that they will never succeed in life. To start improving self-esteem, work to recognize and identify these thoughts when they occur.
Once identified, pausing and either challenging or redirecting thoughts can be very helpful. Of course this is easier said than done. It takes time and constant practice. It’s a psychological skill that one develops over time and sometimes with the help of a therapist.
Show yourself kindness and compassion
People often forget and negate the positive aspects of themselves, especially when feeling very low. Making an effort to actively remember and acknowledge the positive aspects and qualities of yourself helps develop self esteem.
When struggling with low self esteem, some people have a very difficult time accepting or believing anything positive about themselves. These exercises often take time to internalize and to develop one’s self-worth over time. Sometimes the help and support of a therapist is needed to guide you through this process interpersonally.
Take time for yourself to improve your overall sense of self-esteem. Paying attention to your needs and having time to care for yourself is certainly a great way to remember that you are important.
Self-care can be anything you want it to be as long as it’s healthy and implemented appropriately. For example, consider exercising, spending time with people you are comfortable and relaxed around, or something simple such as making more time to read, listen to music, or get more sleep.
Making a regular habit of appropriate self-care can also decrease stress levels and help manage other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
As mentioned, recognizing and challenging negative, critical, and harsh self-talk is sometimes very challenging. Oftentimes the support of a therapist can be very beneficial in helping people implement these strategies while working towards developing their sense of self and self worth.
One type of therapy that specifically targets one’s thought processes and helps develop healthier patterns is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our therapists integrate CBT in treatment plans, when appropriate, to help clients first recognize unhealthy thought patterns and then work towards developing ways to manage and shift these thoughts.
Various forms of Psychodynamic psychotherapy, focused more intently on interpersonal process and attachment patterns, may also be integrated into therapy. This type of therapy explores one’s relationship with self and others, which is certainly tied to self-esteem and self-worth. Our therapists may use aspects of psychodynamic psychotherapy to help clients uncover underlying concerns, gain better understanding about the way they feel and think about themselves, and over time, facilitate a process to improve one’s self concept.
Improving self esteem may appear to be difficult but each person has intrinsic self worth and value that can be developed and tapped into. Our therapists can accompany you on this journey and process towards valuing yourself to help you achieve the confidence and quality of life you deserve.
Contact our Beverly Hills, California, office at 424-331-1570, or request an appointment online to learn more.