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Why is your self-esteem important?

We all go through periods of low self-esteem at different times in our lives. I know I have and can remember exactly when and what caused that feeling...

We all go through periods of low self-esteem at different times in our lives. I know I have and can remember exactly when and what caused that feeling.


I experience low self-esteem at times while writing books. There are many days when inspiration is not forthcoming, making me feel incompetent and worthless because I cannot write a word. I feel ready to quit. Luckily, this sense of foreboding is often short-lived, but for some people, low self- esteem can last for weeks, months and years.


What is self-esteem?


I have taken this definition from mind.org.uk


‘Self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. It is based on our opinions

and beliefs about ourselves, which can feel difficult to change….’


If you think low self-esteem does not affect your health, think again. Mental health is a big issue today, and low self-esteem can be linked to that umbrella.


Scientists are learning more and more every day about the connection between your mind and your health. Stress, depression, low self-esteem, and anger have all been shown to pave the way to illness and disease.


What can cause low self-esteem? (mind.org.uk)


  • Experiencing prejudice, discrimination or stigma

  • Losing your job or difficulty finding employment

  • Physical health problems

  • Relationship problems, separation or divorce

  • Issues of money or housing

  • Worries about your appearance and body image

  • Disapproval from peers

  • Retirement

  • Loneliness

  • Being bullied or abused


As you can see, there is not one particular cause. (Do you recognise any of these causes in your life?)


How can I improve my self-esteem?


If you struggle with low self-esteem, it might feel as if making changes will be difficult. But there are things you can at least try:-


  • Take time for yourself – read a paper/book, meet up with a friend/s, take up a hobby, go for a walk.

  • Keep your body healthy – eat a balanced diet and stay physically active to keep your body in shape. You might feel better about yourself if you can do these two things.

  • Be kind to yourself – get to know yourself and ask questions:- what makes you happy and what do you value in life? You could write these in a diary.

  • Build a support network – talk to somebody you trust who will listen to your concerns and spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.

  • Give yourself credit – remind yourself of your good qualities and write them down. Keep adding to your list, and read what it says when you need a boost.

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself - take small steps and be patient.

  • Be aware of how hard you are on yourself – change your negative attitude with a positive pep-talk.


Why is self-esteem important?


Self-esteem keeps you sane and grateful for what you have in life. What is probably most important, however, is how you see yourself.


If you value yourself, you not only cope with life’s challenges better than people with low self-esteem BUT are probably more content, confident, positive and successful.


You are also more likely to be happier and healthier.


Studies show that positive self-esteem helps to protect people from depression and anxiety, conditions that may pose increased risks of everything from colds to heart disease. (Reader’s Digest)


From a writer’s point of view, it is important to remain focused on the task and remain positive. It’s often lonely, and it takes a long time to write, edit and publish a book. Yes, you have your setbacks and disappointments. However, the incentive to finish one book and start another keeps you going and boosts your self-esteem.


Until next time, happy reading.

Mansel


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