6 effective ways to boost your self-esteem when you have depression and anxiety.

Depression and Anxiety can often make your self esteem lower because you are more vulnerable to self-destructive thoughts and thought patterns. However, these are many ways to help increase your self esteem and feel worthy again. 

Starting your day with gratitude: Gratitude allows you to stop and appreciate all that is well in your world, including you! Appreciating all of your own personal qualities, abilities, and attributes allows you to recognize the good things about you and your contribution to the world. A good example of practicing self gratitude daily is writing three things about yourself that you appreciate. Pay yourself a compliment to increase confidence. Find a daily mantra that you can use to remind yourself of how important you are. 

Treat yourself like your best friend:  Would you talk to your best friend the way self-talk talks to you? Often times people have this idea that being critical is motivating, when it really is not. When we treat ourselves with respect and love we are able to allow ourselves to be authentic and feel our feelings we often  push aside. 

Identify and Challenge Negative Thinking: Start checking your self-talk. Most people go about their lives and don’t realize the constant thoughts and interpretations they have about their lives. Self-talk is often reasonable however, some of it is negative and unrealistic. Negative self-talk affects how we feel and behave. Thinking negatively can often affect us from enjoying our life. The good thing is that we can test and challenge out negative self-talk and replace them with more reasonable thoughts. By identifying and challenging negative thoughts you are able to feel better and respond better to situations. Whenever you are feeling anxious, depressed, angry or distressed take a moment to assess your thoughts for accuracy by asking yourself some challenging questions.       

  • What am I thinking and feeling right now?
  •  Is this situation as bad as I perceive it?
  •  What’s the evidence for and against my thinking?
  •  Are my thoughts based on facts or just my interpretation?
  •  Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
  •  Is there another way I can interpret this situation?
  •  What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is this?
  • What is the most likely outcome of the situation?

When you feel depressed, anxious, or are stressed out your self-talk may become more negative and you may expect only the worst  to happen and focus on the negative aspects of the situation. Asking yourself these questions can help to put things in perspective. 

Once you are able to identify if it is negative self-talk think of a more realistic way of thinking about the situation and replace it. For instance, if I’m thinking “I made a fool of myself” after challenging thee thoughts I can replace it with, “I made a mistake, but it’s not that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes one time or another.”

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: When we compare ourselves to others we are being unfair to ourselves and uniqueness. This is a sure-fire way to feel unhappy and lower your self-confidence. When you compare yourself to others you are treating yourself unfairly as well as others. Think about it for a minute if you compare yourself and you think you are better than someone else than you might inflate your ego a bit but it will be short live and you may even feel bad for doing it in the first place. Secondly, if you compare yourself to others who you think are better, you may become resentful and you may boost yourself up or put someone else down to feel better which is also short lived and often results in the same guilt or short lived ego boost. In addition, this is an unkind distraction that is taking moments of your life away. 

So how do we begin to break the habit. The following are some tips to help you.

  • Awareness: Start by identifying when you begin to compare yourself      to others. For many, it is habitual and so it is essential that you start to    consciously become more aware of it.
  • Learn to accept imperfections: Rather than criticizing yourself take some     time each day to identify you strengths and appreciate all the good     things about yourself. Allow yourself to appreciate all of yourself     without trying to fit into an idea of what you think you should be. 
  • Allow your self-talk to be one of compassion: Though you may think     beating yourself up and being your hardest critic is helping, it is not!     How can you care for yourself when you are being such a bully to     yourself. Learn to be compassionate and kind by allowing yourself some slack. 

Give yourself a pleasurable break: Avoid being everything for everybody and give yourself the gift of enjoying your life. Set boundaries and make time to do something that you enjoy. Life can be overwhelming at times so it is important to find time for pleasure in your life. Even 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference. 

Forgive yourself: No one is all bad. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learnfrom them so it doesn’t happen again. Become conscious of that inner critic and    fight back allowing your inner protector to shield you from it.

You may need to go through the steps a few times to begin to build awareness and to lower your inner critic and replace it with a more loving and kind voice. 

For a free consultation call 888-856-9138 or email rbynum@reneebynumlmft.com

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