There is nothing more important than feeling confident and comfortable in our skin. It is pivotal to have a high opinion about yourself, about how you feel, and what you think of yourself. The first step to build self-esteem starts with learning to love the person you see in the mirror, accepting your qualities, tolerating your shortcomings, and everything else in between. Whilst surrounding yourself with people who influence you helps, spending time with animals can do much more.
What is self-esteem?
Self-confidence is your opinion about yourself. Lacking confidence about oneself or about the things they do is often linked to low self-esteem. People with strong confidence know their self-worth and accept themselves. It is quite normal to lack confidence once in a while, but not every time.
More often than not, people with low confidence feel miserable with everything they do. Overcoming something as significant as a lack of self-esteem requires day-to-day practice and consideration to enhance self-esteem.
Why do people lack self-esteem?
People who battle with low self-esteem are reliably apprehensive about making mistakes or letting people down.
We often end up comparing ourselves with others to analyse our success against that of others and it has imbued inside all of us. With the digital world and mindless usage of social media, the rate of people lacking self-esteem has hugely intensified.
Low self-esteem issues can be detrimental to your emotional and mental well-being and impact both your personal and professional relationships.
Here are some of the traits of low self-esteem:
- Feeling incompetent or inadequate – you tend to feel you are good for nothing. You feel you cannot succeed at work, school, or at maintaining relationships.
- Sensitivity to criticism – you will be extra touchy to criticism regardless of who the criticizer is. You reinforce your flaws and affirm that you are incapable of doing anything right.
- Social withdrawal – you prefer not mingling with people, avoid social gatherings or bail-out on scheduled plans with friends at the last minute, and prefer being alone.
- Antagonism – you tend to lash out or become aggressive in a defensive manner towards people who criticize you or try to make fun.
- Negative thinking – your overall way of thinking is always pessimistic. You don’t trust in yourself or respect your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and constantly nag yourself which leads to depression, anxiety, anger, and regret.
What are the causes of low self-esteem?
The lack of self-esteem could be a result of many factors. It differs from person to person. It could be genetic, upbringing, and other life-altering circumstances.
Some of the many causes include:
- Unhappy childhood
- Poor academic performance
- Complicated relationship
- Financial instability
- Health issues including mental illness
How can you gain self-esteem with equine therapy?
Low self-esteem can negatively affect your emotional stability. It is essential to find ways to address your self-appreciation and get the help you need. Yes, building self-esteem and gaining self-stability is a slow process, but equine therapy can help you secure your mental well-being and improve your self-respect.
People with low self-esteem often avoid connecting with people with the fear of judgement and hatred. Whereas, bonding with animals can be easier as they’re non-judgmental, unbiased, and empathetic.
Equine therapy makes you self-reliable. The therapy helps you show kindness and love to yourself.
What is equine therapy?
Equine therapy is a therapeutic process that involves grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading horses to enhance mental and emotional well-being while being monitored by a mental health professional and an expert horse handler.
Poor self-esteem can affect your way of thinking to a point where you start to believe that you deserve all the pain and leads to self-doubt. Low self-esteem can make you think you don’t deserve any care and appreciation.
Bonding with the horses during the therapy session helps people explore their emotions, helps them connect, communicate, and strengthen their relationships with others and themselves.
How does equine-assisted therapy work?
The sessions are carried out on the open farm lingering with fresh air amidst greenery. It helps the clients feel the calmness.
As the client bonds with the horse, the mental health professional observes and interacts with the person to analyse the behavioural patterns and thought processes. The session helps the client to learn how to be present in a relationship and realise their own social needs. Equine therapy is suitable for individuals who struggle with emotional instabilities, social difficulties, and behavioural issues.
Horses pick up on human emotion and respond similarly. If a person feels annoyed or is angry, the horse may become obstinate and react to it. If a person is nervous and uncomfortable, the horse may get skittish.
During the sessions, you will be involved in equine activities and you may be given simple tasks to perform. This helps the therapist examine the triggers of the patient and help overcome them in healthier ways.
Horses are known to be very instinctive, empathetic, and sensitive to communication. They respond to the human emotions and reflect them right back at you like a mirror that helps you in understanding the importance of controlling emotions, becoming resilient and building meaningful relationships with self and others.
They have strong emotional sense and cannot be deluded. Spending time with the horse promotes clients to share their present or past experiences and open themselves to conversations.
How are the benefits of equine-therapy?
The way you see things and the way you react to them is based on your self-esteem.
Equine-therapy opens a new dimension in your life and changes your perception of things.
- Helps you change your negative attitude into a positive one and treat yourself with appreciation and gratitude.
- Helps you understand that we are all different and comparison with others is not going to do you any good.
- Help you appreciate yourself more and accept your imperfections.
- Help you overcome your past disappointments and regrets, and focus on the present.
- Help you learn to enjoy the company of others and yourself and build communication skills.
At Healing Hearts and Minds, equine-assisted therapy helps people overcome anxiety, depression, emotional and mental issues with the help of loving horses, and develop a deep-seated sense of self-worth to help you keep moving in the right direction.