Believe in yourself

Low self-esteem can be the root cause of some mental health problems and can cause a vicious circle. You feel bad about yourself, so you get depressed, which makes you feel even worse about yourself, so you get more depressed and it can be difficult to break that cycle. Positive thinking and boosting self-esteem will improve emotional wellbeing.

Self-esteem is how you think about yourself, the opinion you have of yourself. If you have low self-esteem, the thoughts you have about yourself tend to be negative and focus on what you think are your weaknesses. Having a low opinion of yourself can make you more prone to mental health problems such as eating disorders, depression or anxiety and phobias.

Self-esteem can just be down to your own temperament. However, negative experiences in childhood can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem. People who have been abused or neglected in their childhoods often have low self-esteem or young people who feel they have not matched up to their parents’ expectations. Other things that can affect someone’s self-esteem include bullying, trauma, poor physical health and social exclusion.

Having low self-esteem can affect work, personal relationships and your social life so it is important to tackle low self-esteem to boost positive thinking and positive mental wellbeing.


  1. In order to change your beliefs, you have to understand your negative beliefs. Think about what your weaknesses are, when you started to feel like this; can you identify something that has happened that might have caused you to feel like this?
  2. Once you have identified the negative beliefs, gather evidence to challenge this and write them down so you have a list as evidence when you are feeling down. For example, if you feel you are unattractive, note it down when you receive a compliment from someone that says you look pretty or they like your new haircut.
  3. Positive thinking exercises – write down the things you like about yourself. Think about your best feature and write it down – I like my eyes, for example. Think about things you have achieved and add them to the list. Think about nice things you have done for other people, skills you have, talents that you or others have noticed and write all these positive things down. This is good to look back on when you are having a bad day or when you are nervous about something such as an exam.
  4. Friends and family – look at the people you have around you on a regular basis and think about how they make you feel. If you are spending a lot of time with someone who makes you feel rubbish about yourself then spend a bit less time with them and spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  5. Take up a positive hobby.
  6. Set yourself an aim – maybe a sponsored walk for charity which will make you feel good about yourself.

more information

If your problems are particularly deep rooted you can seek professional help and get access to talking therapies. See your doctor for more information.

There are self-help books about positive thinking that can help.