Managing your self-esteem when you have endometriosis
Having a healthy sense of self may help you deal with the effects of endometriosis.
Struggling with endometriosis pain can harm your self-image. You may feel like you don't have the energy to do the things you enjoy, such as go out with friends. Endometriosis pain and symptoms, such as bloating, can damage the way you feel about your body. As you deal with endometriosis pain, you may feel hopeless, depressed or anxious.
Family, friends and colleagues can also affect your self-esteem. They may not know the pain that endometriosis can cause or give you the support you need. You may feel uncomfortable discussing your condition with colleagues, and they might not understand how endometriosis pain might affect your ability to work.
But it's important to maintain a sense of self-worth, especially when living with endometriosis. The better you feel about yourself, the better you'll take care of yourself. A positive self-image also may be linked to better health.
Boosting your self-esteem
To improve your self-esteem while living with endometriosis:
Jan. 03, 2020
- Set attainable goals. Your endometriosis pain might prevent you from doing everything you want. Focus on what you can do and avoid comparisons with the past.
- Talk with a friend. Sharing your struggles with a good listener can make you feel valued. Opening up about your endometriosis pain may help you feel less alone.
- Treat yourself. Just as you might buy a gift for someone who is feeling down, do the same for yourself. Add a fresh bouquet of flowers to your table or splurge on your favorite coffee.
- Spruce up your appearance. Try a different hairstyle. Buy a new top or jacket. The better you look, the better you might feel about yourself.
- List reasons why people like you. This practice can take your mind off of your struggles and help you remember your special qualities.
- List things you do well. Then do one of them. If you're good at baking, make a batch of cookies and share them with neighbors or co-workers.
- Add some yoga to your day. Yoga might boost your self-esteem and reduce stress.
- Be mindful. Practicing mindfulness exercises, such as being aware of the present moment and focusing on your breathing, may help you manage your endometriosis pain.
See more In-depth
- Bruce BK, et al. Dealing with difficult emotions. In: Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief. Mayo Clinic; 2013. Accessed Nov. 4, 2019.
- Culley L, et al. The social and psychological impact of endometriosis on women's lives: A critical narrative review. Human Reproduction Update. 2013; doi:10.1093/humupd/dmt027.
- Rush G. Examining subjective wellbeing and health-related quality of life in women with endometriosis. Health Care for Women International. 2018; doi:10.1080/07399332.2017.1397671.
- Facchin F, et al. Mental health in women with endometriosis: Searching for predictors of psychological distress. Human Reproduction. 2017; doi:10.1093/humrep/dex249.
- Lu H, et al. The hippocampus underlies the association between self-esteem and physical health. Scientific Reports. 2018; doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34793-x.
- Gillen MM. Associations between positive body image and indicators of men's and women's mental and physical health. Body Image. 2015; doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2015.01.002.
- Golec de Zavala A, et al. Yoga poses increase subjective energy and state self-esteem in comparison to 'power poses.' Frontiers in Psychology. 2017; doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00752.
- Benzon HT, et al., eds. Psychologic intervention in chronic pain. In: Essentials of Pain Medicine. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com/. Accessed Nov. 6, 2019.
- Cronin JB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Nov. 22, 2019.