Monday, 8 December 2008

Self Esteem and Stress

I recently received an interesting email from a student who is doing a research project to try and find out if there is a correlation between self esteem and stress. I'm not aware of any research that exists around this question and would be interested if anyone has any knowledge of what research might have been done or any thoughts - please post a response to this blog.

My own thoughts are that:

1. If you have low self esteem then you may have a tendency to put yourself down and an underlying negative self belief which might contribute to you:
- not believing that you will be able to cope with certain stresses or
- not giving yourself appropriate credit if you do manage to cope with them.

2. On the other hand, if you have good self esteem but then unexpectedly come across a stressful situation which you find difficult to cope with, this can affect you all the more deeply because your positive self image is then threatened.

I guess this amounts to saying that (1) low self esteem might make it harder to cope with stress and that (2) stress, if you are unable to cope with it very well, could contribute to low self esteem. But with human beings it is not always easy to predict, so maybe people can come up with some counterexamples?

Blog Post Written by Life Coach David

1 comment:

  1. Carl Rogers proposed that, low/high self esteem is determined by the dimension of the gap between the 'ideal self' and the 'perceived self', that is, if my 'ideal self' (the image I want to be) is someone who is charming and sociable, but my self-image now (perceived self) is someone who is shy and inadequate, this means the ideal and perceived self are pulling away from each other on the dimension that widens the gap, consequently my self esteem becomes low.

    As our 'ideal self' and 'perceived self' are own mental constructs that are the important features that help to construct our individual worlds. If my self esteem is low, the construct of my world would likely be full of uncertainties and is unfavourable towards myself. My mind would be primed to look out for all things negative that eventually put me in an un-resourceful state that any seemingly minor issue can become problem to me.

    This can be one of the reason why low self esteem correlate positively with level of stress.