Australian scientists have concluded that the higher a person’s self-esteem, the better his health, – The Psychological Science wrote.
The experts came to such conclusion after an experiment in which they tried various ways to influence the participants’ self-esteem: either raising it with praise and compliments, or – on the contrary – reducing it with criticism and negative evaluations. For example, the authors told the volunteers that they look good and bad, and then within two weeks of monitoring the volunteers were asked to evaluate their own feelings and wellbeing.
At the same time, the scientists monitored the participants’ tone of the so-called vagus nerve – the human brain that is responsible for the parasympathetic nervous system (which in turn influences the cardiovascular system). If the vagus nerve is in a reduced tone, the parasympathetic NS cannot soothe the heart during stress and depression, which can lead to serious cardiovascular disease.
The studies showed that the higher the participants’ self-esteem, the higher was the tone of their vagus nerve, which enabled people to cope with negative feelings while maintaining a good health.
“High self-esteem helps us to feel safe at a time when we are confronted with social upheaval”, – the researchers noted.