Stress and low self-esteem can prevent you from living the life you want. While both are a natural part of our lives, that doesn’t mean we have to live with them! Here are a few ideas for positive ways to manage stress and self-esteem.
What is stress?
Stress is a biological reaction that all of us can experience at any age. The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) define it as “how the brain and body respond to any demand.” Stress can be routine, brought on by sudden negative change or trauma experienced during an event such as an accident, war or a natural disaster. According to Harvard Health, as we get older, stress can come “as a result of managing chronic illness, losing a spouse, being a caregiver, or adjusting to changes due to finances, retirement, or separation from friends and family.” Some people are able to cope with stress and recover better than others, but long-term stress can be difficult to manage and it could be harmful to your health. Chronic stress symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored include:
- Tension headaches
- Back pain
- Heart palpitations
- Poor concentration
Identifying your symptoms of chronic stress can help you manage them. With proper stress management, you can learn to recognize these symptoms and create techniques to help you manage your symptoms. We’ll discuss tips to help you manage your chronic stress later.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem means having confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It not only influences your emotional health but also your relationship with other people and how you approach the world. People with low self-esteem don’t feel sure of their decisions and do not believe they’re capable of reaching their goals. According to the American Psychological Association, it is natural for our self-esteem to decline as we get older, especially after retirement. Recognizing the signs of low self-esteem can help you to manage them so that their effects don’t interfere with the life you want to lead:
Symptoms of low self-esteem include:
- Negative self-talk
- Blaming yourself when things go wrong
- Trouble accepting compliments
- Ignoring your achievements
- Fear of failure
When you have a healthy view of yourself and your ability, it’s easier to make friends, pursue activities that you enjoy and acknowledge your accomplishments at any phase of your life. You’re able to enjoy living life boldly and treat yourself kindly!
How can I manage my stress?
The best way to manage stress is by taking better care of your mind and your body. With the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Harvard Health, we put together this list of positive lifestyle changes you can make to help you manage your stress.
- Stay up to date on health appointments
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
- Reduce the amount of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars in your diet
- Get seven or more hours of sleep per day
- Avoid smoking and the use of other tobacco products
- Drink only the recommended amount of alcohol each day
- Incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into every day
- Try mindful journaling and meditation
- Stay connected to those around you
How can I improve my self-esteem?
Cleveland Clinic recommends boosting your self-esteem through praise, gratitude and self-improvement:
- Experiencing and expressing gratitude- Noticing the things you are grateful for and the role you play in those things will help you notice your impact on the world and the people around you.
- Praising others- Giving compliments liberally can help boost your self-confidence; sharing the good that you see in others may even help you see the good in yourself!
- Creating and enacting a plan for growth- Creating a goal that you can work towards systematically helps boost your self-image. Accomplishments and learning new things will help you feel great about yourself.
What are the positive outcomes of good stress management and high self-esteem?
Managing stress and self-esteem helps you live life boldly! Good stress management allows you to stay healthy, avoiding illnesses like the common cold and high blood pressure. It boosts your mood and can help reduce harmful behaviors such as eating disorders, smoking and substance use. High self-esteem can help you be more open to new opportunities and build better social relationships.
At ApexHealth, we want to help you live life boldly! Finding positive ways to manage your stress and self-esteem can help you create the life you want. If you feel that stress is interfering with your life, please seek advice from your health care provider. ApexHealth members can contact their ApexAssistants to learn more about stress management, self-esteem, and the programs we have available to help.
ApexHealth is a Medicare Advantage plan that has your back! Call (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to speak with a member of our team. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31.