The Unexpected Benefits of Having Healthy Self-Esteem
In psychology, the term “self-esteem” describes the worth a person places on himself or herself. This feeling can encompass many different beliefs about oneself, including one’s internal monologue, body image, and close relationships. Generally, self-esteem tends to stay stable over time. It can be too high or too low to be healthy.
If you live with unhealthy self-esteem, changing this state of being can feel like an insurmountable task. However, working toward health self-esteem can lead to benefits that make the effort well worth it. Healthy self-esteem can positively impact your mental health, physical well-being, and relationships with others.
Self-Esteem and Mental Health
If you currently struggle with mental or emotional disorders, working toward healthy self-esteem can be an important part of your recovery. Even if you do not live with a mental disorder, a good sense of self-worth can lay the foundation for a lifetime of excellent mental health. First, health self-esteem instills confidence. For people with existing mental illness, this confidence can give them the boost they need to get past obstacles in recovery.
Furthermore, having healthy self-esteem allows you to let go of negative thought patterns that hold you back. For example, pessimistic thinking can keep you from believing that things will work out and you will be ok. However, healthy self-esteem can reassure you. Knowing your worth can also ensure you hold yourself to realistic standards, rather than perfectionism.
Similarly, health self-esteem can set you up for wellness during life’s greatest challenges. You may find yourself to be more adaptable when you believe in your abilities and worth. For example, if a relationship comes to an end, you may grieve, but you will know that you are still worthy of love.
Physical Benefits of Healthy Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can take a serious toll on a person’s physical health. For example, someone with low self-esteem may develop an eating disorder because they do not believe they deserve food. They may feel extreme guilt or shame when consuming “bad: foods because they tie their self-worth in with their poor body image. Similarly, people with low self-esteem may develop addictions when they try to mask the pain with substances.
Healthy self-esteem can change all of that. People who know their worth take the time to care for themselves–bodies included. They may develop healthy exercise and eating habits that allow for balance and self-care. They also know that they are worthy of love no matter what they eat or what their bodies look like.
Healthy Self-Esteem and Improved Relationships
When you have healthy self-esteem, you can develop a better relationship with yourself, thus creating a healthy emotional life. In the same way, a complete understanding of your self-worth can improve other relationships in your life. Perhaps most importantly, self-esteem can give you the confidence you need to let go of toxic relationships. Even in healthy relationships, that confidence can ensure you are able to ask for (and receive) what you need from others.
Some people are surprised to discover that healthy self-esteem builds empathy for others as well. When you let go of negative thought patterns like perfectionism, you set realistic expectations not only for yourself but for others as well. This allows others to make mistakes without you thinking it’s a reflection of their feelings for you. Furthermore, you may find it easier to accept that you and your loved ones will disagree about some things.
If you’re ready to embrace the many benefits of having healthy self-esteem, contact FLBH today. Our counselors can assess your current emotional well-being and give you the tools you need to develop the self-esteem you want.