Take a moment to sit back and ask yourself this simple question: “How closely do I monitor my emotional wellness?” If you are like the vast majority of us, your answer to this question might actually be not much if at all. The even more important question at that point would be why not? Or how about this one: “Do I know how to ease emotional pain or boost my own self esteem when I’m feeling down?” Sadly, as is the case with the first question, most of us will probably answer that we don’t.

What makes this interesting is that the surprising – and sometimes inconvenient – truth is that our mental and emotional health impacts our quality of life as much as our physical health, if not even more. Other than noticing our general mood, however, most of us do very little in the ways of changing or working on our psychological state. When I talk about this with people I will often hear scoffs or people denying this. When that happens I like to point out how quickly we treat physical ailments. If someone cuts their finger, they automatically go to the medicine cabinet and grab a Band-Aid, or if they sprain their ankles they will immediately begin icing the injury. So why don’t we take the time to do this with our psychological injuries? The next few blogs I will talk to you about five simple habits you can start today for better emotional health. We will start with the first one – Protecting Your Self-Esteem.

In psychology, self-esteem is one of the most common and central concepts. Having a positive self-esteem is something that is absolutely vital to our mental health. In fact, one of the major components doctors will use when diagnosing depression is measuring the person’s self-esteem. When we are happy, we often have a high self-esteem, while when we are feeling down we might start questioning and doubting ourselves and feel we are worthless. So what are some ways that we can protect and build our self-esteem when we are feeling down?

Make Sure You Understand People Correctly Before Assuming
If you have been the target of an insult or a hurtful comment, you know how much it can hurt. But if you take a second to actually break down the insult or mean comment, if could change things entirely. One thing that is quite common when someone says something hurtful or insulting is they were simply trying to be funny. They might have simply said a comment sarcastically without realizing the implications or impact of their words. Take a moment to step back from their comment to see if that is possibly what they were trying to do.

Stay Away From The Downers
We all have experienced someone in our lives, a relative, a co-worker, or a friend, who is constantly finding something to criticize around them, and sometimes that something is you. No matter what you do or how you change yourself, it never seems to be good enough. Sometimes these people might even cross the line into bullying or harassment. The first line of defense in these cases is simply to put as much distance between you and this person as possible. In some instances, this might not be possible. If this is the case, you might try using some emotional coping mechanisms (I will have a full blog on this later.)

Don’t Feel Like You Have To Face It Alone
If you’re going through a hard time, just remember that you will always have people who are there for you. Seeking out social support from a friend, family member, or other source is one of the best ways to cope with the incoming stress of any kind. There have also been numerous studies which have proven that having a support group can not only help you manage stress, but also help boost your self-esteem. So don’t be afraid to reach out when you are doubting yourself or going through a rough patch. There will always be someone there to help you.

To sum it up, take care of your self-esteem. If you are feeling down, feel like you are under attack, or just don’t think highly of yourself, take a moment to step back, take a breath, and focus on understanding where you are and how you can improve your self-esteem.