By Denise Daly
Can your self-esteem be the coping mechanism of stress. Research affirms that "Perceived stress will be heightened by individuals who do not believe they are competent, significant, or have worthiness. These personal resources make up your self -esteem including a positive, or negative attitude together and they will facilitate your evaluation of stress, and how you cope with it, (Rosenberg, 1965 & Eisenbath, 2012). "Self-esteem is the moderator of the influence of perceived stress, and the coping mechanism for dealing with depression," (Eisenbath, 2012). Building a healthy self-esteem is the key to stress management.
Self-esteem is the "who," and "What," that makes up your personality. "Who," I am, is my self-worth, and the "what," is my competency or self -confidences to handle the demands of life. Our self-esteem is developed by genetics, and environmental experiences. It is how we think about ourselves and how we think about and react to the world around us. High self-esteem sees the demands of life as a challenge, and are able to adapt to these stressful situations, but an individual who suffers from low esteem will see only the negative aspects, and have a poor perception of their abilities to cope with the stressful demands, (Eisenbath, 2012). "Negative thoughts produced by low self esteem have been link to Perfectionism, Depression, Eating Disorders, and Social Anxiety," (Clore & Gaynor, 2006). Low self-esteem may also lead to avoidance of behavior, and to escape the pain use negative behavior to cope, (Eisenbath, 2012). Low self-esteem can lead to health disorders and addictive behavior.
Healthy self-esteem internalizes thoughts of self-liking, social acceptance, which can be summed up as Self-confidences. Your identity is in who you are, not in what you do. "If I fail a test because the information was challenging, that does not make me a failure." Low self-esteem internalizes failing with being a failure. Healthy self-esteem says, " I need to work harder, and ask for help, so I can do better next time." Negative self-talk deflate self-esteem and increase stress, but a positive self-esteem can see life events as challenging.
Negative self-talk is a reflection of low self-esteems, and environmental stresses will exacerbate theses feelings: failure, sadness, hopelessness, lack of purpose, worthlessness, and these thoughts produce stress, (Clore & Gaynor). Self -esteem a predictor of our Spiritual wellness, (Olpin & Hesson, 2015). Self-esteem can be affect by genetics, and life events, but with hard work we can change the way we think and process stress, (Mayo Clinic, 2014). There are many techniques that we can learn and practice to build good self-esteem.
First step: try to increase your awareness of Spiritual health, and some example are: religion, prayer, and mediation, social interaction, altruism- giving of yourself, introspection, and spending time alone in nature to increase aware of the world, and escaping self, and find gratitude in all you have, (Olpin & Hesson, 2015).