The Importance of Self-Worth & How to Increase it
Disclaimer : I am not a scientist nor a psychologist with a deep understanding about this topic, but merely a psychology student interested on how our own self-worth can affect many areas of our lives.
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Over several years, research has shown how self-worth can affect our motivation and mental health. Recent research has also highlighted that self-esteem can affect motivation and job performance, and has been strongly linked to happiness and academic performance.
So let’s understand the meaning of ‘self-worth’.
Self-worth refers to how you view and describe yourself. It can be affected by several factors like, for instance, how others perceive you, your perceived weaknesses, and relationships at home or work.
The self-worth theory
The self-worth theory, proposed by Covington and Beery, states that individuals’ worth often comes to depend on the ability to achieve competitively, meaning that individuals strive to give value to their lives by constantly seeking the approval of others. This may mean accomplishing deeds or providing services which are valued by the group that one hopes to belong to.
You are probably wondering, well, how can low self-worth and esteem affect our mental health and motivation?
Recent research has shown that if you have a low self-worth, you may tend to focus more on previous mistakes and weaknesses. If you have good self-worth, you will feel good about yourself and more positive about life. If you have low self-worth, you may choose to focus on your negative traits as opposed to practicing positive affirmations and focussing on the positive qualities in yourself.
Moreover, those with low self-worth are more prone to mental health problems, such as addiction, depression and anxiety, as well as difficulties with relationships.
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There are many ways in which we can begin to improve our self-worth and have a healthy view of ourselves, and I want to spend some time with this blog to talk a little bit about these. Some may seem really obvious, but it’s often these simple things that we need reminding about.
Be kind to yourself
This means being gentle to yourself, especially at times when you feel like being self-critical.
A good example of this would be trying to think of what you would say to a friend in a similar situation; we tend to give better advice, and to be far more forgiving, to others than to ourselves.
Look after yourself
Have a good night sleep — Sleep plays a big factor in how we feel and act throughout the day. Many studies have highlighted how poor sleep quality can affect not only your physical health but also your mental health!
Think about your diet — Eating regularly and healthy meals can help make a big difference to your mood and energy levels. This is important as recent research has shown poor nutrition to affect mental wellbeing.
Physical exercise — Exercise can be helpful for your mental wellbeing and make you feel better. This is because exercise can help improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative mood by improving self-worth and cognitive function.
Give yourself a challenge
At some point in life, we all feel nervous and afraid to do things. However, we shouldn’t stop us from trying new things and challenges.
Perhaps consider setting weekly challenges which allows you to step out of your comfort zone! This could be simple things such as working out or doing the laundry.
Achieving your goals will help increase your self-esteem!
Build positive relationships
Try focus on those relationships which are positive and contribute to your growth.
If you find some relationships affect you negatively, you should try spending less time with that individual, or tell them how you feel and try to improve the relationship.
Recognise what you are good at
We are all good at something whether it is dancing, singing or cooking. We also enjoy things which we are good at.
Therefore, it is important you find something you enjoy doing, which can help boost your mood and how you feel about yourself.
This blog overall has described how self-worth can affect how we feel about ourselves and ways in which we could help increase our self-worth too.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog!