What is low self-esteem
Self-esteem is the opinion that we have of ourselves. It's how we value ourselves. In general, when we have healthy self-esteem we tend to feel good about ourselves and having high self-esteem can make the challenges in daily life easier to deal with. When we have low self-esteem, we tend to criticize ourselves and feel less able to take on the world.
What causes low self-esteem?
High or low self-esteem usually stems from your childhood. Parents, extended family, teachers and friends are partly responsible for your self-esteem. Having a healthy relationship with your parents, teachers and friends should provide the foundations for positive self-esteem. If you have experienced abuse, problems at work or was bullied as a child, you may have low self-esteem due to negative comments about your body or choices. Drastic life events such as the death of a loved one or experiencing a serious illness can also have a negative impact on your self-esteem.
Having high self-esteem is extremely important. It can determine how you respect yourself, show kindness towards yourself, believe that you are in fact good enough. Low self-esteem is not a mental heath condition in itself. However, long term negative self-esteem may lead to anxiety and depression.
Having low self-esteem can have a major impact on your day to day life. Symptoms of low self-esteem include:
Avoiding social situations
Avoid activities you find challenging
Blaming yourself on a regular basis
Not enjoying the activities you usually enjoy
Worrying about all the things you are not able to do
Having negative concerns about the way you look - which may lead to anorexia and bulimia
How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help me?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy helps you understand the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is known to help find ways to overcome your anxiety by identifying any negative patterns which cause your anxiety and transform them with healthy, positive thoughts and feelings.This is achieved by a concept called Systematic Desensitization, which is also known as exposure therapy. Your therapist will gradually expose you to situations which would normally trigger your anxiety. Eventually you will learn to replace any negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones.