Identifying low self-esteem

I remember when it hit me that I was suffering with low self-esteem. It was like someone switched the light on in my mind and everything finally made sense. I finally understood the main issue which was causing me to feel depressed and anxious. 

Once I knew I had low self-esteem, it became easier to take steps to address the issue and focus on improving how I felt about myself. Not easy…but easier! 

But it took ages for me to realise, which led to years going by feeling like I wasn’t pretty enough, like I wasn’t as interesting as my friends, believing that my skin was too ugly for anyone to admire me. 

That’s why I’m writing now. I want you to realise if you have low self-esteem, so you can begin a journey of improving your self-love (sorry, that’s cheesy I know!). 

I mainly realised that I had low self-esteem because someone (I think it was my mum) told me she thought I did. So, I went on trusty Google and looked at websites for symptoms. I was really shocked actually when I realised every single symptom was real for me. It was very emotional to finally accept that I had this problem. 

I would highly recommend using Mind’s website to understand more about self-esteem. They list the symptoms as feeling:

  • like you hate or dislike yourself
  • worthless or not good enough
  • unable to make decisions or assert yourself
  • like no one likes you
  • you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault
  • guilt for spending time or money on yourself
  • unable to recognise your strengths
  • undeserving of happiness
  • low in confidence.

Get Self Help also is helpful in clarifying how low self-esteem might affect you:

Emotions

  • depressed
  • hurt
  • angry
  • frustrated
  • anxious
  • ashamed
  • guilty
  • stressed

Thoughts

  • Negative, self-critical: I’m so stupid, I’m worthless, It’s my fault, I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, I’m incompetent. 
  • Unhelpful thinking habits might include Mental Filter, Mind Reading, Self Blame, Internal Critic, Compare & Despair, Shoulds and Musts, Black and White Thinking

Behaviours

  • try to please others
  • get defensive when we believe we’re being criticised
  • under-achieve or work harder to compensate and cover up our incompetence
  • shy and passive around others
  • avoid situations and people
  • neglect or abuse ourselves

I would be surprised if everybody doesn’t identify with at least a few of these, and I imagine everybody has moments of low self-esteem. However, if you identify with lots of these and feel them regularly, and they frequently affect your daily life, I would say you are suffering from low self-esteem and you should start to take actions to improve this. 

But what should you do if you have just realised you have low self-esteem?

In the next post, I’ll write about what you can do next. In the meantime, why not start this 30 day self-esteem challenge.

 

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31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 31

The final day of 31 Days of Wellbeing!

Well, this is the end of this wellbeing journey, although I hope some of the activities have been so useful that you will continue doing them in the future. In fact, this is exactly what the final activity is all about…

“Live with intention.Walk to the edge.Listen Hard.Practice wellness.Play with abandon.Laugh.Choose with no regret.Appreciate your friends.Continue to learn.Do what you love.Live as if

Your final action is to set intentions for the rest of the year. Forget about New Year being the only time to set resolutions. Now is as good a time as any to take control over your wellbeing, happiness and life. It doesn’t matter if it is a small intention (to be honest, you’re more likely to succeed that way), just choose at least three which will make a difference. You could look back at the past 30 days for some inspiration.

My three key intentions for the year ahead are:

  • Put time aside to do what I want to do
  • Practise yoga regularly
  • Accept that I can only do what time allows me to do at work

It’s been really fun thinking of 31 activities which will improve wellbeing, and I hope you’ve found at least one of them useful 🙂

My next focus will be specifically on understanding and coping with low self-esteem, so watch this space!

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 22

Day 22 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Time to dig a little deeper into ourselves today – not as scary as it sounds!

I'm reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose. Kobe Bryant

Today, it is time to reflect. Reflect on the day that has passed, or even the week/month/year so far. Take stock of the challenges and successes. What has made you feel good in body and mind? What has made you feel anxious, tired and down?

