A smile. Simple but effective. And one of the many ways we connect with others and the community around us.
But what happens if you hate your smile?
For many people, feeling self-conscious about appearance can lead to shying away from social situations and avoiding interaction. This often results in a more lonely and isolated existence, which can trigger further problems such as depression and anxiety.
Thankfully the Mental Health Foundation is on a mission to help – and so are we! With the focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week (running 9-16 May) centring around loneliness, here we look at some practical steps you can take to understand, protect, and sustain your mental health and increase personal confidence.
How to boost self-esteem
Everyone experiences times when they feel insecure and down about themselves. The good news is, there are lots of ways to encourage healthy self-esteem. These include:
Try to think positively
Challenge the voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, unattractive or that nobody cares. Write down these negative thoughts and counter them… ‘My family call every week’, ‘I’m really good at…’
Keep this list of positive affirmations handy, so you can remind yourself of your worth – and keep adding to it.
Surround yourself with positive people
Got a friend who always pulls you down? A boss who finds fault in everything you do? Then maybe it’s time to think about a change?
Who you surround yourself with can have a huge impact on the way you think and feel about yourself. Try to build relationships with people who are encouraging and make you feel positive about yourself.
Recognise your skills
It might be listening to other people’s problems, completing Wordles, or poaching the perfect egg, but whatever you’re good at, take time to recognise it. And if you enjoy it, do more of it!
Surely the most used hashtag of the last 2 years but #bekind, starts with yourself. That sound advice you’d offer to a friend? Try to take it onboard yourself and cut yourself a little slack.
Learn to say no
Saying yes to everything and everyone is a common trait of people with low self-esteem. If you find it difficult to say a direct no, experiment with different ways of saying it. ‘I’d love to but…’ and ‘maybe next time’ etc, are examples of softer ways to say no that you may find easier.
Seek professional help
Professional help can be really beneficial. The NHS offers a wealth of advice and guidance around mental health and low self-esteem, with signposting to local psychological therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Do what makes you happy
Don’t worry about what other people think or what ‘society’ sees as success. Do what makes you happy. That goes for everything – from how you choose to live your life, what you do for a living, right through to how you dress.
Being told to ‘smile’ when it’s the last thing you feel like doing is hugely annoying. We get that. But the positive effects of smiling are very real.
A smile can make you feel good (fact!). Science has proven that smiling can have a positive effect on the way you feel with endorphins improving mood and helping to relieve stress. Even better, our brains can’t spot a fake smile – so it doesn’t matter if you’re pretending!
Is your smile part of the problem?
A smile can be the first step in connecting with others.
Does your smile hold you back? Does the way you feel about it stop you from uploading a dating profile picture, speaking up at an important meeting, or joining that local community group?
If the answer is yes, then it’s possible cosmetic dental treatment could be for you.
We’re not going to pretend fixing a crooked smile or covering a broken tooth, will magic all your problems away. It won’t. But it can go a long way to making you feel more positive about yourself and your appearance. Which is a great step towards a more confident outlook on life.
Want to find out more about the cosmetic dental treatments we have available and how we could help you? Why not chat to a member of the team to find out more? We’ll talk you through all the options available. Providing you with the information you need to decide if enhancing your smile could help to put more of a spring in your step.
Call us on 0207971 1909 or email in for your free e-consultation.