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Raising Self Esteem for Better Health & Fulfillment

Posted By Karmen L. Bickel, Monday, March 9, 2020



Most of us would agree that there are cultural and socioeconomic barriers in life. Some people have grown up in environments where as children they were told they would succeed, contribute to society, and live an abundant life. This is a wonderful formula when moving from childhood into adulthood. However, many people have grown up in environments with indifference and abuse, and struggle to find a positive sense of self. Their homes may have lacked in support, security, and love. These environments can create a foundation for low self-esteem, and can suppress true potential. Low self-esteem can derail relationships, career ambitions, and a personal sense of purpose. However, negative behavioral patterns and a mindset which perpetuates “lack of” or “less than” can be modified. It is absolutely possible to build self-esteem through awareness, patience, and forgiveness.


Many people who suffer from low self-esteem have experienced, or been exposed to trauma. Children of abuse and trauma are more likely to suffer physical and mental maladies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been studying trauma and its effect on health and wellness. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) have been linked to anxiety, depression, suicide, self-harm, and substance abuse. If assistance is not introduced early in life children of abuse and neglect may grow into adults whom continue to suffer. The inability to change circumstances may result in negative choices and behaviors, leading to a vicious cycle of victimization.


If you are suffering from low self-esteem, understand it will take time to rebuild this part of yourself. Consistently evaluate self-perceptions and belief systems. Do you spend a lot of time with negative people? Do you ruminate over past experiences as a defense? Do you use your pain as an excuse not to experience fulfilling relationships with people, or yourself?


Positive changes will require honesty about the relationship you have with yourself, and the people around you. There’s no one way to move through this without some uncomfortable revelations, but there are people who can support you through the process. Releasing past beliefs and changing your inner dialogue takes time, so allow yourself lots of patience and kindness. Like a snake shedding its skin, you’ve outgrown the layer of low self-esteem, but what’s underneath will be vibrant and strong. 


When building self-esteem, remember to reach out for professional assistance when necessary. If you have a faith, seek support from it. If you have friends or family you trust, tell them you’re moving through change, and you would like their support. People around you may object to your newfound interest in self-improvement, as many people are adverse to change. However, make your emotional growth a priority. Are you willing to put your growth on hold for other people? If the answer is no, go and grow!


As you begin building your self-esteem, take a moment to address the following aspects of your life, and where you can begin to make improvements.


Quiet time

Self-reflection is key when building your self-esteem. This requires a lot of honesty about your past but also hope for building your future. Notice if you’re unable to sit with yourself without distraction, or if you’re constantly attempting to stay “busy.” These behaviors can keep you from working on creating the best version of yourself. When we are balanced and comfortable in our own space and skin, we seek less from outside influences, and rely more on our own sourced resilience. Seek out guidance from healthcare professionals when needed, and incorporate self-care tools such as massage, forest bathing, and reading to expand your knowledge.  


Cultivate your personal foundation

Integrity, humility, gratitude, and authenticity (IHGA) are characteristics of high self-esteem, and the foundation for building the best version of yourself. Building IHGA better prepares you for difficulties so you are able to better manage future difficulties. Assess how important each of these traits have been in your life, and look to see how you can improve upon each slowly and individually.



Forgiveness is essential in building self-esteem, and key to its success. You may never receive an apology from those whom have harmed you. However, now that you’ve decided to cultivate your best self you can move to a place of forgiveness. Remember, this is a forgiveness of others and self and will take time and patience.


There will always be difficult moments in life, but as you gain more self-esteem you will understand these difficult moments are opportunities for you to learn and grow. Life circumstances may still trigger insecurities and fear. However, with higher self-esteem you will be able to pull from your new foundation, and understand what you’re experiencing is part of the mystery of life unfolding.


As you begin to believe in yourself you will notice you’re able to move through difficulty easier. When you experience roadblocks, you will find ways to get around those blocks. There will be more flow of positivity, and you’ll find more opportunities to feel thankful for what you have and who you are. You will discover a new sense of pride in who you’ve become… forgoing the defense of ego for authenticity. Stay courageous and kind while moving into the next phase of your personal journey, and don’t forget to celebrate your newfound confidence! 


