I listed self on my treatment plan overview as the last aspect that should be addressed.

In reality though, I would place it as a second priority after

spiritual growth.

I believe healing begins on the inside.

Self Esteem

In order to have a good emotional balance, it is helpful to have a positive opinion of who you are.

This does not mean that you should hold yourself in higher regard than anyone else. It means that you should see yourself as equally important to everyone else.

Low esteem is often an issue for people that suffer from Bipolar and Anxiety disorders.

It involves negative inner talk and distorted thinking styles often stemming from childhood experiences.

As a person grows older, other factors can cause low esteem.

People can become harsh, impatient, and demanding with themselves, and set standards for themselves that can not be met.

These ideals are often silent assumptions that the person may not even be aware of.

When a person judges themselves by these unreasonable standards and cannot live up to them, they experience guilt, and low self esteem.

This low esteem can be expressed in moderate and severe levels of anxiety.

Negative personal evaluation can create a sense of feeling hopeless, weak, helpless, frightened, incomplete, and inadequate.

Low esteem can also manifest itself into depression because low esteem indicates self rejection which may be a conscious or unconscious process.

Low esteem is often expressed in the following ways:

SELF CRITICISM:The person judges himself or herself with negative Cognitive assumptions.

SELF DIMINUTION:The person minimizes his or her own abilities and strengths often by avoiding or neglecting to recognize them.

POSTPONING DECISIONS: The person will often procrastinate doing important things feeling insecure about the outcome.

PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS: The person may abuse various substances such as food, alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. The person may also be diagnosed with hypertension and experience frequent muscle tension.

DENYING YOURSELF PLEASURE: The person may feel the need to punish theirself and may refuse themselves the things they find desirable or pleasurable such as a desired relationship, material objects, or opportunities.

WITHDRAWAL: The person may avoid social activities due to feelings of worthlessness.

OFFENSIVENESS: The person may choose to "act out" against society, in an attempt to ease their own self hate by projecting it onto others.

SELF DESTRUCTIVENESS: The person may takes unnecessary risks, or attempt dangerous feats.

Rebuilding esteem is an important part of treating bipolar and anxiety disorders.

Cognitive Therapy can be a helpful tool to use during this process. By teaching you to change your self talk, and help you learn to know yourself and your style of thinking.

Other Things To Consider:

See yourself as an individual: Comparing yourself to others will create unreachable standards. You can only be yourself. So focus on doing things that you like to do, let others display their own strengths, and display your own.

Find your positive qualities: chances are that you have become very skilled at finding negative qualities in yourself. Pinpointing your positive attributes and reminding yourself that you possess them can be very helpful with building esteem.

Give yourself time to worry, and time to feel good: Worry is a part of being human. But excessive worry can be toxic. Schedule yourself a set amount of time to worry, and try to do it in an organized fashion. Use this time to list your worries on paper, (it is ok to list unresolved past worries too ) and then make a list of possible solutions. Then choose a problem you are willing or capable of solving. It may also help to choose an unresolved or unresolvable issue that you are willing to let go of during this time. Hold on to the feeling that this issue brings to you during this allotted worry time, and then make a conscious decision to let it go.

If this was a very traumatic event, you may have to do this more that once before you can successfully move on.

Reach out to others: Send a hello letter to people who matter. Tell them they are important to you. This not only will boost up your esteem, but theirs as well.

Go for a walk: This will give you physical exercise, which studies have shown will help you "burn off" the chemical by-products released in the nervous system during times of stress. Sunlight as also been proven to have a positive effect on a person's emotional balance.

Practice Relaxation techniques: Giving yourself time to relax each day will help you be in a "naturally relaxed" state of being more often which will help you build confidence.

Make a list of things that make you happy and things you would do if you had unlimited time, resources, and money. Write down 100 things (you don't have to do it all at once)then choose something from the list and do it!