The term self-esteem – denotes the subjective sense of self-worth in a person. It is the opinion and belief you have about yourself. The right level of self-esteem helps one with positive attributes, ideal for shaping their future pathway and career dreams. However, at times various life experiences and problems in one’s personal life can play a leading role in causes of low self-esteem.
While many people can take care of the situation and evolve as their best selves, some tend to worry more and get their lives to come to a halt. In the broad run, psychological and environmental factors remain a deciding point. Also, it can be genetic.
General Factors Affecting Self Esteem! How To Overcome Them
The way one feels about themselves is often shaped by the surrounding environment, causing their self-esteem to be affected negatively. Specific triggers include,
- A native getting bullied by other children at school.
- Crisis at the workplace or home.
- A sudden change in the job role of the person.
- Losing a dear one.
Now that you know the causes of low self-esteem, here is a little guide on how to deal with the situation.
- The main goal should be to come out of the situation. Try to challenge your negative thinking with logic.
- Understand that being unable to deal with a particular situation does not mean you are not good at anything. Every person has a unique talent in them that they get to realize with time.
- Tell yourself that you can get through even though it is tough.
- Cut off people and unnecessary distractions who aim to tie you to social norms without a concrete base.
Causes Of Low Self-Esteem And Your Genes
While psychological and environmental factors continue to trigger negativity in one’s mind. Let’s help you understand how the very presence of specific genes can also play an essential role in a person’s life.
The COMT Gene And Personality
Science and Technology are at their best evolutionary stage, and humans have been able to discover most of the life surrounding them. But certain introspections of the human body and brain continue to astonish researchers. According to studies, the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, with its active enzymes, is essential in breaking down Catecholamine hormones –
- Epinephrine is also known as adrenalin. Helps with the body’s flight or fight response.
- Dopamine helps with the feeling of pleasure, motivation, and satisfaction. It is essential for movement regulation and the role of reward in the brain.
- Norepinephrine can regulate attention, arousal, stress reactions, and cognitive function.
The COMT gene gets two variants, one which reduces dopamine levels quickly, and the other cannot easily break down dopamine. Scientists have divided the recipients of both gene types into
- Warriors (Valine) Personalities – These people with Val 158 genes are less sensitive to stressful situations under the influence of lower prefrontal extracellular dopamine levels.
- Worriers (Methionine) Personalities – These people with Met 158 genes are sensitive and have high levels of creativity and emotional reactiveness. Certain evidence also suggests these allies have associations with anxiety, paving the way to low self-esteem.
Talking of COMT gene mutation – a loss of one copy of the COMT gene in an individual cell hinders catechol-O-methyltransferase levels in the brain. For people with mutations in their COMT genes, their bodies are not able to break down or remove neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters monitor stress reactions, short-term memory, and other behavioral inhibitions. A COMT mutation makes the body prone to high levels of neurotransmitters and a continuous struggle to deal with stressful occasions.
The OXTR Gene
The OXTR gene generally carries instructions to produce Oxytocin receptor protein. Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter (transmits signals between neurons) and a hormone. Also, the same affect emotions like bonding behaviors – self-esteem, trust, optimism, and empathy.
There are two variants of the OXTR gene.
- The GG genotype – Individuals are more optimistic and empathetic with higher levels of self-esteem.
- AA Allele – Individuals with this gene type are vulnerable to negative mood states.
As reported in a study – On September 13th, 2011, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences declared that personalities with 1 or 2 copies of the OXTR gene having an “A” (adenine) allele in a particular location tend to have more negative measurements compared with those having 2 copies of the “G” (guanine) allele.
Low levels of self-optimism and self-esteem are common traits of people with the “A” (adenine) allele when compared with the “G” (guanine) allele. Symptoms of depression are also high among people with “A” (adenine) allele.
Some people think that a particular gene is a destiny – causing a specific level of outcome of low self-esteem in a person. However, researchers also suggest that environmental factors are necessary to shape the overall process, leading to behavioral disturbances and stress-induced panic in a person with low self-esteem.
The theory of genes is quite exciting and can run down in the family causing generations to showcase similar traits as the HTR2B gene does in case of anger.