Do your psoriasis flares ever make you want to crawl under the covers and hide? If so, you’re not alone. It’s common for people with psoriasis to struggle with self-esteem. But confidence is an essential component of mental health and well‑being. It helps us to appreciate our unique value and makes us more comfortable with our place in the world. When we feel confident, we spend more time enjoying life in the here and now, rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.

People with healthy levels of self-confidence tend to have better relationships and more successful careers than those with low self-esteem do. The good news is that self-confidence is not static, it fluctuates throughout life, which means there are plenty of effective confidence-boosting strategies for you to implement in your life. And here, mental health experts and counselors share their best ones for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

1. Practice Positive Affirmations

“Keep reminding yourself that you are much more than your psoriasis, that it is something that you have and not something that defines you. This might be hard to practice, but by repeating affirmations to yourself, your brain builds a psychological barrier that improves your mood as well as your self-esteem.” —Ridhima Ohri, MHC, psychotherapist with Bethany Medical Clinic in New York.