Does hypnotherapy work for self-esteem?
What are the benefits of using hypnotherapy to improve self-esteem?
How does hypnotherapy work for low self-esteem?
Hypnotherapy techniques for self-esteem
What is self-esteem
The difference between self-esteem and self-confidence
How many hypnosis sessions are needed to treat low self-esteem?
What happens in a hypnotherapy session for self-esteem?
All treatments and therapeutic sessions are centred on your needs at that time. Although individualised to you a typical course of hypnosis treatment for low self-esteem will often include an initial assessment, several hypnosis sessions, and follow-up and support.
During the initial assessment a person may be asked questions such as:
- How does low self-esteem affect your life?
- What do you think about yourself?
- How would your life be different if you were more confident and self-assured?
Working together we will then set achievable goals and formulate a plan to improve your self-esteem.
During the sessions, you will be guided into a hypnotic trance, and several therapeutic techniques may be applied. Some session may not require hypnosis, depending on what we are working on at that time.
Symptoms of having low self-esteem
Symptoms of low self-esteem may include:
- feeling worthless, unwanted, or unloved
- believing you’re not good
- fearing failure
- feeling like you don’t belong
- feeling that you don’t deserve your achievements
- negative self-talk
- feeling like you’re a burden
- always doubting yourself
- trying to please everyone
- difficulty learning new skills
- difficulty making new friends or increased dependency on existing friends
- avoiding conflict
- not speaking up, not asking for what you want
- slumped/protective postures
- limited eye contact
- social withdraw
- social anxiety
Types of self-esteem issues
Self-esteem issue can include:
- Feeling of security. If you feel secure within your environment (family, friends, colleagues etc.) if you feel loved and your needs are met, your self-esteem develops. Low self-esteem can mean that you don’t feel secure in your environment.
- Identity. Identity is how you perceive yourself. It can be divided into several parts, including physical; how you perceive your body/how you look (self-image, body image), social; How you get along with different people and groups and which groups you belong too.
- Feeling of belonging. The various groups you belong to allow you to feel understood and know that there are people like you. We also define ourselves by belonging to different groups, by the relationships we have with other people: feeling like part of a group, feeling solidarity.
- Feeling of competence. To feel competent, you need to have different experiences, to experience success and failure, and to learn new things. Success results in a feeling of achievement and pride that builds self-esteem and pushes you to try new challenges.
Is low self-esteem a mental health problem?
If you have low self-esteem it doesn’t mean you have a mental health problem in itself, but they are closely linked. If lots of things affect your self-esteem for a long time, this might lead to mental health problems (for example, anxiety or depression).
Some of the symptoms of low self-esteem can be signs of a mental health problem, particularly if they affect your day-to-day life or last for a long time. For example:
- feeling hopeless, worthless or not good enough
- unfairly blaming yourself
- disliking yourself
- worrying about failing
Having a mental health problem can also cause you to have low self-esteem.
Recognising low self esteem
If you suffer from low self-esteem you may experience:
Imposter Syndrome: Imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel like you don’t belong and worry that you are going to be found out as a fraud. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise.
Rebellion: Rebellion is where you pretend that you don’t care what others think of you.
Victimhood: Victimhood is believing that, no matter want you do you are helpless; a victim. You often rely on others to save or guide you and may use self-pity to avoid changing your situation.
Self-criticism can include negative self-talk reflecting how you feel about yourself, including believes such as:
- There’s nothing I truly like about myself.
- I’ll never succeed
- I’m not worthy of enjoying myself
- Other people are better, more deserving than me
- Nobody would ever be interested in me
- It’s all my fault – things that go wrong, go wrong because of me
Over time, negative thoughts can become a habit, and with repeating them so often you can see these believes as facts.
What causes low self-esteem
The things that affect self-esteem are different for everyone.
Self-esteem is how we perceive ourselves; what we think about ourselves and how much we value ourselves. Our self-esteem is made up of thoughts and opinions, often formed by our past experiences, both positive and negative, forming beliefs about who we are and what we’re capable of.
Low self-esteem can be caused early in life by having disapproving parents or caregivers. If your parents were highly critical and judgmental of you, then that can cause the thought that it doesn’t matter what you do, it won’t be good enough. Or it doesn’t matter how good you are, it won’t be noticed.
Trauma (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse) may also cause low self-esteem. Experiencing trauma can make it very hard to trust yourself or trust others, which lowers your self-esteem. People who suffer from the trauma of abuse often take on blame for the abuse even though isn’t their fault.
The way you think, thinking style, can make a big difference to self-esteem.
For example, someone who is quick to find anything that fits with negative ideas or beliefs about themselves, and disregards anything positive which would contradict the negative.
When you do this, you focus on what you do wrong, and ignore what you do right.
As well as the way you think and perceive things, the beliefs you hold about who you think you are affects your self-esteem.
Other experiences which can contribute to low self-esteem include:
- losing your job or not being able to find a job
- problems at work or while studying
- relationship problems, separation, or divorce
- worries about your appearance and body image
- problems with money
- physical health problems
- mental health problems
How Negative Perceptions Form
Your subconscious wants to protect you. After a negative experience, the subconscious develops a defence mechanism which you experience as automatic thoughts.
For example, after that negative social experience, your subconscious mind might have started to tell you: You don’t like social situations. You’re not good at them. You are in danger of looking stupid; you should avoid them altogether.
And the negativity can then become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If don’t do anything to challenge this belief, then you can continually avoid more and more social situations.
Because we’ve allowed the subconscious to dictate how we should feel about ourselves and our abilities over a lifetime, we allow these thoughts to be continually reinforced.
Effects of low self-esteem
If who don’t feel a strong sense of self-worth you may struggle to connect with people. This can be a major setback because connection is essential.
You may avoid situations where you might fail or be judged.
Yet criticism and failure are an essential part to achieving anything.
But here’s the good news: You can improve your self-esteem. Hypnosis is a rewarding, accessible way to build self-worth, and self-esteem, regardless of what caused these negative traits in the first place.
Your self-esteem can affect:
- Whether you like and value yourself
- making decisions and asserting yourself
- recognising your strengths
- Whether you feel able to try new things, to challenge yourself
- being kind towards yourself
- Whether you blame yourself unfairly if you fail or make mistakes
- taking the time that you need for yourself
- believing that you matter, are good enough and deserve happiness
- feeling self-consciousness
- being overly sensitive to criticism
Self-help tips for low self-esteem
As well as using hypnotherapy for low self-esteem, there are several other measures you can take to improve your self-esteem, such as:
- Taking care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, regularly eating balanced meals, and getting frequent exercise
- Surrounding yourself with positivity and kind people who are accepting and supportive and that don’t cause you to question your worth
- Hold on to the positives, acknowledge and take time to fully appreciate the good aspects of you and your achievements
- Regularly challenging yourself, taking calculated risks and challenging the negative beliefs you have about yourself and your abilities
- Allowing yourself to be in situations where you may fail
- Setting goals for yourself and making it a priority to achieve them
- Remaining true to your own values, even when it’s not popular or convenient, develop assertiveness, practice saying ‘no’ to people
- Following through on your commitments and avoiding procrastination
- Be more compassionate towards yourself
The perceptions you have of yourself are often based on false beliefs. These beliefs are learned, which means we can unlearn them. Your self-esteem is malleable and able to change, you can improve your self-esteem.