Despite the high amount of people who struggle with mental illness, mental health is still a taboo topic in many circles. Many people suffer from it without ever talking to anyone about it, either because they don’t want to admit it to themselves or because they don’t recognise what they are suffering from. In this article we tell you what mental health is, what self-esteem is and how you can improve both.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, physical, and social well-being. It affects your daily life – what you think, feel, how you act and how you interact with the people around you. If your mental health is negatively affected, it can lead to a lower quality of life, stress, lower performance, and poorer well-being.
There are many factors that can cause poor mental health. These include biological factors such as your genetics, life experiences such as trauma or bad experiences, your environment, i.e., your relationships, and last but not least, your physical condition. All of these factors can lead to mental health problems – just like mental health problems can also cause all of these factors.
One of the most important things to know if you suspect that you are suffering from mental health problems is that you are not alone. A lot of people struggle with mental health problems or even mental illness at some point in their lives. These include not only the most well-known ones like depression and anxiety, but also stress or just negative thoughts about yourself. But we are here to help you!
How to improve your mental health
If the following methods do not help you or your problems get worse, we advise you to seek professional help. If you are concerned about your mental health, you can find the right expert on WePractice.
If you want to improve your mental health, changing your daily routine is the first step. For example, if you suffer from a lot of stress, try to find out what causes it and avoid such situations. If that doesn’t help, you can try to balance stress with relaxing habits like yoga or going for a walk.
For anxiety disorders, relaxation exercises and meditation can help. It is also very important to talk to someone about it. This does not have to be a therapist but can also be a family member or a good friend.
Other tips on how to improve your mental health include
- Healthy habits like eating healthy food or drinking lots of water
- Relaxing regularly – whether with exercise, meditation, or a good book
- Getting enough sleep
- Meeting your friends and family
- Avoiding situations that make you feel unhappy or stressed
What is self-esteem?
Not only healthy habits can help you, but also high self-esteem. Self-esteem describes how much you value yourself, how happy you are with yourself and what you think about yourself. Psychologists assume that everyone has a mental schema of their real self and their ideal self. The more distinct these two selves are, the lower your self-esteem. And low self-esteem can have serious consequences for you.
The risk of low self-esteem
The causes of low self-esteem cannot be determined precisely, as they can vary from person to person. Both your environment and experiences or beliefs can have an influence.
Signs of low self-esteem can be
- You criticise yourself very harshly
- You have unrealistically high expectations of yourself
- You avoid tasks that you think you are bad at
- You are afraid to speak your mind
- You find yourself less important or less interesting than others
- You are very sensitive to criticism
- You are afraid of making mistakes
- You tend to be pessimistic about everything you do
- You often feel guilty
These are just a few of the many signs of low self-esteem. But as you can see from this, it has serious implications for your life. People with low self-esteem struggle with high expectations of themselves, feelings of inferiority, insecurity or even fear. They do not accept themselves as they are. And this can lead to mental health issues in the long run.
How to improve your self-esteem
The most important way to do something about low self-esteem is to recognise it and find the will to change your situation. Try to find the cause of it. Is it the people around you, something in your past or just certain situations? Once you have done this, there are several ways to strengthen yourself.
- Reduce the demands you make to yourself. Being ambitious is good, but it can lead to a lot of frustration. Set your goals lower and be happy when you achieve them. And if you have a setback, it’s not a big deal, because others have them, too.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. If you think others can do something better than you, that’s okay – because they are not you. You have your own talents, and that’s fine.
- Think realistically. Nowadays, it’s super easy to fake the perfect life – critically selected Instagram posts, happy videos or messages, and more. Realise that these people aren’t perfect either. They just don’t show the negative sides.
- Set yourself limits. Saying no is OK. No one can expect you to do everything, not even you.
- Don’t worry about what others think about you. If you feel that others don’t like you or don’t appreciate you, free yourself from them. It doesn’t matter what people who don’t know you think of you. The only thing that matters is what you think. And there will also be people who react positively towards you.
- Do what you enjoy. If you have found your passion and it makes you happy, then you should do it, no matter what others think.
- Don’t feel bad if you make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. You learn from them, and you will do better next time.
- Evaluate yourself the way you evaluate others. Are you stricter with yourself than with others? Why? Why should you have to do more than others to be a good person?
We hope that all these tips will help you to increase your self-esteem. Some of them may sound easier said than done, but we firmly believe that you can do it!