Low self esteem is dangerous for your health

by Alex Chris on July 13, 2012 · 3 comments

Low self-esteem is dangerous for your mental and physical health. When feelings of low self-esteem are accompanied by negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and stress then this fatal combination increases the risk of heart diseases. On the contrary high levels of self-esteem strengthens the mental and physical health.

I decided to by happy for the rest of my life because it is good for my health, Voltaire

The negative emotions that come with low self-esteem, weaken the immune system and increase the levels of inflammation. These factors have been associated with heart disease.

A low self-esteem increases stress and leads to unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and alcohol abuse. Not surprisingly this unhealthy combination of low self-esteem and stress also affects social behaviour. 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.

In the last decade several studies were made about the relationship between good health and self-esteem. A recent research was conducted by the University College of London.

The sample was comprised of 200 adults up to 59 years old. The results clearly showed that those who experienced more joy and optimism on a daily basis had a positive picture about their selves (self-esteem), and an overall better biological function.

They had the lowest level of cortisol, a hormone which is related to stress and hypertension, Type II diabetes, they had better heart rate and blood pressure and were at very low risk for a cardiac infarction.

The results of the survey are also supported by the experience of specialists who stated that people who are spiritually and mentally active with high self esteem, are more close to reality and happiness.

People who have a predisposition for a disease-diabetes, heart disease, etc. may never express their disease if they have good mentality. Even during a disease, treatment is faster for people who manage to have a proper mental balance and believe in their abilities.

So it is very important to care for your self-esteem. If you feel that:

  • You have no confidence
  • You find it hard to trust your instinct
  • Your internal voice constantly reminds you of how incapable you are
  • You do not care about yourself

Self-esteem is a picture of how you feel about yourself, What do you think you deserve, how you rate yourself and whether you approve and accept your character and your own existence. A healthy self-esteem is characterized by the fact that you like yourself, believe that you deserve love and happiness and that you have confidence that you can do and accomplish things in your life.

The healthy self-esteem is necessary for you to enjoy positive emotional situations such as joy, pleasure, relaxation and gratitude. These positive feelings offer protection from stress and other difficulties of life while contributing to mental and physical health.

There would be no exaggeration to say that happiness and joy protect against many evils and offer longevity. Also a healthy self-esteem is important for the generation of positive psychological situations.

Advantages of a healthy self esteem

  • The laughter and humour makes a stronger immune system
  • For patients with heart disease, positive emotional situations reduce the number of visits to the hospital.
  • Being optimistic and having a positive expectation for the future and the ability to quickly recover after bad events, reduces the risk of heart attacks by 50% and has been associated with better recovery after heart surgery.
  • The positive emotional situations eliminate the negative effects of stress in the body; provide better sleep, allowing versatility in a more effective and creative thinking

How to improve your self esteem

You can improve your low self esteem using the easy steps below:

Record and keep a list of all those things you have achieved, from your biggest achievements to the smaller and less important.

Assume responsibility for new challenges with caution. Start with small things you can do more easily and gradually try to do bigger and more difficult tasks.

Consider for a moment that your self is your best friend. Replace the self-criticism with encouraging comments and praise your self when you do something good.

Take care of yourself by switching to healthy habits. Replace unhealthy snacks with fruits and try to do some physical exercise. Exercise is good for your emotional and physical health. Try to work out with moderate intensity  for 30 minutes, 5 or more days a week. A small walk every day is a good way to start.

Make out with people who make you feel good. Reduce the time you spend with people that constantly criticise you and impose a bad psychological pressure on you.

It is important to add that if the low self-esteem and negative emotions remain strong despite any self-help measures adopted, it is necessary to take the advice of medical specialist with experience in this field.

Low self esteem is dangerous for your health by

Alex Chris
About the author

Alex is editor-in-chief of manageyourlifenow.com. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also contact Alex for any comments or suggestions about the web site.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Valencia Ray MD July 13, 2012

I enjoyed this post and I certainly agree with you that our health is impacted by our level of self-esteem. Personally, I believe our self esteem is one of the most important determinants of the overall quality of life that we experience.

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Alex July 13, 2012

Absolutely true Valencia. If our self esteem is low then the chances of doing anything in our life that will satisfy us are minimum.Low self esteem impacts not only our health but our life in general.

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Dan O'Neil September 6, 2012

Hi Alex, One of the things I find useful is to realise that it’s ok to feel bad. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t feel very nice. The problems begin when we avoid our feelings and bottle them up – then they only come out when they burst free which is no good for anyone and can lead to very self destructive habits to try and contain them.

It’s all well and good being happy all the time, but if you don’t set free the anger, fear, sadness, grief and other emotions, you are going to have a hard time ever finding happiness. So many people get stuck with the idea that it’s not ok to feel these things and that they “should” be happy… Then you are in a loop of self blame and low to non-existent self-esteem.

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