Low self-esteem can effect not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Low self-esteem is normally accompanied by feelings of stress, anxiety and negative feelings. It has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. It is true, the mind effects the body.
Low levels of self esteem can lead to unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol and bad behavioral decisions. In a large majority of cases, people with low levels will avoid exercise or improvement of their life and tend to remain sedentary physically and emotionally.
A low self-esteem increases stress and leads to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse. Not surprisingly this unhealthy combination of low self-esteem and stress also affects social behavior. In addition people with low self-esteem have no incentive to care for themselves. Instead of exercising and trying to improve their health and increase their self esteem levels they tend to remain inactive and passive.
Research by the University College of London conducted a study where a they took a sample of 200 adults up to 59 years old. Results showed that individuals who were more positive, optimistic and joyful on a consistent basis had better physiological function than those who did not.
This study also showed that positive thinkers had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) which is correlated with Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus. Their heart rates and blood pressure were healthier than those with low self-esteem and were at lower risk of cardiac issues. Even if individuals have a predisposition to diabetes, heart issues, they are at lower risk and may never have such issues with a positive mental status.
The connection of mind/body is real and stress is the leading reason why individuals contract colds, viruses and a plethora of other physical complaints.
Here are some signs that you may need some help raising your self esteem:
1. No confidence
2. Difficulty trusting your natural instincts
3. Internal negative voice (I can’t, or I am not good enough)
4. A feeling of helplessness and lack of self care
What you feel and think of yourself matters. How you picture yourself in the world makes a huge difference on how you interact with other people and experience the world. The body follows the mind so it is imperative that you keep your mind strong. I know it is tough sometimes but working on you has its rewards. Successful people will tell you that they just kept hope and kept moving forward until they reached their goals. You can do that with your health as well.
Here are some advantages of a healthy positive self esteem:
1. More laughter: humor ignites the immune system
2. Decreased visits to the hospital
3. Optimism will assist in a quick recovery after an unfortunate event and decreases heart attacks by 50%
Here is a list to help you build up your self esteem if you need to:
1. Keep a list of things you have achieved. You may realize you have done more than you think.
2. Start with small steps to do new challenges and then move to other tasks you may not have thought you could do.
3. Talk to yourself like you would to a person you love and respect. Give yourself encouragement and credit for the things you achieve.
4. Switch to healthy habits. Try and eat a little healthier, do small amounts of exercise and move your way to 30 minutes five days a week.
5. Hangout with people who pick you up, not knock you down. Anyone that is constantly criticizing you is imposing stress on you and pushing you back. You want to elevate not deflate.
When you have a positive outlook on life, life has a positive outlook on you and will follow. Really…it is Quantum Physics!