EXERCISE AND SELF ESTEEM
Self esteem is a current topic of interest in several psychological fields. Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives. Positive self-esteem gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection. Self-esteem is nearly as ubiquitous a concept as intelligence, and scores on various measures have been correlated with measures of mental health, loneliness, depression, coping, social anxiety, alienation, self-serving bias, task effort, persistence, and performance. Longitudinal studies have supported the protective coping function of self-esteem during a variety of life challenges. On the other side low self-esteem is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential. A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem. Feelings of low self-esteem often build up over a lifetime, and letting go of ingrained feelings and behaviors is not an easy task. It may take time, hard work, and it may require professional counseling, where the counselor will teach you positive thinking techniques that can be used to improve self-esteem. Some of the tips that one can apply are- don’t criticize yourself, look at mistakes as your learning steps, no body is perfect so don’t aim for it, try new things, give and accept compliments, relax and EXERCISE. The role played by physical activity in promoting health and preventing several diseases is acknowledged and also its link with mental and psychological benefits. Exercise improves self esteem, self acceptance along with reducing depression, anxiety, tension and stress. Though aerobic exercise has been found to be the best exercise for improving psychological health as long as it is planned according to each individual’s requirements. The selection of an exercise plan is crucial for its success. It is important to choose an activity that suits a person’s fitness level, skill level, daily schedule and facilities. One can choose any physical activity like walking, running, swimming, yoga, aerobics, cycling, kick boxing or even dancing. Most importantly the person must enjoy doing it, it should be more than physical activity. Moreover, persons who exercise regularly, usually report a more positive body-image perception than others.