If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your local mental health crisis center for immediate assistance. 

Tags:  health  wellbeing 

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Food for Whole Body Health

Posted By Karmen L. Bickel, Monday, March 9, 2020

Our minds and bodies rely on a balance of nutrient-dense food for optimal health. However, the average American diet is made up of sixty percent processed food, and dreadfully lacking in nutrients. To help us better understand how the body uses the food we consume, we need to understand the connection between nutrients and human physiology.


The human body has an internal communication system, which is facilitated through neurons and neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers neurons release to transfer information within the brain and from the nervous system to other parts of the body. They process sensory information and control behavior, including when and what to eat, and how to react physically and emotionally.


Why does healthy food matter? Healthy food provides our bodies nutrients, and nutrients are essential to manufacture neurotransmitters. Without key nutrients our neurotransmitters suffer and our mental and physical health are negatively affected. There are a number of food and mood factors to stay mindful of as you consider nutrient-dense food for a healthier lifestyle.


Fat is Fabulous

Healthy fat is incredibly important to your health. It is especially important for brain health, as the brain is composed of a minimum sixty percent fat cells. Healthy fat also slows digestion so the body can absorb nutrients. You can find healthy fat in both animal and plant proteins like meat, fish, dairy, nuts, beans, olives and avocados. Get to know your food sources and attempt to purchase organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, free-range, and hormone-free options.


Sugar Blues

An imbalance of sugar intake creates an imbalance of serotonin, which regulates blood sugar concentration. Next thing you know you are on the "food-mood roller coaster." Choose low-glycemic sugar sources when you want something a little sweet. Dark chocolate (seventy percent cacao or more is best) is a good substitute. Dark chocolate stimulates the nervous system to produce endorphins similar to those you feel when you're in love. For fruit lovers, berries with a clean protein such as nuts and seeds (to curb glucose spike) can be especially satisfying.


Water Wellness

Our bodies are composed of sixty percent water. Keeping hydrated helps your body release toxins and keeps the gastrointestinal tract moving smoothly. The brain requires a delicate balance of water and other elements to function properly (which might explain that mid-day headache). Avoid soda, energy drinks, and juice, as they are full of sugar and chemicals. How much water you should drink depends on your level of activity. Plan on a minimum of sixty-four ounces a day (more if you are exercising). Water is the most essential element to our life, so drink up!


Gut Health

Food and mood have a direct connection with gut health. Many people do not understand how important a healthy gastrointestinal environment is. The gut has over one hundred million nerve cells, and is considered our bodies "second brain." Gut illness has been linked to anxiety and depression, along with nutrient deficiencies which can lead to chronic disease. For gut health pay attention to what foods create gas, bloating, or constipation. If you are regularly experiencing these types of issues you may want to consider seeking professional assistance through a qualified health care professional like a naturopath. You can support gut health with quality probiotics, food enzymes and by incorporating fermented foods such as pickled vegetables, kombucha, and keifer into your diet.


Eat the Rainbow

Green: Asparagus, Swiss chard boost mood, contain anti-aging properties and nitric oxide for heart health. Any dark leafy greens will provide the body with an amazing amount of nutrients.


Red: Cherries act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Tomatoes have lycopene which protects against depression causing inflammation. Beets provide heart health support through vasodilation properties.


Blue/Purple: Blueberries, purple grapes, and eggplant neutralize free radicals that cause damage to our DNA. Blue and purple produce contain properties which act as anti-carcinogen, which can help battle against growth of cancer cells.


White: Cauliflower contains sulfur compounds associated with fighting cancer, strengthening bone tissue, and maintaining healthy blood vessels. Coconut has been shown to boost mood.


Yellow and Orange: The vitamin C in yellow produce creates collagen, which is essential for blood vessels, skin, and organ health. Potatoes, winter squash and apricots are foods high in potassium and assist with vasodilation for increased blood circulation.


Make nutrient dense food readily available in your home and office. Choose real and clean foods which build brain power, long-lasting energy, and make you feel super-charged! You may never fully understand how your health is changing for the better, but your mind and body will thank you with the gift of wellness.

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Tags:  health  wellbeing  wellness 

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