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Why your self-esteem is important

3 min read
23 January 2019

Topics mentioned: self-esteem, social media, body image

Author: Laura

About: Do we notice the things that impact our self-esteem, and how we feel about ourselves? Laura blogs about why self-esteem is important and how it affects our mental health.

We only have one body so why not choose to love it?

On a daily basis we are doing things that effect our self-esteem and body image. We can spend hours scrolling through social media and think to ourselves ‘why don’t I look like that?’

Despite this kind of behaviour being the norm in society, it is important to take a step back and think about how our self-esteem and body image is impacting our mental health.

The ‘perfect’ body doesn’t exist

Regardless of what somebody else may tell us, I believe that true body positivity and high self-esteem can only come from within. Of course, it’s nice to hear from a friend or family member that we look great, but unless we believe this ourselves, we cannot break through the mental barriers that are holding us back from truly accepting who we are.

As we scroll through social media or magazines, we are swamped with images of people that are, in our minds, ‘perfect’ – but where has this idea of a ‘perfect’ body come from? Trends in society encourage us to think that we must look a certain way, but that’s not the case.

We shouldn’t waste time comparing ourselves to others. I know it’s easier said than done, but if we don’t put a stop to this, we could damage our mental health. In my opinion, we are all born beautiful.

The truth is that everybody has insecurities.

Expectations from society are the reason that people doubt themselves, which in turn has a negative impact on our mental health. The truth is that everybody has insecurities, even the people that we desperately want to be like have things that they dislike about themselves – it’s normal.

Choose to be a little kinder to yourself

As this is the start of 2019, I think it would be great if more people could put down their phone and realise that they need to start accepting who they are. We could start small.

I found that looking in the mirror and saying something that I liked about myself really helped. Yes, it may be difficult to start with, but this will slowly start to help you be happy in your own skin.

Another way to help increase self-esteem and body positivity is to be kind to others. This will not only make somebody else feel better, but the mental health benefits that you will gain from making somebody else feel good are amazing.

I’m not saying that this will all happen within the first month, but choosing to be a little bit kinder to ourselves each day will impact our mental health in such a positive way.

We only have one body so why not choose to love it? Yes, it’s ok to make changes if this will make you happier, but do it for you and not because that’s what you think is the ‘perfect’ way to look – your mental health will thank you for it.

Choosing to be a little bit kinder to ourselves each day will impact our mental health in such a positive way.

More information and advice

If you're struggling with self-esteem and the way you look, have a look at our guides. We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need.

Where to get help

However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.

  • The Mix

    Free, short-term online counselling for young people aged 25 or under. Their website also provides lots of information and advice about mental health and wellbeing. 

    Email support is available via their online contact form.

    They have a free 1-2-1 webchat service available during opening hours.

    Opening times:
    4pm - 11pm, Monday - Friday
  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:
  • Youth Access

    Provides information about local counselling and advice services for young people aged 11-25.

    Put in your location and what you need help with into their 'Find help' search, and see what services are available in your area.

Thanks for sharing your story Laura

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