Depression and low self-esteem are two sides of the same coin. While low self-esteem leaves people vulnerable, there are ways to improve it, even when struggling with depression.
1. Start and End Your Day With Positivity
Sandwiching the day with positivity will help you start off on the right foot and feel good at the end of each day. It will help your mind to habitually recognize good, especially the good in yourself. So, surround yourself with positivity in the form of empowering music, reminders on your computer, or a positivity board of post-its where you write nice something nice that happened in the day or a quality that you appreciate about yourself. Feeling good at the beginning and end of each day will set a tone and help you be positive throughout.
2. Analyze and Correct Negative Thinking
Negative thinking is the catalyst for both low self-esteem and depression. The more one thinks negatively, the less able they are to see themselves and the world around them in an accurate light. Soon, the negative thoughts are on a loop like an old record that keeps skipping, causing the same lyric to play over and over again.
The first thing that is needed is the ability to analyze your own thoughts. When a self-critical thought occurs, ask yourself three questions:
- Is there any evidence to support this thinking?
- Would people that know me say that my thought is true?
- Does having this thought make me feel good or bad about myself?
Once you realize there is no evidence to support your thought, that your friends and family would disagree with your thought, and that your thought makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to replace that thought. Not with a vague affirmation, but with factual and meaningful self-statements.
For example, perhaps you feel as though your friends don’t want to spend time, and you say to yourself, “They haven’t reached out so they must not like me anymore.” You will now replace that thought with a positive factual thought, something simple like, “I am a fun person to be with. They must have been busy or had something going on so I am going to call or text them.”
A healthy self-esteem is not about being perfect or thinking you’re perfect when you’re not. No one in the world is perfect. A healthy self-esteem is about acknowledging your strengths and accepting your weaknesses and realizing you’re like everyone else – human and beautifully flawed.
3. Treat Yourself Well
Though you may feel you don’t deserve it, by treating yourself, you will send positive messages to your subconscious mind that you ARE worth it. Consider taking time for yourself to exercise or take a walk in nature, take a nice long shower, spend time on your favorite hobby, prepare a nice meal, or treat yourself to an early night of rest. Taking care of yourself will make you feel good and will fuel your energy.
4. Seek Positive Support
You want to surround yourself with people who celebrate you. They see all your beautiful strengths and make you feel good. Reach out to your trusted friends and family, they want to help you.
While increasing self-esteem isn’t easy, if you practice these tips, you will be able to chip away at the negative self-talk every day. Remember that each person has their own set of unique qualities and gifts.
If you would like more information on this topic or are seeking the positive support of a psychologist who can work on strategies to help replace negative and unhelpful thought patterns, contact us here. When we don’t have an accurate self-perception, it helps to get a new perspective from an objective third party.