Depression and low self-esteem are two sides of the same coin. While low self-esteem leaves people vulnerable to depression, depression can absolutely destroy self-esteem.
But, though low self-esteem may be deeply rooted, there are things you can do to improve it, even if you are suffering from depression.
Set the Tone: Make the Most of Each Morning
It’s important you start each day positively. Doing so will help your mind to habitually recognize good, especially the good in yourself. So, surround yourself with positivity in the form of music, books, calendars, computer wallpaper, etc. You can even sign up to a service that will send you funny memes or cute animal videos each day. Feeling good at the beginning of the day will set a tone and help you be positive throughout.
Recognize & Change Negative Self Talk
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.
Beginning to Question Your Negative Self Talk
The first thing that is needed is the ability to recognize & analyze your own thoughts. When a self-critical thought occurs, you don’t have to automatically believe it. While many thoughts are automatic, part of learning to conquer your depression is learning to take back control of your own negative thoughts! Some questions you may want to ask yourself the next time you have critical thoughts:
- Is there any evidence to support this thinking?
- Where does this thought come from? Is it something I’ve heard someone else say before? If so, are they a good source of information about myself?
- Would I ever say that to myself if I were my own friend?
- Does having this thought make me feel good or bad about myself?
- Even if this thought is true….is it helpful to focus on it?
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.
Reframing Negative Thoughts to Relieve Depression
Imagine you have taken on a project at work or school, and currently you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Your thoughts may currently sound like, “Why did I say I could handle this? I never finish things on time. I was stupid to think I could do a good job on this” You can choose to replace those negative thoughts with a positive factual thought, something simple like, “I’m doing better at this job everyday and am continuing to make progress.” Or maybe you’ll say, “I’m a hard worker. Even when it’s difficult, I keep going and try looking at things from different angles.”
A healthy self-esteem is not about being perfect or thinking you’re perfect when you’re not. No one is. A healthy self-esteem is about acknowledging your strengths and accepting your weaknesses and realizing you’re like everyone else – human and beautifully flawed. Positive self talk can go a long way to helping you feel more empowered and confident.
Be Kind to Yourself & Practice Self Care
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 yourself out to a nice lunch, buy yourself that sweater you’ve been eyeing, or go get a relaxing massage. You don’t even have to spend money; show yourself you’re worth it by spending time reading a book, going for a walk in nature, or doing anything that inspires you.
Fill your Life with Positive People
You want to surround yourself with people who celebrate your strengths, not your weaknesses. This can include seeking the positive support of a therapist who can work with you on analyzing and replacing negative thought patterns. When we don’t have an accurate self-perception, it can help to get a new perspective from an objective third party.
Increasing your self-esteem isn’t easy, but if you practice these tips, you will be able to chip away at the negative self-talk every day.
Begin Counseling for Depression in Temecula, CA
Need help with your self-esteem? If you or a loved one is interested in beginning therapy for depression, we can help.
At Outside the Norm Counseling, we are a mental health counseling clinic in Temecula, CA that specialize in helping women reach their full potential. We offer counseling for women from all walks of life. Whether you’re suffering from the symptoms of depression, battling anxiety, filled with self doubt, struggle to juggle all of the relationships in your life or feel lost parenting a teenager…our experienced, caring therapists can help. Maybe you just feel lost and need help finding yourself again. We want to empower you to take care of yourself & live your best life. Call us today and begin your counseling journey. You deserve to feel like the best possible version of yourself!