Self-esteem: Start being more positive!

Low self-esteem is a thinking disorder in which individuals view him/herself as inadequate, unworthy, unlovable, and/or incompetent. It could be because of their body, how smart they think they are, how talented they think they are, or anything else. Essentially, it’s all about how much you feel you are worth and also how much you feel other people value you.

Among high school students, 44% of girls and 15% of guys are trying to lose weight, and 70% of students believe they are not good enough in some way. Teens who have low self-esteem are very likely to become depressed, cut themselves, commit suicide, develop and eating disorder and begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

The main cause of low self-esteem is looks. Whether someone wears plus-size pants, has too many freckles, or has frizzy hair, everybody has something they don’t like about themselves. People develop ideas of how they “should” look based on media images, and what their peers say. Teens look at what celebrities look like and feel like they should look like that, and there must be something wrong with them if they don’t. They think girls are only beautiful if they wear a size 2, lots of makeup, and have “perfect” hair, and that guys are only attractive if they’re “manly” and muscular. Teens also tease each other about the way they look, and that usually causes the victim of the bullying to feel poorly about themselves. For some reason, a lot of people think it makes them look good if they make someone else look bad.

Here’s what you should do if you feel bad about yourself:

  1. Find friends who like and appreciate you for who you are. Don’t try to fit in with a certain clique because you want to be cool. If someone’s your real friend, you won’t have to impress them in order for them to like you. Your friends should also be encouraging and uplifting, and not put you down.
  2. Have a positive, optimistic attitude. Sure, there are probably certain things you’re not so good at… you’re human, you’re not going to be perfect. But remember all the things you ARE good at!
  3. When you start telling yourself negative things, just stop. Instead, think about positive things about yourself and give yourself compliments!
  4. If you’re unhappy with your looks, think about things you could realistically change if you really want to. You won’t be able to do anything about your nose, but you could change the shape of your eyebrows, or tone up your arm muscles. Set some realistic goals and think of ways you can achieve them.
  5. Eat healthy and exercise. Being healthier will make you feel better about the way you look.

If you begin doing all these things, you’ll start feeling better about yourself. If you’re worried that a friend might have low self-esteem, encourage them and start letting them know how great you think they are.

If you or your friend really start feeling depressed and nothing seems to be working, tell a parent, teacher, coach, or counselor. Make sure it’s someone you can trust, someone who you KNOW will be encouraging and uplifting. They can help you or your friend with any self-esteem issues. Or call a local or national teen crisis hotline to get help. We are all beautiful and unique in our own way, nobody should feel like they aren’t valued!

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About Youth Outreach

We are located at 719 E. First St Newberg, OR 97132 503-538-8023

Posted on December 7, 2013, in Bullying, Depression, Health, Life, School and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good blog! 🙂 Plus–one more hint-Don’t base your self worth on whether or not you have a boyfriend/girlfriend on your arm.
    🙂

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