Sunday, 13 June 2010

Self Esteem!

The word self esteem is derived from a Latin word which means “estimate”. It is the ratio of our successes to our potential. It is how we feel about ourselves. It is a function of age, gender, our socio economic status and body image. Though the definitions of self esteem may show variations in breadth and sophistication, yet we can broadly define it as our ability to cope with the challenges coming our way during the course of life. It may sometimes be regarded as our positive attitudes towards the life, how we value ourselves, how much are convinced we of our abilities and capacities, and how much competent do we see ourselves. It is how does “I” evaluate in totality the components of “Me”!

Many researchers have come to brand the concept as a “Social Vaccine”. It empowers an individual and keeps inoculating a person against self defeating thoughts and behaviours.

Those with the required amount of self esteem value and appreciate themselves. They are less likely to indulge in destructive activities like child abuse, drug abuse, violence and crime. They are neither conceited nor obnoxious. They know the difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Girls having self esteem are less likely to become pregnant at a very young age!

Low esteem, on the other hands leads to negative thinking and lack of confidence in us. Low esteem is directly proportional to unhappiness, depression and insecurities. Our inner voice nags us, criticizes and ridicules us in everything we do or during every decision we make. Challenges then become “uncrossable hurdles”. But one positive aspect of low self-esteem is that it may help us to work hard to overcome our complexes and inferiorities. It can then motivate us to develop strengths or some unique attributes as a means of compensation.

Developing self esteem would help in building a resilient character in us where we would be able to bounce back to active life from adversities.

Family can play a major and active role in building of self esteem in a child. Feelings of being loved, admired or valued contribute towards increasing self esteem in us. Positive responses from our near ones help us to feel worthy. It cannot be taken or given; it has to be earned. We need to accept our weaknesses and should stop underrating ourselves. We need to forgive our own mistakes. Laughing at ourselves instead of laughing at others would increase our self esteem.

Our worth as a human being does not only mean they we need to be the smartest, the most beautiful, the most intelligent or having a perfect body. Never let your self esteem plummet…

We need to create a positive aura around us with right dosage of “Self Esteem”!

We need to celebrate ourselves…celebrate being alive!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Wonderful Feeling Called..Love!

“Love”, a word that encompasses a whole gamut of feelings! An emotion that tends to affect us holistically! For some it means adoration! For others it becomes synonymous with the word worship and what not!

Some consider it to be full of mystery while there are others who consider it to be complex. The truth is that it is indefinable and immeasurable. It is a strong positive emotion. Like all the other emotions it too has a biological basis. When this emotion is felt, the brain starts releasing certain chemicals like pheromones, dopamine, neropinephrine, serotonin etc. All play different roles. Neropinephrine acts as a painkiller. The effect of some are just like amphetamines(chemicals present in narcotics) i.e. just like the effect that cocaine has on us! Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, triggers the pleasure that love gives us. Oxytocin, a hormone, helps in giving emotional signals and works towards cementing relationships making us committed. Edorphins soothe us, embellish us with feeling of calmness and tranquillity, Anxieties are removed and love then becomes ecstatic!

When we are under the influence of this intense emotion, we experience strong feelings of attachment towards the person whom we are in love with. There can be affection, sexual attraction and devotion. One can completely surrender and there can be complete acceptance. There are no reasons behind it; no logic; no inferences; no conclusions. True love then becomes illogical. There are no causes behind it.

It has the potential to nurture; to foster life.

Love can be categorized with all its technicalities. Love can passionate as well as compassionate. Compassion in love brings mutual respect and trust where as passion leads to physical attraction.

Then there can be tough love and unrequited love. Tough love pertains to a kind of love where we deal harshly with the person with an intension to help them. Like parents getting tough with their children.

When there is no reciprocation of this feeling then a feeling of despair can set in. This is what is known as unrequited love. Rejection in love can completely destroy a person emotionally,mentally,spiritually and sometimes even physically.

On the other hand unconditional love is a kind of love that is on the spiritual level. It encourages devoting ourselves in the service of humanity leading to further spiritual growth. It becomes an instrument to overcome individual egos. We are able to shed prejudices and resentments.

On the contrary self love or narcissistic love compels us to be egocentric. Though a bit of self love is a prerequisite to develop self esteem in us but excess of it can make us rude, selfish and critical of others. It can destroy our personality.

Love is not only expressing our feelings verbally. It can be expressed in tangible ways…the ways that are identifiable and recognizable by the person whom we love. It can be in the form caring…caring without manipulation! Our behaviours, actions and attitudes should convey our feelings that can easily be recognized by both the parties.

Love in house implies self worth; it means intimacy with the partner, and intimacy with the children making the whole environment healthy. Love should provide physical, mental and social security but a word of caution goes here….too much love can cause neurotic development!!

So now if you find this emotion prevailing upon you, just try to express it…don’t be hesitant…don’t be scared…reap the benefits of the positive reinforcement of this great and wonderful emotion!