What is self-esteem and how can you boost it?

According to the Oxford dictionary, self-esteem is a noun that means a feeling of being happy with your character and abilities. When Family Link Therapist LaRhonda Britton thinks of the word self-esteem, the word confidence comes to mind. Many others would probably associate confidence with self-esteem because according to the Oxford dictionary, confidence means the feeling that you can trust, believe in and be sure about the abilities or good qualities of somebody or something. While some people are pretty comfortable with themselves and have the confidence that allows them to do so – others may not. That feeling of not being happy with yourself could lead to having low self-esteem.


What causes low self-esteem?


Based on the definition given by the Oxford dictionary, not feeling happy with who you are and your abilities are low self-esteem. Britton says many things can lead to someone having low self-esteem. She says inconsistent encouragement along with support from family, friends, and other authority figures could contribute as well. She also says the media could also play a role. Britton points to society-perfectionism that prevents someone from never being satisfied with their uniqueness and natural beauty.


With the rise of social media, picture-based platforms can also play a huge role in how someone feels about themselves which ultimately can affect their mental health. A study in the United Kingdom done by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement, ranked Instagram worst for young people’s mental health as it examined the positive and negative effects social media has on one’s health. The study listed 14 health and well-being related issues like anxiety, depression, and self-expression as it recommended ideas to help promote the positive aspects of social media.


How to boost self-esteem


When it comes to how to build your self-esteem, Britton recommends starting to build up who you are. She says this could be key especially for youth struggling with their self-esteem.


“Learning what they like, what their dislikes are, and understanding relationships.”

When it comes to understanding relationships, Britton says this is helpful to see what kind of family-based you have or the friends you keep. She adds this also helps with the process of picking better friends if someone finds out that relationship does not add to their overall well-being.

Positive affirmations are a big plus according to Britton. She recommends keeping a journal where you can write down five positive things about yourself and say them consistently. She says by doing that over and over could also help to raise someone’s self-esteem.


Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program


The Youth Crisis Center was founded in 1974 as Florida’s first run-away program and has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. Nationally recognized as setting a standard in youth services, YCC has been ranked as one of the top five programs in the United States by the Youth Policy Institute in Washington DC. Throughout the past 45 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 


One of the several programs, YCC offers is Outpatient Behavioral Health. This program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to kids as young as three and their families. Parents may also receive individual and family counseling regardless if their child is a client at YCC.


Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

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