With mental wellbeing currently being top of mind for many people around the country, talkhealth is running a series of monthly free Ask the Expert sessions this year and next. September’s theme was anxiety while in October we focused on stress management. This month we moved on to self-esteem, with our regular experts Jayne Ellis and Teyhou Smyth once again answering any questions posted on the subject.

Perhaps the most common questions people posed were along the lines of how to boost their self-esteem and raise their confidence, and how to feel more confident when talking to colleagues. These are obviously common concerns for many people in their daily lives and in their places of work.

To the first issue, Teyhou replied: “Self-esteem is important and closely linked to confidence. When either one is lacking, it has an effect on the other which ultimately leads us to have sad and unworthy feelings.” She added links to several articles she has written about confidence (you’ll find these in the ‘Top tips, for confidence’ topic).

In answer to the second issue, Jayne replied: “Relationships with colleagues are always tricky and you are definitely not alone in finding this hard. Practice what you are going to say to your colleagues before you speak to them and go over what they might reply, write it down if it helps this will give you more confidence when you do approach them.”

Another post also reflected the feelings that a number of people have: “I get tensed up with every small thing when people are watching me. If I’m myself I can perform well. This thing is eating me up and I will be glad if you can help me deal with it.”

Teyhou responded: “Physical and emotional responses are a result of cognitive processes and thinking patterns that take place and it important to challenge ourselves with any negative self talk or personal blame that we may be carrying. Cognitive behavioural therapy is proven to be quite effective at addressing any issues which are manifesting in unwanted behaviour and I would encourage you to seek further support so that you may increase your own self awareness.”

Another subject raised by participants was about covering up: “I always feel the need to cover up when venturing out into the world–as in, never wanting to take off my coat/jacket when in a building (not home), or needing to wear an outer layer like a trench coat, cardigan, or hoodie even when it is hot outside in the summer. I feel so bare and nervous without that extra layer, and it calms my anxiety a little, but it’s difficult fitting into a corporate work environment with this behaviour. Is there any way that I can move away from this?”

You can read Jayne’s detailed recommendations and her and Teyhou’s replies to all the other questions posted in the Ask the Expert – Mental Wellbeing – Self-Esteem page.

Future Ask the Expert – Mental Wellbeing sessions

And we’ll organise more sessions, with new topics, in later months.

The questions and answers from previous Mental Wellbeing Ask the Expert sessions are all available on our website, and our blogs summarise the sessions. If you’d like to read more about any of these you can find them here:

Past Ask the Expert – Mental Wellbeing sessions

Ask the Expert Anxiety day raised many issues  blog

Ask the Expert – stress management’ summed up the feelings of the nation blog

Remember that even when the sessions are not running, you can talk to other people going through similar experiences, or share your feelings on our talkmentalhealth forum.

And talkhealth will soon be launching a Mental WellBeing support programme, providing dedicated information, sent to you by email in bite-size chunks. Why not take a look to find out more?





This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our visitors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or standpoint of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

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