This is an important question to ask, “Is your low self-esteem a symptom of depression?” Your curiosity is indicative of your discontent with how you are feeling and that you want to feel better.
It’s natural to want to understand what you are facing so you can develop a plan for moving forward with your life instead of continuing to self-sabotage and feel F.I.N.E. The relationship between depression and low self-esteem is confusing because they seem to reinforce each other. The more poorly you think about yourself, the more depressed you feel and the more depressed you feel, the more poorly you think about yourself. It is a real chicken and egg scenario.
Luckily, in 2012, researchers from the University of Basel decided it was finally time to help people answer the question, “Is my low self-esteem a symptom of depression?” What they found was that low self-esteem contributes to depression.
Your low self-esteem is not a symptom of depression. It is the cause.
You must change the way you think about yourself and shed all those layers of loathing you’ve piled on if you want to feel better. You must change your perspective.
Here are five simple ways to start changing your perspective about yourself:
- Create positive thoughts to replace your negative ones.Once you identify the negative thoughts you have playing on repeat as part of your self-talk, discover positive thoughts you can replace them with. These positive thoughts are not just airy platitudes you try to convince yourself to believe. They are things you know to be true about you.For example, one of the common messages people with poor self-images give to themselves is “I am stupid,” whenever they make a mistake. You can change your perspective on this thought by reminding yourself that you have learned many things over your lifetime. Learning happens by making mistakes and choosing to do differently the next time. Only an intelligent person can to that.
- Journal about the bad and especially the good.Journaling is a wonderful way to get persistent negative thoughts out of your mind. You release them by putting them down on paper. But focusing your journaling only on your negative thoughts is counter-productive.You must also give voice to the positive experiences and thoughts you have. Giving them your attention, reinforces them and helps to put your negative thoughts into their proper, less important, place.
- Begin the day with positivity.Instead of letting your habitual negative thoughts continue to run your day from the moment you wake up, choose to stop them.Start your day with inspirational reading, exercise, deep breathing, and/or gratitude. Develop a new routine that sets an affirming tone for your day.
- Create visual cues.You have five senses and they are all important. Yet we all tend to place the most emphasis on what we see. So put this natural tendency to good use.Surround yourself with positive images – things that make you smile or motivate you. Write positive phrases on Post-It notes that you place on your mirror. Make the background on your phone a picture that reminds you of a great experience you have had or are planning to have.
- Seek positive support.Choosing to work on your self-esteem all on your own is the hardest path to follow. It is also the path least likely to succeed because your natural inclinations are what have gotten you to this point of low self-esteem.You need and deserve to have support that keeps you on track and can pick you up when you have an off day. It takes courage to ask for support. Yet the rewards for doing so are immense.
Since you have already been brave enough to wonder if your low self-esteem is a symptom of depression, look at these five ways to change your perspective as the beginning of your comprehensive plan to feel fab.
Know that it is by continuing to follow your curiosity and acting courageously that you will stop self-sabotaging and start feeling better about yourself and your life.
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