Boost your self-esteem this February

February is 'self-esteem month', so Alice Holmes tells us ways we can boost our self esteem

Alice Holmes
15th February 2021
Self-esteem, as defined by the Cambridge English dictionary, is possessing belief and confidence in your own ability and value. It is a key, significant feature within the foundations of mental health and a building block in building a happy and content frame of mind. Yet, according to Dr Rubino, in his novel The Self Esteem Book, 85% of the world’s population are affected by low self-esteem. 

Having low self-esteem can negatively impact your life, decreasing your sense of worth, increasing levels of stress and inhibiting you from performing to the best of your ability or participating in day-to-day life. It is a particularly difficult feat to tackle due to the fact that your levels of self-esteem fluctuate day-to-day, hour-by-hour. It is completely unachievable to be completely confident and happy 100% of the time, however society convinces us that this is the ultimate goal. 

When you have good self-esteem you are less likely to be affected by stress and anxiety because your self-esteem serves as an emotional buffer of support against external attacks

A good way to understand it, is by likening your self-esteem to your immune system. With a healthy immune system, you are less likely to become ill from pathogens that enter your body, however with a weakened immune system your chances of becoming ill are much greater. Similarly, when you have good self-esteem you are less likely to be affected by stress and anxiety because your self-esteem serves as an emotional buffer of support against external attacks. 

But the main question remains, how do we improve our self-esteem?

Participate in things that make you feel included/worthwhile 

Involving yourself in activities that make you proud and improve yourself or others in some way will increase your confidence and sense of worth. For instance, starting a new hobby, volunteering or supporting a charity. Currently, the charity Alzheimer’s Society have introduced Run for Dementia, challenging you to run 50 miles in 30 days. It’s free to sign up and you can raise money for the charity. This is a great way of helping others and consequently increasing your own self-esteem. 

Identify what makes you feel happy

A great starting point would be to identify when you feel happy and confident and compile a list of reasons why you feel this way. Once you can identify key triggers that make you happy you should start implementing these into your life more frequently. 

Accept compliments 

It’s not unusual to hate receiving compliments and to always deflect them. However, it’s good for your self-esteem to actually thank someone for the compliment and accept their kindness. 

Avoid relying upon validation from others

A trap many fall into, and one which would be best to avoid, is changing your life in order to prove your worth to others. This is the recipe for low self-esteem. It’s so important to do things for yourself and not to always seek approval from others. 

Avoid content from those who make you feel less confident 

In the age of social media, we can find ourselves feeling increasing worthless when scrolling though the Instagram accounts of those who appear to have their life together. If you find yourself feeling stressed or lacking confidence after seeing someone’s Instagram post, simply mute their content. 

Finally, low self-esteem can stem into increasingly serious mental health issues. If you’re feeling like your sense of self-worth is low, please consider talking to someone. Whether that be a friend, family, or a complete outside source, it’s explicitly important to speak about what concerns you. 

Samaritans: 116 123 

Information about Run for Dementia challenge: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/events-and-fundraising/join-event/running/run-dementia

Feature Image: Pixabay @geralt

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