Keeping positive and feeling confidentCoping with psoriasis can sometimes seem like an emotional rollercoaster. As well as having to put up with the itchiness and soreness of flare-ups and plaques, you may feel self-conscious about how it looks and worry about how other people might react.
How you feel about your body and the way you look may have a big impact on your confidence and self-esteem. In fact, it is well-recognised that your body image may account for between one-quarter and one-third of your self-esteem. Having low self-esteem also influences your mental outlook and whether you feel positive or negative about your life. If you have a skin condition, it is particularly important to find ways to keep you feeling positive and confident in order to boost your mental well-being and keep negative thoughts at bay.
Having good self-esteem means liking and accepting yourself for who you are. So try looking at yourself from a broader perspective – remembering that appearance is only one amongst many aspects of who we are, and that other qualities, such as intelligence, kindness and humour also play a role in defining us.
Feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment about your psoriasis are completely natural but that doesn't mean that you have to put up with them.
Staying positive is important for self-image and the following techniques can help you to stay strong and upbeat about life:
- Focus on what you like about yourself. Each morning look in the mirror and remind yourself that you have a great smile or that you're good at making people laugh. Then, if a negative thought about your psoriasis pops into your head later in the day, you can choose consciously to remind yourself of your many positive attributes.
- Find the feel-good factor. Identify the things in your life that make you feel positive and energised. Perhaps seeing friends, playing your favourite sport, watching a romantic comedy or dancing. Whatever you love doing, try to find time to do more of it.
UK/IE 2013b/00074, Date of prep: April 2015