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Improve Self-Esteem for Better Mental Health

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Man giving himself a hug to express to demonstrate the importance of building self-esteem and self-worth.Improving self-esteem and self-worth makes individuals’ lives more enjoyable and less susceptible to negative influences. February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month, raising awareness about the important role self-worth plays in mental well-being.

Learning how to nurture self-esteem is important for everyone, but is especially important for children who can reap lifelong benefits. Children who learn techniques to overcome shyness, combat social anxiety and stand up for themselves develop a positive self image and resiliency. NewBridge Services offers in-school programs for children designed to develop resilience in children and adolescents.

At home, adults and children can engage in self-esteem building and nurture self-acceptance and confidence through journaling, practicing affirmations, and engaging in hobbies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incorporating mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises into daily routines can promote stress reduction and improve emotional regulation, contributing to overall mental well-being.

Advice for Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness

For those struggling with shyness and social anxiety, overcoming these hurdles is pivotal in developing strong self-esteem. Techniques such as gradual exposure, recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health, can aid in conquering social fears and fostering confidence.

A shy child adapts to new situations slowly and may be hesitant to meet new people or try new experiences. It is recommended that parents not label a child as shy and describe their child as such because that may lead the child to believe it is an immutable personality trait. Experts recommend parents identify activities and interests a child enjoys and encourage them to share their enthusiasm with someone they’re comfortable around to practice being more outgoing.

Classroom activities to build self-esteem play a vital role in instilling confidence and self-worth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, initiatives promoting positive youth development through interactive activities and discussions on positive self-talk can significantly impact self-esteem. Fostering a positive school climate free from bullying and providing social-emotional support promotes student well-being and improves low self-esteem.

Words to Improve Self-Esteem

Simple yet impactful, affirmations and positive self-talk serve as powerful tools to  improve self-image. The CDC emphasizes the importance of positive mental health practices, such as self-affirmation, in enhancing overall well-being. Some examples:

  • I am enough.
  • I am at peace with myself.
  • I value myself as a person.
  • I deserve to be happy.
  • I trust myself.
  • I am in control of myself.
  • I am safe.
  • I am loved.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am grateful for my life.

In moments of self-doubt and adversity, it’s essential to practice self-compassion  and resilience. By reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth, individuals can cultivate inner strength and improve self-esteem.

Community Builds Reslience

Beyond individual efforts, community-driven initiatives play a pivotal role in promoting self-esteem awareness. Workshops, seminars, and support groups offer spaces for individuals to share experiences, gain insights, and foster a culture of acceptance and empowerment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness highlights the significance of community support in mental health advocacy.

Regular physical activity is linked to improved mood and self-esteem. Engaging in yoga, dance, walking or group sports boosts endorphins and also instills a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

Takeaway from Self-Esteem Month

Navigating through anxiety and self-doubt may seem daunting, but with perseverance and support, improved self-esteem is possible. Self-discovery brings individuals closer to a life filled with purpose, authenticity, and unwavering self-esteem. If you or a loved one is struggling with low self-esteem, contact NewBridge Services at services@newbridge.org or (973)-316-9333.

 

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