The Mental Health Benefits Of High Self-Esteem

We've been told that how we feel about ourselves shows in how we walk, talk, and behave. Our inner dialogue matters in how we go through our day-to-day tasks. High self-esteem is a goal for many, after all, if we know we matter, others will, too. It's important to believe in ourselves, or it will be very hard for anyone else to do the same. High self-esteem sounds wonderful, but it can be hard to achieve. The truth is, you'll never have a more intimate relationship with anyone else than yourself. Grand Rapids Counseling Center reports that 85% of people battle with low self-esteem making it difficult for them to believe they are worthy of respect.


Because there are so many people in the world with low self-esteem, achieving a high enough self-esteem to receive benefits from it is challenging. However, there are simple things we can do each day to increase our self-esteem and -– in turn -– increase our mental health. The research shows that this year, we'd all benefit from focusing on improving our relationship with ourselves.

Self esteem helps your disposition

High self-esteem sounds wonderful, but many of us don't know what it really means. Your Life Counts defines high self-esteem as believing in yourself and what you bring to the world. You still understand that you have weaknesses, but you allow yourself to focus more on your strengths. Those with high self-esteem oftentimes have high self-worth and plenty of self-confidence. 


If you have high self-esteem, it takes quite a bit to get you down. For example, if you overhear a group talking about you negatively at work or are being mistreated by a partner, you are able to ignore the negative talk and brush it off. In addition, you know you're worthy of being treated better in a relationship, and you're more than likely to say goodbye to the person who refuses to acknowledge you're worth more than they're giving you.

It allows you to know your strengths

Having high self-esteem means you know your self-worth and can appreciate your strengths. There is a misconception that having high self-worth is the same as narcissism, but there is a stark difference between the two. High self-esteem is believing you are worthy of respect and love and feeling great about yourself. In contrast, a narcissist feels superior to others while feeling bad about themselves, says Psychology Today


Having high self-esteem is an understanding of your strengths and self-worth. A healthy self-concept allows you to see the positives in life while helping you adapt to new things that come your way. This makes those with high self-esteem incredible employees. They are more adaptable and ready to face challenges with an open mind. Believing you can accomplish the things in front of you plays a huge role in how you approach most obstacles in your life.

It decreases stress

We know that chronic stress affects our self-esteem, so it only makes sense that high self-esteem could diminish quite a bit of stress. Someone with low self-worth may be looking for ways that other people show they don't like them and allow the stress of seeking validation to build. If you work to raise your self-esteem, you could also be lessening your stress. 


To help raise your self-esteem, you should make an effort to shift the negative thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself to the positive. By doing this, you not only raise your self-esteem but it makes it harder for stress to overwhelm you. Because you have practiced switching your mindset when you feel stress begin to enter, you will be able to take a pause and assess the situation for what it is. Working through stressful moments isn't easy, but if you know you can handle difficult situations calmly, your self-esteem will continue to build.

It helps you become a better person

If you have high self-esteem, it could actually help you to give back to others. When you feel confident about yourself, you no longer feel the need to turn negativity in on yourself. Giving to others is one amazing thing that allows you to raise your self-esteem, and in turn, having high self-esteem allows you the mental space to be able to give to others. By believing that you are capable of doing great things for others, you are creating prosocial behavior that will allow you to better your community simply because you believed you were able. 


According to Cedars Sinai, kind acts actually release a hormone that improves your mood. Oxytocin is released when we are kind to others, making it so we feel good. Those good feelings we get while helping others benefit our self-worth. When you give your time or your money to help others, you better believe that you'll be reaping the benefits as well.

It will allow you to perform self care

If you have low self-esteem, achieving high self-worth may seem impossible. Self-esteem can be raised with a few small steps. Consider taking time to write down your strengths in a journal. Seeing them outlined on paper may give you a boost in confidence. In addition, have fun attempting something new each week. Try a new yoga class, take a cooking class, or take art lessons to add a little fun to your life. By achieving new skills, you'll appreciate life in a way that won't allow you to turn your focus negatively on yourself. 


It's also important to focus on positive self-talk to reduce negativity — by practicing mindfulness and paying attention to the negative thoughts that pop into your head, you can turn them around into something positive that raises your spirits and vibrations. In addition, this mindset will help calm you and assist you in overcoming obstacles in your path.