People that suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health problems may struggle with issues of low self-esteem. This is a common problem for people that may have been treated badly in the past by family members, been bullied in school or developed negative thoughts about themselves because of their mental illness symptoms. They might have habits of negative self-talk that can be difficult to overcome if they have engaged in them for a long time.
At first, people with low self-esteem can be resistant to changing their habits but with enough practice they can start to feel better about themselves. The first step may be to take better care of themselves physically and mentally by eating well, avoiding drugs and alcohol, exercising and keeping busy with activities they find fun. This can be especially helpful for people that suffer from depression and haven’t been focusing on self-care.
The next step can be to work on becoming more aware of negative thoughts when they occur and maybe even writing them down. Once you see the things that you believe about yourself you can examine them and consider whether they are really true. Your therapist may be able to help you see the ways in which your negative beliefs are actually distortions of reality.
Once you are more aware of your negative beliefs and habits that bring down your self esteem you can start replacing them with more positive ones. You can try repeating positive thoughts over and over, writing them down or sharing them with another person so that you don’t get stuck in negative patterns of thinking. You can keep a list of positive things about yourself to refer back to whenever you notice thoughts of low self-esteem creeping back in.
Low self-esteem can be a serious obstacle in life but taking steps to improve your self-image can help improve many mental health symptoms.