91% of 16-24 year olds use the internet for social networking which has lead to young people becoming more and more aware of both their on-screen image and also in real life. Can self-esteem be effected by this? What is self-esteem and what else can cause low self-esteem?
Self esteem is how we perceive ourselves and is based on our own opinions of ourselves which can sometimes be difficult to change. No matter who the person or what they do low self-esteem can creep up on you from nowhere sometimes.
There are many other causes of low self-esteem as well as social media which include; experiencing discrimination or stigma, being bullied, problems at work or school, physical and mental health problems and worries about appearance or body image.
Self Esteem and its Effect on Mental Health
Having low self esteem is not a mental health problem in itself but it is very closely linked to depression and anxiety which can occur because of low self-esteem. Rates of anxiety and depression have increased by 70% in the past 25 years, which is probably because of social media becoming more and more present in all our lives.
Those young people who use social media for more than two hours a day are more likely to have poor mental health. So what can be done to help raise self-esteem and how can we tackle the problem.
One thing you can do, if you are having negative beliefs about yourself is to challenge them. Take a note of your negative thought and start to think of ways you can explore the reality of them. Start to write about any positives you may think about yourself such as “I am great at writing” or “I am a good friend”. You can also keep note about positive things that others may say, perhaps when someone pays you a complement or is appreciative of something you have done for them.
Other strategies, include building positive relationships, being kind to yourself and considering what self-esteem means to you.
Psychological therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help. If you think that you need help for low self-esteem, talk to your GP straight away.