As a matter of fact, these perceptions begin to build right from your childhood. Recent experiences may also impact your immediate sense of self, but such impacts usually give way to the dominant overall feeling and perceptions you have about your self-worth. Keep in mind that the factors I discuss below can influence your self-esteem in both positive and negative ways. Health issues. Health challenges (chronic illness, serious injury, or permanent disability) are capable of affecting your overall sense of self. If a young man who has a passion for sports, for example, lost his legs in a terrible accident, the impact of such health challenge on his self-esteem can be very devastating. He will not only be fighting to get over the shock of losing his legs, but also the fact that he may never be able to actualize his dream about sports again. The agony he faces may Comparing yourself to others: It is easy to pitch yourself against others in your mind especially with the proliferation of perfect and Sleep was no longer elusive. The sensation of joy once again took up residence in my heart. I felt like one of the lucky ones--like I had barely survived my brush with depression's darkness. I was thankful to be alive, returned once again to the sun. But I didn't know what to do with my experience. I didn't know what to do with the marks it left on me. I didn't know what I would do if it returned. And return it did, this time while I was living abroad, working as an administrator and a housemom in a home full of foster children. Once again came the darkness, the tears, the exhaustion. Stripped of my usual support network, I once again needed medication to help me as I clawed toward the light. Unfortunately, there is data coming out to suggest that even though we exercise, it is not okay to be sedentary the remaining time and that there are metabolic consequences to this behavior.

Changes such as a sit-stand desk and activity during the day at work are of significant benefit. Think about the walk at lunch break, climbing stairs instead of using the elevator, and walking to and from work. We also have to minimize our screen time in the evenings to keep from having a couch potato persona. Consider cutting back on television, computer, and tablet time at the end of the day, and go for a nice evening walk. Even though we cannot change our work or commute times, there are things we can change. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Park farther away from the entrance to work. Decrease screen time. Go for a walk during lunch. We are social beings and it is normal for us to want to compare ourselves with the people we interact with so that we can become socially acceptable. This comparison can have both positive and negative impact on our overall self-esteem. An unrealistic comparison (such as striving to become like someone on social media) can lead to a negative impact on your self-esteem. On the other hand, healthy comparison can bring about healthy competition as well as lead to discovering positive qualities and potentials of the individual. Comparing yourself to past experiences: We like to stare at the world through our rear view - always looking over our shoulders into the past and trying to make sense of our present life by comparing it with our past. While this may be a good way to course correct, the problem lies with beating yourself up for falling short of a personal standard. Equally, defining your entire life by past mistakes can negatively impact how you see yourself now. Reaction from other people: The way others perceive and react to you is capable of forming a big part of how you see yourself. Friends, family members, colleagues, as well as all those who make up our social and professional world contribute to how we perceive ourselves. A child who grows in an environment where he or she is always praised, Months later, stable but still on this latest round of antidepressants, I found myself in a seminary classroom scribbling names from church history in the margins of my notearticles.

With the battle of depression still fresh in my mind, I recognized something in my professor's asides about different historical figures. These brothers and sisters were like friends whispering to me from centuries past. They, too, had been plunged into darkness. They, too, had been depressed. So I set out on a journey to get to know them and others like them and to learn the lessons they might offer from the darkness. WHAT IS DEPRESSION? Those of us who suffer from depression call it many things. The black dog. The darkness. Exercise Does Not Always Equal Weight Loss The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a range of 150 to 400 kilocalories of energy expenditure per day, a kilocalorie being what we commonly think of as a calorie. The term can be used to quantitate how much energy from food you take in or how much energy you burn. The amount of calories a person will lose is highly variable. Calories burned depends on your body height and weight, as well as the length and intensity of the exercise. For instance, a 160-pound man burns about 292 calories during one hour of cycling. The same size person will burn 402 calories during one hour of water aerobics. They will also burn 314 calories playing an hour of golf and carrying their golf clubs. The larger you are, the more effort is required to move, and, therefore, more calories are lost. For example, a 160-pound person walking at a pace of 3. Growing in an environment that is full of pessimism is likely to produce the exact opposite.

An individual who has had a series of unhealthy relationships and is always looked down on by her colleagues, bosses, or school mates is susceptible to think that they are not good enough. Age: Self-esteem tends to improve with age. The older a person, the more their chances of developing better self-esteem. However, this does not automatically mean that younger people have less self-esteem than older people. Self-esteem can be worked upon at any age. Your thoughts: The way you think about the events that happen around you forms your perception and interpretation of your world. The same event can happen to two people, one feels happy about it, the other feels sad. It is the thoughts that they have about the event that led to their different emotional reactions, not the event itself. In other words, how you see yourself depends on the type of thoughts you entertain about yourself. The unholy ghost. We dance around it with metaphors and paint pictures of the pain with our words. The word depression is too clinical, the list of symptoms too sterile. Diagnostic guidelines cannot describe the sensation that your heart has stopped beating, has been torn from your chest, while your body continues to move mechanically, numb, without its lifeblood. I am a puppet. I am a ghost. I float invisible, unfeeling, watching the alive ones laugh and love. No mere definition can explain that feeling of emptiness, of isolation, of vacant pain. Some people think depression is sadness. But it is deeper than that. Not all exercise will cause weight loss, however.

Weight loss is based on so many factors: how much and what we eat and drink, how much we sleep, and what our hormone balance is. Weight loss to some extent is dictated by supply versus demand. In order to lose weight, the amount we take in must be less than what we lose through movement. Often, after initial quick weight loss, people plateau. Our bodies will then need more intense exercise to increase their calorie-burn rate. Sometimes increasing intensity is as easy as walking for an extra 10 minutes or adding weights while you walk. It is amazing how these small changes make huge differences. The Biochemistry of Exercise When we look at exercise, we see it in terms of metabolic fitness, which is what happens to the body on a cellular and hormonal level. Personality: A person's personality type can also greatly influence their self-esteem. This does not mean that persons with a particular personality type are doomed to suffer negative self-esteem or are bound to enjoy positive self-esteem. Remember that other factors like environment also contribute to how the individual's self-esteem is shaped. Therefore, an understanding of one's own personality trait is important when attempting to improve self-esteem. Status and role in society: What a person does as well as their status in society has a lot of impact on their self-esteem. People with low-income levels or menial jobs are prone to have poor self-esteem while those in the higher income bracket and very high social standing tend to have healthy self-esteem but are also susceptible to having exaggerated self-esteem. Why Self-Esteem is Important Maintaining healthy self-esteem is important for a number of reasons. First of all, your outlook on life will be predominantly positive if you have healthy self-esteem. What pulls other people down cannot easily weigh you down because you believe in yourself irrespective of external circumstances. The feeling of clearly defined and attributable sadness would be a relief.