The Science of Self-Esteem

Kaitlyn Helsel, Staff Writer

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February was  “Boost Your Self-Esteem Month.” Brian McVey, one of the psychology teachers at Menchville high school, said that, “Self-esteem is a sense of self – a kind of self-efficacy,” and it can be ranked as either high or low.  Characteristics of a high self-esteem include confidence, self-direction, optimism, the ability to say no, and the ability to feel comfortable with a wide range of feelings.

Certain chemicals in the brain can affect self-esteem. According to the ASCD‘s website, a neurotransmitter, called serotonin, affects the state of self esteem. For instance, if there is a negative feedback or inhibition of serotonin in the brain, then the person is more likely to have a lower self-esteem. To speed up the body’s production of serotonin, many teens take Prozac, but this is not always the healthiest way to boost self-esteem.

Psychology Today, a known scientific journal, published an article stating, “Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have.”  When asked if he agreed with this statement, McVey commented, “Yeah, I agree. Mainly because the more roles people have, the more opportunity they have to make an accomplishment. Accomplishment often leads to a higher self-esteem”.

According to Reach Out. com, some healthy ways to boost your self esteem include but are not limited to positive self talk, exercise, doing things you enjoy, and surrounding yourself with supportive people. If you think and talk positive about yourself, eventually you will end up believing it. Exercise has also been known to improve mood as well as physical attitude. As a bottom line, doing things you enjoy is automatically placing you in a situation where you are happy and increasing self esteem.

 

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