After you have reflected, make a pact with yourself that you will make a specific change. What change would make you feel better, healthier and happier? For me, I have learned that office politics get me down and affect my life negatively both in and out of work. The change I am committing to myself is that I will do my best to stay out of these politics, and keep my frustrations to myself and people outside of work!

In summary, you can take control of certain things which negatively affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Today, reflect on what is harming your wellbeing and make a change…

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 15

Day 15 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

This is probably the hardest mental activity to do so far. We are often told to make a list of our strengths as part of a wellbeing challenge, but in Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy: Journal’ book, I was asked to do something completely opposite, which was scary but actually a useful activity!

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. Marilyn Monroe

Yes, I am asking you to think about your imperfections. Be honest about what you think your shortcomings are. However, a couple of rules! Firstly, remember you are your worst critic. If your friend was to make a list of your shortcomings, they would probably struggle to think of one, so don’t freak out if your mental list of flaws is long.

Secondly, as you think of an imperfection, try to make peace with it. Accept that you are not perfect. Does anybody actually like a person with no flaws? Does that person even exist? It isn’t a person I could get on with! Flaws are relatable, remember. Try to think of a positive point from the flaw as well, e.g. perhaps you are over-emotional but that could also be a sign that you care, which is lovely!

Here are a few from my list:

  • Oversensitive (positive: I am a big softie really who cares too much)
  • Passive-agressive (positive: I hate confrontation and avoid scary fights)
  • Quiet in big groups and meetings (positive: I listen well and it would be a problem if everybody in a group is loud and overbearing)
  • Untoned thighs (positive: I am very relatable, a lot of women suffer from this from what I hear!)

I will stop there…you don’t want to go on and on with this list because that will eventually make you feel rubbish! But think of 4-5 and the key to healthy wellbeing is to learn to accept these imperfections and see them in a more positive light.

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 14

Day 14 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

As much as I love my home, travelling is something which has always boosted my wellbeing and love for life. I believe experiencing and appreciating the wider world is important for our wellbeing, as it takes us away from stagnant routines and heavy workloads, which can grind us down and make us feel like life is all about chores and repetitive tasks.

Charles Horton CooleyTo get away from one's working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one's self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.

Unless this is very well-timed, I imagine you are not able to take off on your travels today! Today, it is all about planning or looking back on travels. Perhaps you have a holiday booked which feels like it is ages away – get online and look at photos of that place. Plan some activities you might do, places you could visit or restaurants to try. This should at least inspire some positive feelings of excitement and happiness, knowing that your holiday is on its way!

If you have nothing booked, you have two things to do. Look back at previous holiday photos, and remember those wonderful feelings of happiness and smile at those memories. Secondly, get planning your next trip! Even if it is a cheap weekend or day trip in the UK, please plan in something which will allow you to see a different part of the world. 🙂

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 10

Day 10 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Perhaps you’ve had a tough week, and sometimes that can make you feel like giving up on happiness and wellbeing. It can be easy to wallow in the sadness/anger that you feel because in some ways, that’s actually easier than pulling yourself back into the light.

Let’s make an effort today to move towards the light (or further if you’ve had a positive week!), rather than deeper into stormy clouds. A good start is focusing on an activity which might improve your wellbeing…and that is where I can help!

“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It_s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. It_s anything that does not support your better self” Eleanor Brown

Yes, it is time to declutter. The hardest part about cleaning and decluttering is getting started. I find as soon as you get started, you can get into the flow and you might even start to enjoy it! Put on that happy playlist you created yesterday so it becomes something more fun.

Don’t make this an overwhelming task – just aim to declutter or clean one room in the house today. If you do more, great, but it can be tiring and you might be very busy today, so even if it is one area in a room, that is awesome!

At the same time, I want you to also focus on decluttering your mind. Let’s face it, that is more important than our physical surroundings. I ask you to start with the physical but it can make mental decluttering much easier when you look around a clear room. Declutter your mind of negative thoughts and anything that doesn’t resemble self-love. It’s not easy, but make a conscious effort today to push away this darkness when it starts to inch into your mind.

