[En] How Identity Impacts Mental Health

Tim Redaksi

Lampung.co – From pandemics to school to work and daily life, all sorts of factors influence our mental health. Even our identity can dictate how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. If you’ve ever wondered “who am I?” you’re not alone. Millions of people are asking themselves the same question every day. We all worry about our purpose, what we’ll accomplish with the life we have, and who we truly are deep down. Some people seem to know who they are much more than others do. They walk around confidently, share their opinions boldly, and seem to know exactly what they want out of life. Others still have no idea what they want to do and tend to get confused about their beliefs. Sometimes, people are just too afraid to share their true feelings, and other times they genuinely don’t know what they believe or who they are. Unfortunately, not having a strong sense of identity can impact one’s mental wellness in more ways than one.

Positive Self-Esteem

Those with good self-esteem also tend to have a strong sense of identity. This is because they know exactly who they are, and they don’t care who knows it. They take others’ opinions into consideration but ultimately don’t let what others think control their life. Those with positive self-esteem are normally happier, healthier people. It’s good to think highly of oneself and to be your biggest fan. Of course, there is such thing as too much self-love, as in the case of narcissists, but in general, you should strive to have as much self-esteem as possible. When you’re comfortable in your own shoes, you accomplish more and also encourage others to be completely themselves too.

Self-Confidence

Self-confidence describes the ability of someone to go after what they want. These people don’t hold back and know they have what it takes to succeed. There are many ways to build your self-confidence, but one of the most striking is having a strong sense of identity. When you know who you are, failure is less damaging to your spirit and instead becomes more motivation to reach your goals. Self-confidence and self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, so improve in one area and you’ll likely improve in the other as well.

Separating Mental Illness from Self

Those who have poor mental health, or a mental illness, often have a hard time deciding what parts of themselves are them and which parts are their mental illness. For example, those with depression might assume they’re just a naturally sad person, not realizing the impact this condition has on their mind. They may think they’re worthless as a person. Those with anxiety may think they’re someone who is just scared of life and beat themselves up about it. Of course, these things simply aren’t true, but it can be hard to separate the real self from the false self with mental health struggles in the picture. If you have a mental health condition, realize it doesn’t define you or say anything about your identity. There is an endless number of stigmas surrounding mental health but recognize that they’re not based on truth. Everyone is more than their mental illness, so try not to label yourself and don’t let others do it either.

Being Open with Others

The more open you are with other people, the better. It shows vulnerability to disclose things about yourself to others but doing so will help you grow, and it keeps you authentic. Those who are shameful about the person they truly are tend to be more private and don’t open up to others as often. They keep secrets and are more prone to feelings of shame. Shame is detrimental to one’s mental health and overall well-being. You’ll find that you’re often much more judgmental of yourself than other people. So, what seems so awful to you might not seem like a big deal when you tell another person. Practice being open with people, especially those close to you.

How to Build Identity

Start by thinking about what is most important to you in life. These could be people, values, morals, or goals and aspirations. Write them down, and don’t forget them. Let these be what drive you to succeed and to wake up each morning. Before responding to someone, consider whether your response is actually what you believe or is just an attempt at people-pleasing. Get comfortable with saying exactly what’s on your mind. Practice self-compassion instead of trying to change yourself and learn how to spend time alone. If needed, seek out the help of a therapist to help guide you through the process of building your personal identity. This will look different for everyone, but the process is worth your time and effort.

Developing a sense of self is vital to one’s well-being. Not having this sense of self can lead to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. It can be difficult to form an identity if you allow the opinions of others to influence your own thoughts and feelings. Try to block out unhelpful opinions, but also recognize those people probably think they’re just trying to help you. It’s normal to take years to develop a strong sense of self but think of it as a journey. There isn’t any rush to figure out who you are even if it feels like it. Always treat yourself with compassion like you would with a friend and when you forget who you are, lean on trusted friends and family members who have your best interest at heart. Sometimes it takes others to believe in us before we can start believing in ourselves. Once you discover who you are, you’ll likely feel happier, healthier, and more confident to take on the world one step at a time. (Adv)

Tim Redaksi

Tim Redaksi media online Lampung.co menerbitkan berita-berita khusus, termasuk berita advertorial. Hubungi tim redaksi melalui email redaksi@lampung.co

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