How self-esteem affects health. Part I

sense of time Come l’autostima influenza la salute. Parte I
When does our body start to go "against itself" and cause tissue damage as it does in autoimmune diseases and degenerative diseases as well as cancer?
He does not do it suddenly without reason or without giving clear signals that we often ignore out of carelessness or fear.
The effects, which can be seen to erupt at some point, have been prepared over the years and anticipated by a number of habits and physical but also mental, psychological and soul factors.

Among psychological elements, low self-esteem is almost always present in the profile of people who will later face serious physical problems and autoimmune diseases.

The definition of self-esteem encompasses many aspects of a person's personality and life such as self-satisfaction, intimate awareness of one's own worth, and confidence in one's ability to perform a given task.

It is a vast topic, so boundless that we will return to it in several articles.
We begin by becoming aware of the close link between "self-esteem" and health.

Self-esteem and health are closely related, one depends on the other, and one influences the other in a completely two-way manner.

The body, deprived of this fundamental element for its balance for so many years , is brought into a constant state of alteration and stress eventually falls ill (so-called oxidative stress); thus when the body has more or less obvious physical alterations, one of the most important aspects is the tendency to see its self-esteem first and foremost eroded to the point of depression.

It is very difficult to admit that we have a poor assessment of ourselves (and consequently of the world around us), and being able to do so involves having reached a decisive point in one's inner journey, it means no longer wanting to depend on others for what defines one's capabilities; to stop with the constant search for others' approval, not to be in constant tension of always feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Like other states of the person that create malaise, depression, and anxiety, that of self devaluation also cannot be solved by simple psychotherapy sessions; talking and realizing that we are "suffering" from low self-esteem will not lead to solving this problem but will only be a starting point.

Even engaging in "positive thinking" and, as we read in some self-esteem books and courses, starting the morning by looking at yourself in the mirror and repeating words to yourself such as "you are wonderful," "everything is fine," "your life is wonderful" cannot help.
I have seen, over the years, several people who had relied on this kind of mental approach not solve much because they were only doing fictitious and very superficial work on emotions.

The result was often the opposite of the desired one i.e., not eliminating the underlying problem ( in this case, devaluation of self) and hiding the authentic emotions, "pushing" the problem even deeper to the point of somatization in the body. That is, it went from a dysfunctional emotion to actual organ damage such as chronic gastritis or colitis to more serious health problems such as degenerative and autoimmune diseases.

Indeed, often a diagnosis of "chronicity" is nothing more than a black-and-white recognition of a character and personality trait that is disharmonious and repeated over time to the point of cellular damage.

What to do then?

1) realize the problem

2) Do not judge yourself negatively for this

3) Do not conceal or avoid the problem with psychological techniques that then do not lead to resolution

4) try if possible to understand where this problem has its roots (often in childhood, relationship with one or two parents, bad relationship with a teacher, bullying at school or bullying at work, etc.)

5) Do not be in a hurry to resolve low self-esteem but be very patient with yourself by practicing kindness and self-compassion

6) Starting with the body and going into intimate listening to one's needs and trying to follow them without going against them.

This is just a simplified list of what can be done concretely to change. Starting from these points means really beginning the psychological and then physical ascent to strengthen what has suffered attacks and devaluation over the years from oneself and the outside world.

It means dealing with difficult-to-manage and painful emotions such as shame, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness that are all interrelated and often hide at the core low self-esteem and in one's own worth.

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