Self-esteem is a fundamental aspect of mental health and overall wellbeing. It influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, shaping our relationships, career choices, and overall life satisfaction. In Australia, concerns about self-esteem among adults are significant.
In this blog post, we will explore the concept of self-esteem, its importance, the factors influencing self-esteem concerns in adults.
Self-esteem refers to the way we perceive and value ourselves. It’s the internal judgment of our self-worth, encompassing our beliefs about our abilities, appearance, and overall value as individuals.
Healthy self-esteem is characterised by a balanced and positive self-image, which allows individuals to face life’s challenges with resilience and a sense of self-assuredness.
According to a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2020, it revealed approximately 13% of Australian adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress. This is a significant statistic that highlights the prevalence of mental health concerns, including those related to self-esteem.
Factors Influencing Self-Esteem Concerns in Adults
Several factors contribute to self-esteem concerns among Australian adults:
– Media and Societal Pressures: In the digital age, social media and advertising perpetuate unrealistic beauty and success standards, leading to comparison and feelings of inadequacy.
– Work-Related Stress: The demands of the modern workplace can take a toll on self-esteem, particularly when individuals face job insecurity, excessive workloads, or toxic work environments.
– Education and Achievement Pressure: The pressure to perform well academically or professionally can create feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy, especially in highly competitive fields.
– Social Isolation: Factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic have increased social isolation, leading to loneliness, which can impact self-esteem.
– Past Trauma and Negative Experiences: Childhood experiences, bullying, and past trauma can have a lasting impact on self-esteem.
– Health Issues: Physical health problems or chronic conditions can affect self-esteem by challenging a person’s sense of control over their own body.
It’s essential to address self-esteem concerns in a healthy and constructive way:
1. Seek Professional Help: If self-esteem concerns are significantly affecting your life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counsellor.
2. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding.
3. Limit Media Exposure: Be mindful of the media you consume. Unfollow accounts that trigger feelings of inadequacy and remember that what’s portrayed online isn’t always reflective of reality.
4. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
5. Build a Support System: Surround yourself with friends and family who uplift and support you. Share your feelings with them and seek their encouragement.
Self-esteem concerns can have a significant impact on mental health, relationships, and overall life satisfaction. However, with awareness, support, and self-compassion, individuals can take steps to nurture and improve their self-esteem.
It’s crucial to remember that self-esteem is a journey, and small changes can make a significant difference in one’s self-perception and overall well-being.
The team at Haven Psychology can help you on your journey to optimal mental health, contact us here.