What you say to yourself matters, and really makes an impact on your overall state of mind. It embeds into your subconscious.

The problem is that your mind does not always recognise the difference between what is true and what isn’t. If you change the way you speak about, and think about yourself, you really can make a big change to your life.

Even saying things such as ‘I’m stupid’ over and over can have a negative impact and affect your self-esteem. It becomes part of your beliefs about yourself. So never put yourself down, even in jest.

There are many other reasons someone can have low self-esteem. Ranging from being the weaker sibling in a family to someone who, for whatever reason, has a false sense of inadequacy about themselves.

Any one of us can, at some time, in any given situation feel we are not good enough or will not meet the expectations of others or perhaps even ourselves.

However, for some people, these thoughts and feelings can become intense and begin to really affect their overall self-esteem. Whatever the cause, you can help improve your self-esteem by doing two things:

1. Take positive action to change the things you say to or about yourself.

2. Alter your perceptions of how you view yourself.

Positive affirmations (statements you say to yourself) may sound a little bit ‘Woo-Woo’ to some of you.

However, if you accept what I say about how all the negative things you say to yourself are affecting you, then it stands to sense that making a conscious effort to change these things to more positive statements will help you.

You will need to take positive action for it to work. Try repeating a positive statement about yourself a few times.

Say it out-loud. If you are having trouble identifying something positive about yourself then think back to the last time someone said anything positive to you, even if it was just a thank you for holding a door open for them.

As for the second point, again, this may be difficult at first if you have low self-esteem, but it is perfectly possible.

Have a really good think – what are you good at? Everyone is good at something, maybe you are a great parent or considerate friend. Perhaps you excel at crosswords?

Again, you may really have to think, but absolutely everyone is good at something.

The above are starting points for putting yourself in a better frame of mind, which is a great place to start increasing your self-esteem.

Martin Furber is a therapist qualified in various modalities and an Instrucot Member of Mental Health First Aid England wellbeing@martinfurber.com.

Please note: If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, The Samaritans on 116 123, text SHOUT to 85258 or attend A&E.