Self-esteem (आत्म-सम्मान) is confidence in one’s worth or abilities. It encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, “I am loved”, and “I am worthy”) as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. The benefits of high self-esteem are thought to include improved mental and physical health and less anti-social behavior while drawbacks of low self-esteem are anxiety, loneliness, and increased vulnerability to substance abuse. It can apply to a specific attribute or globally. Psychologists usually regard it as an enduring personality characteristic, though normal, short-term variations also exist. Synonyms or near-synonyms include self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, and self-integrity.
What is Self-esteem?
Symptoms of High and Low Self-esteem
How to develop Self-esteem?
Importance of Self-esteem
Helps reach goals and self-actualize
Abraham Maslow states that psychological health is not possible unless the essential core of the person is fundamentally accepted, loved, and respected by others and by oneself.
Self-esteem allows creativity
Understanding this is fundamental, and universally beneficial since the development of positive self-esteem increases the capacity to treat other people with respect, benevolence, and goodwill, thus favoring rich interpersonal relationships and avoiding destructive ones. For Erich Fromm, the love of others and the love of ourselves are not alternatives. On the contrary, an attitude of love toward themselves will be found in all those who are capable of loving others.
The importance of self-esteem is obvious
José-Vicente Bonet claims that the importance of self-esteem is obvious as a lack of self-esteem is, he says, not a loss of esteem from others, but self-rejection. Bonet claims that this corresponds to major depressive disorder. Freud also claimed that the depressive has suffered “an extraordinary diminution in his self-regard, an impoverishment of his ego on a grand scale… He has lost his self-respect”.
Protects against mental distress
The Yogyakarta Principles, a document on international human rights law, addresses the discriminatory attitude toward LGBT people that makes their self-esteem low to be subject to human rights violations including human trafficking. The World Health Organization recommends in “Preventing Suicide”, published in 2000, that strengthening students’ self-esteem is important to protect children and adolescents against mental distress and despondency, enabling them to cope adequately with difficult and stressful life situations.
Better ability to cope with stress
Other than increased happiness, higher self-esteem is also known to correlate with a better ability to cope with stress and a higher likeliness of taking on difficult tasks relative to those with low self-esteem.
High self-esteem has a high correlation to self-reported happiness; whether this is a causal relationship has not been established. The relationship between self-esteem and life satisfaction is stronger in individualistic cultures.
Additionally, self-esteem is related to forgiveness in close relationships, in that people with high self-esteem will be more forgiving than people with low self-esteem. High self-esteem does not prevent children from smoking, drinking, taking drugs, or engaging in early sex.
Self-esteem has been associated with several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. For example, low self-esteem may increase the likelihood that people who experience dysfunctional thoughts will develop symptoms of depression. In contrast, high self-esteem may protect against the development of mental health conditions, with research finding that high self-esteem reduces the chances of bulimia and anxiety.
How to develop Healthy Self-esteem?
In conclusion, self-esteem plays a vital role in shaping our overall well-being and success. It is the foundation upon which we build our confidence, resilience, and belief in our abilities. When we possess a healthy level of self-esteem, we are more likely to take on challenges, embrace opportunities, and maintain positive relationships. Conversely, low self-esteem can hinder our personal growth, limit our achievements, and contribute to negative self-talk and self-doubt. It is crucial to nurture and develop our self-esteem by practicing self-care, setting realistic goals, celebrating our achievements, and surrounding ourselves with supportive and uplifting individuals. By cultivating a strong sense of self-worth, we can lead happier, more fulfilling lives and reach our fullest potential.
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