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Depression can inflict insecure and negative thoughts on otherwise confident and productive people. As depression affects the brain, it may also damage self-esteem. For those who have depression, improving self-esteem may be challenging, yet it is possible. Improving self-esteem may help lessen the severity of depression symptoms and will help people find strength within themselves again.

Low self-esteem can develop from internal feelings of personal failure in work, family, or individual accomplishment,  It can also develop from external situations like physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; disabilities; or losing a job or marriage partner. Clinical psychologists, Deborah Serani, Psy.D, and Dean Parker, Ph.D., offer ways that those with depression may improve their self-esteem.

Let it out

When those with low self-esteem cannot pick themselves up, it takes others to offer that strength and encouragement. Experts suggest that those with low self-esteem don’t go it alone. Sharing positive and negative thoughts with a trustworthy friend or family member can release concerns and insecurities and others may help balance exaggerated negative thoughts with realistic positive attributes.

Journaling may be a way for a person to better understand themselves and to pour out their thoughts. For each negative thing written about themselves, they should write a positive thing.

Balance negative thoughts with positive ones

When depression distorts the mind, those with low self-esteem find a way to think realistically and factually about themselves again. When the person feels negative about themselves, they must question themselves about why they feel that way. They should question their negative judgments about themselves if they can find no evidence to its truth and if others would not say those things about them. They should also question whether those negative thoughts make them feel good or bad.

Use inspirational cues

Inspiration can be found from friends or family or from inanimate objects that one can see daily. Positive, affirming quotes placed strategically on a desk or kitchen counter can help start the day off positively. Calendars, bookmarks, and posters can all carry positive messages that help reinforce positive thoughts.

Take some time

Taking a breath and letting the mind go on vacation for some precious moments is important in letting a person break free from pressures. A walk in the woods, sitting on the back porch stoop and listening to birdsong, or letting your eyes feast on the changing hues of a sunset can relax a person and naturally induce pleasant thoughts and emotions.

Love your body

No matter what shape or size a person may be, they should love their body. Those with low self-esteem should feed themselves positively both mentally and physically. Healthy foods will help make both a healthier body and mind. Exercise can also induce positive feelings. Physical movement circulates the blood and oxygen and fills the body with energy, and the after-effects of a healthy-looking body will help a person feel proud of their appearance.

Find your passion

Accomplishment can lift a person’s spirit high. A hobby, traveling, or accomplishing feats as small as shining up kitchen floors can lift a person’s self-esteem. Passions for sketching, reading to children, rock climbing, or singing may help a person find pleasure within themselves again.

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