Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stress and Self-Esteem

A large quantity of people who suffer with stress also suffer with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be caused by a bias in two complementary ways of thinking. First, a bias in perception and second, a bias in interpretation. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a story ‘The Snow Queen’. At the beginning of the story, the devil makes a mirror. No one who looks in the mirror sees a reflection of his or her true self, but instead, sees a distorted image, twisted and ugly. Low self-esteem can distort self-perception in a similar way to the devil’s mirror. It can distort interpretation, so rather than seeing a true reflection, what jumps out are specific self dislikes or perceived weaknesses and faults, yet inevitably differences make us all human.

Positive self-esteem empowers you to meet life’s challenges and to consider yourself worthy of happiness. Focusing on your positive traits will immediately improve your chances of creating the life you desire and deserve and stop you from putting yourself down if this is what you are prone to. So, today try to remember to praise yourself and work on increasing your self-esteem, which may also reduce your stress levels.


Peter Smallbone said...

Hi Michelle - the more I read your blog, the more I like it.

Do you think that low self-esteem is mainly caused by environmental factors such as parenting, peer group, social status etc, or do gender and other genetic factors predispose someone to it? As a biology graduate, I'm always interested in nature versus nurture questions!

I also wonder whether lifestyle magazines (men's or women's) and similar media output can promote low self-esteem. By the end of reading one, you seem to feel that you'll never match the expectation of young, rich and cool that's being 'promoted'. Most of the time, it's just about selling things anyway.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Hi Pete, So many thanks for your comment. Low self-esteem does seem to be increasing alongside the breakdown of the family and the community. I suspect this question has no easy answer, but it may be more to do with nurture versus societal pressures! As for your magazine comment - it does seem that somehow selling and advertising has mixed with society.
On a positive note it sounds as if you do a great job in your Ladywood community - I shall be keeping up to date on your blog - but keep up the great work! Michelle

Unknown said...

It is amazing how low self-esteem can pervade every single part of someone's life. I had no idea it contributed to stress as well!

Beth Ellen Nagle said...

In what way does low self-esteem contribute to stress? Would be it due to expectations of oneself based entirely on the distorted view of self? For instance, how can you improve upon a distortion?

Beth Ellen