Did you ever wonder how feeling good about yourself can affect your health in a positive way? Did you ever think about how NOT feeling good about yourself can also affect your health -in a negative way!

To have self-esteem is a lifelong need and from infancy through old age. Its beginnings are reflected in the smile between mother and infant, as it is manifested in the 50-year old who has just mastered her new computer..
Self-esteem begins with our bodies. Since mind and body are one entity, the smooth, interrelated functioning of our body parts and our brain chemistry provide the foundation for an inherent sense of wellness.

An Individual with high self-esteem has these qualities:

oPerceives himself in a positive way

oIs aware of his own abilities, potential and limitations

oFeels competent that he is in control of his own life

oIs confident and tends to deal with demands and stress in an assertive and effective way

oFeels loved and respected by others

An individual with low self-esteem has these qualities:

oIs more passive and dependent in reacting to stress and demands

oFeels he is not in control of his life

oIs more likely to conform to peer pressure

oIs pessimistic about his abilities

oTends to be shy

oTends to be depressed and anxious about the future

oTends to experience difficulties in relationships

oRarely assume positions of leadership

The well-established relationship between self-esteem and psychological well-being (e.g., depression, social anxiety, loneliness, alienation; may be an important factor in understanding the self-esteem/health relationship, according to research.

Life experiences produce emotional responses in all of us.. We are capable of a broad range of feelings and all of these feelings have implications for how we view ourselves, our relationships to others, and to the broader world. To best cultivate a philosophy of emotional wellness, it is important to develop an awareness of who you are and how you gain acceptance and understanding of your feelings and ways of expressing your feelings that are respectful to yourself and others. This process begins by realizing that you are a special, unique being worthy of respect and love.


Ask yourself questions..

How do you see yourself?

—-Stressed, confused, excited, lonely, sad, angry, or peaceful.

How long have you felt this way?

Is that feeling likely to change?

Are you okay with how you are feeling?


1. Set healthy goals, take enthusiastic steps, and accumulate meaningful accomplishments. Take control of your actions and lifestyle.

2. Cultivate the habit of looking at the positive sides of your self, people, and things in life.

3.Take deliberate steps to develop skills and talents to greater levels.

4. Take life’s changes as challenges – opportunities for personal growth, rather than as problems which burden you.

5. Imagine successful events, even if you feel under-confident. Utilize meditation and/ or visualization.

6. Be realistic about your abilities; be optimistic about your possibilities. Accept yourself as a growing, ever-evolving being that is not ‘stuck’ in the past or present. Realize the power you have to develop in the way in which you choose.

7. Practice unconditional acceptance for your self and for others.

8. Work towards satisfying your needs in all eight wellness dimensions.

You have the power to feel in balance and be well and healthy. No matter how challenging life becomes, you can feel connected to yourself and others.

Joyce M. Knudsen, Ph.D., AICI, CIM

Originator of Distance Learning Programs for AICI

Distance Learning Examiner for DETC.