People with high self-esteem know themselves well. Having low self-esteem can affect mental health and behavior.
Factors that play a role in building self-esteem include:
- Puberty and development. Some people have difficulty with self-esteem and body image when starting puberty because the body goes through changes during this phase.
- Images in the media and other external influences. Preadolescents and young adolescents start to become more aware of celebrities and images in the media as well as the appearance of their peers. They can start to make comparisons.
- Family and school. Parents can struggle with their own body image or criticize their child’s appearance (“Why don’t you cut your hair?” or “Why is it that you can’t wear pants that fit you?”). Comments like these can have positive or negative impacts.
- Healthy habits. Having good habits makes it easier for people to do other things like cultivate healthy friendships and greater independence.
Accepting your body, identifying features that do not define it, learning to listen to and accept comments and praising yourself are just some suggestions that can help build self-esteem. The website TeensHealth encourages youth to seek specialized help if they feel they’re having a hard time dealing with social and intimate situations.
Related article: 5 keys to achieving emotional balance