Good luck and happy decluttering!

 

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 9

Day 9 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

You know I love a good list from a couple of previous days…well time to make another, but with a twist!

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold AuerbachRead more at_ https_www.brainyquote.comtopicsmusic

Today, make your happy playlist. Choose those songs which make you feel good, inspire you or just bring a smile to your face. I like to put on my happy playlist to and from work, as it pumps me up for the day ahead and helps me forget about the stress on the drive home. But put it on whenever you could use a pick me up!

Would love to hear some of the songs on your happy playlist in the comments 🙂

Some of my current happy playlist:

Sigala & Ella Eyre – Came Here for the Love

Pink – Raise Your Glass

Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance

Jamiroquai – Love Foolosophy

Green Day – Holiday

La La Land – Another Day of Sun

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 6

Day 6 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Hope your list writing went well…even if the list was in your head or had one item on it!

I am actually going to ask you to write another list today. Please don’t stop reading now, I promise this list is going to be different and not a list of chores.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ― Mahatma Gandhi (1)

It is time to write a list of what makes you happy.Writing the list can also make you sometimes realise that you are spending too much of your time doing the things you don’t really love…perhaps because you feel like you should. I know I am guilty of saying ‘yes’ to lots of different plans when what I really would love to do is snuggle on the sofa with my dog! Make sure you are writing down activities which you can do often – ‘travelling the world’ would be more of a goal than something you can aim to do often…unless you are lucky enough to be that wealthy!

The most important part comes after you have written this list of course, as what you need to do is make sure you are doing these things as often as possible. Do more of what makes you happy – your mental health will improve so much because you are showing yourself you care enough to do what you love and enjoy.

My Happy List:

  • Chilling with future hubby and dog on our very comfy sofa
  • Walking in beautiful surroundings
  • Weekends away in the countryside
  • Eating good food and drinking good wine
  • Dancing to great songs in bars (not everyday I should add!)
  • Getting an early night
  • Practising yoga
  • Spending weekend days with friends and family
  • Reading in bed
  • Writing blog posts 🙂

Enjoy writing your list!

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 4

Day 4 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Hope everyone managed to let something go yesterday 🙂

Your wellbeing challenge today is a lovely one if you enjoy this activity. Some of you may be do this everyday already, therefore this could be an easy one! However, if it’s not an activity you have done much since studying, it could feel like a challenge…

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

Today, please pick up a book or Kindle and read (and I don’t mean Daily Mail articles!). I want you do this at a time when you would normally either be watching Netflix series back to back (guilty!) or when you would be scrolling mindlessly on your mobile phone. These activities tend to disengage your brain or have you looking at other people’s ‘glamourous’ lives and picking fault at your own. Reading can engage your brain, transport you to a magical world and get you thinking about important issues. All great things for your wellbeing!

If you struggle with reading and feel like you don’t have the time or want to make the time, start off with just one chapter per night before you go to sleep. That’s all I do at the moment, and it’s enough to take me away from the mindless Instagram scrolling for 10-15 minutes. I swear this makes it easier to relax and go to sleep as well.

Happy reading!

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 3

Day 3 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

This will be a brief one as it is one of those rushed mornings when it feels like time is going at 3 x the usual pace! It is a Saturday and some of you may be busy like me all day today and not have time for walks and yoga. Let’s focus on something you can do today alongside everything else, so it doesn’t take up your valuable time.

LET A BAD FEELING GO.

Whether that is an ongoing feeling of frustration toward someone, or a feeling of anger at something a friend or loved one has said lately, make peace with it today. I know it could be hard…personally I am worried I will not be able to keep this up even for a day! However, it helps to remind yourself that this bad feeling is mainly hurting you. The other person may not notice or even care, yet you are holding onto this feeling that is hurting your wellbeing.

So right here, right now (and hopefully for the rest of today), let that feeling go and be free!

Let go or be dragged.