Blog Home
Image Description

Self-esteem, stress and their impact on workplace happiness

Stress is one of the main factors that affect our workplace happiness. In fact, almost one-fifth of corporate employees can be classified as a high-stress group. So, it’s important to recognise the impact of stress and be able to manage it when it strikes.

According to our new Vhi Health Insights report into happiness in the workplace, 50% of the respondents who reported having low self-esteem also suffered from a high level of stress. This suggests that self-esteem has a key role to play in stress management. So, let’s look at the importance of self-esteem and stress management.


Put simply, self-esteem is a belief in your own worth and abilities. Levels of self-esteem can vary depending on what is going on around us at any given time but working on your self-esteem can be a helpful way to manage stress.

One way to do this is by avoiding comparing yourself to others and to challenge negative self-talk. You can do this by writing down negative beliefs about yourself and then write down the evidence against them. It may sound obvious but taking care of your overall health can help naturally boost your self-esteem. 

Stress management

Our study found that there is a relationship between levels of self-esteem and reported stress levels. Finding ways to manage your stress levels can positively influence your self-esteem and your satisfaction with life overall.

One way to do this is exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which act as natural mood boosters. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we’re stressed and is lowered by exercise. Even something as little as a quick walk at lunchtime could go a long way to reducing stress.

Reducing your caffeine intake will also reduce your stress levels. Caffeine is a stimulant which has been shown to increase anxiety when taken in high doses. Replacing your caffeine intake with water or a non-caffeinated herbal tea can help you feel more relaxed and ease your stress levels too.

Reducing stress levels outside of work is incredibly important. Spending time with friends and family can help lower anxiety. It’s also been shown that strong interpersonal relationships help boost self-esteem, increasing feelings of well-being.

Finally, an important thing for employees is learning when to say “no”. Being selective, within reason, about what you take on will give you more autonomy and boost your self-esteem. It also has the added bonus of reducing your stress levels.

For more articles on workplace happiness, click here.