How Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Mental Health

Anxiety, Depression, Emotions, mental health

Many women face significant challenges when it comes to mental health, including anxiety, depression, and other related issues. One critical factor that affects mental health in women is self-esteem. Low self-esteem can have a profound impact on women’s mental health, leading to negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can impede personal growth and overall well-being. Therefore, it is essential for women to understand how self-esteem affects mental health and to take proactive steps to improve their self-esteem and overall mental health.

Having a low self-esteem is something many people of all ages deal with. Low self-esteem is not considered a mental health disorder in and of itself. However, it can be a contributing factor to the development or exacerbation of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Additionally, low self-esteem can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, relationships, and overall well-being. Therefore, it is important to address and improve low self-esteem to promote mental health and overall wellness.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the value, worth, and belief that an individual has in themselves. It is a critical component of mental health and affects every aspect of an individual’s life. Self-esteem can be influenced by various factors, such as personal experiences, social interactions, and cultural value

Someone with a healthy or high self-esteem thinks positively about themselves and their abilities. They believe they are deserving of respect and have no problems setting healthy boundaries.

Individuals with low self-esteems do not feel very good about themselves. They constantly measure themselves against others and always come up short. They may not think they are worthy of love and respect and will typically not set healthy boundaries, allowing others to take advantage of them.

How Does a Low Self-Esteem Affect Mental Health?

Low self-esteem can have a profound impact on mental health. Women with low self-esteem often experience negative thoughts and feelings about themselves, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Low self-esteem can also affect women’s relationships, career, and overall quality of life.

Women with low self-esteem may struggle with making decisions, asserting themselves, and setting boundaries. They may also engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse, disordered eating, or self-harm.

The following are some ways a low self-esteem can impact a person’s mental health:

Poor Relationships 

Human beings are wired for connections. But when we have low self-esteem, we tend to not put ourselves “out there” socially and even tend to isolate, which can lead to poor relationships and loneliness.


Studies have indicated low self-esteem in childhood can lead to addictions later in life. Mandy addicts use alcohol and other substances as a way to cope with negative feelings about themselves.

Depression and Anxiety

Living with low self-esteem day after day, week after week, can very much take its toll and eventually lead to the development of depression and anxiety.


The Importance of High Self-Esteem for Mental Health

High self-esteem is essential for mental health and overall well-being. Women with high self-esteem are more likely to have positive self-talk, feel confident, and be resilient. They are also more likely to set healthy boundaries, engage in self-care, and pursue their goals.

Women with high self-esteem are better equipped to handle life’s challenges, including stressful situations, setbacks, and failures. They are also more likely to form healthy relationships, communicate effectively, and have a positive outlook on life.


Strategies to Improve Self-Esteem and Mental Health

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is a common obstacle to self-esteem and mental health. Women can improve their self-esteem by challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations. This can involve reframing negative statements into positive ones, such as “I am capable and competent” instead of “I am not good enough.”

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is an essential aspect of improving self-esteem and mental health. Women should prioritize activities that bring joy, relaxation, and fulfillment, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. Self-care also involves taking care of physical health, such as maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and limiting substance use.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is crucial for improving self-esteem and mental health. Women should set goals that align with their values, interests, and abilities. They should also break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps, which can boost self-confidence and motivation.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

The people we surround ourselves with can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and mental health. Women should seek out positive, supportive relationships and limit contact with toxic or negative individuals.

Seek Professional Help

If low self-esteem is affecting mental health, seeking professional help is crucial. A therapist or counselor can provide guidance, support, and treatment for mental health issues, including low self-esteem.


Self-esteem is a critical factor affecting mental health in women. Low self-esteem can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, while high self-esteem can lead to resilience, confidence, and overall well-being. Women can improve their self-esteem and mental health by challenging negative self-talk, practicing self-care, setting realistic goals, surrounding themselves with positive people, and seeking professional help when necessary. By prioritizing self-esteem and mental health, women can lead fulfilling, meaningful lives.


If you are struggling with low self-esteem or other mental health issues, seeking professional help can make a significant difference. Restore Renew Revive Counselling & Couples Therapy offers a safe and supportive environment where women can explore their thoughts and emotions and develop practical strategies for improving their mental health and overall well-being. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, please visit our website at or call us at 902-702-7722. Don’t hesitate to reach out – we are here to help.






Marcy is a Clinical Social Worker in Halifax, NS who specializes in helping women who are struggling with anxiety, people pleasing, perfectionism and low self esteem cope more effectively.  She also works with new moms who are experiencing challenges with the transition to parenthood and with people who experience chronic illness.  In addition she specialized in helping couples who are struggling in their relationship to learn to communicate more effectively and rebuild intimacy in their relationships.  If you’d like to book a free 15 minute consultation with Nancy click here. Or call (902) 702-7722 to schedule.

Marcy Daniels MSW, RSW

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