Self-esteem is a psychology term referring to a person's perception of his or her self-worth or self-value. It is an inner evaluation of emotions, such as pride, happiness, or shame; and beliefs, such as "I am good at what I do" or "I am poor at my job." When your self-esteem is low, there are many different treatments that can help you to deal with the negative feelings, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), self-help strategies, and antidepressant medications. It may be necessary to try several types before finding the self-esteem treatment that works best for you.
Low self-esteem is a problem many people face, and some individuals need help to reshape and reinterpret their personal thoughts and experiences. Changing the way you think about yourself and your life is critical in this type of self-esteem treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique used to reverse some forms unhealthy thinking and negative behavior patterns. It's based the idea that the way you think about yourself is a catalyst toward positivity or negativity. These techniques can help you to challenge, refute, and eliminate negative thoughts you may be having.
This type of treatment often involves a series of steps which, when used together, may improve the quality of your life. The first steps are to identify problems in your life and become aware of the negative thoughts they can cause. Next, try to be specific about when or why you have negative thoughts. Then, you need to challenge those negative reactions and change your thought patterns.
For other individuals, different self-help strategies can be a good way to approach problems with self-esteem. Talking with other people who have the same problem may make you realize that you're not alone, so joining a self-help group may be the best self-esteem treatment for you. If you aren't comfortable joining a group in person, there are many online forums where you can share your feelings. Speaking to a friend or member of the clergy can also help you put your feelings in perspective. You might try starting a journal to express your negative feelings and reenforce positive ones or set aside time to meditate and focus on the positives in your life.
You can also build your self-esteem by volunteering to help others; giving your time and energy to help someone else often brings positive feelings associated with knowing that you made a difference in a person's life. Learning a new skill or creating something can also give you a feeling of accomplishment. It's important to withhold any negative judgment when trying something new, however; just because you aren't great at first doesn't mean you cannot improve.
A person's self-esteem can be affected by mental health concerns, particularly anxiety disorders and depression. Although the causes of these conditions aren't completely understood and often involve both biological and social factors, in many cases, antianxiety or antidepressant medications can help alleviate them. For many people, treating these underlying conditions is an important first step toward successful self-esteem treatment.