I’ve always been hard on myself. Growing up, I had a lot to be insecure about and unfortunately my environment only made matters worse. When you are suffering from depression, your insecurities can eat away at you until you feel so worthless that you completely forget your value. It’s happened to me, and countless others have suffered that same affect.
There is hope though, light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you just need a little help remembering what you’re worth; and not just to others, but what you’re worth to yourself. Here’s how I got through my worst insecurities:
Write a love letter addressed to you
We all love receiving that special “good morning” text from your partner, or a “job well done” email from your boss. There’s certain words and phrases that just make us happy to receive and it instantly makes us feel good about ourselves. Well you can create that happiness in yourself. Write a love letter to yourself. Write out all of your best qualities, write out why you love you and why anyone would be blessed to have you in their life. Write about all the things that you overlook (any negative qualities) in yourself, simply because the negative could never outweigh the positives. Be your own loyal fan, your best cheerleader, and your biggest inspiration. When you’re done writing your letter, save it. Laminate it and keep it in a special place, frame it and hang it on your wall, file it with your most important documents. When you need to, go back and read that letter, and remember how important you are to the world and to yourself.
Study your flash cards
It’s easy for us to beat ourselves up or find negative things to say about ourselves. A few years back, my therapist taught me a trick to help change the negative thought process, and it’s as simple as studying flash cards. Here’s how it works: buy a cheap 50 pack of flash cards from the dollar store. Usually the double sided cards are best, but blank will work as well. On the blank side of the flash card, write out your negative thought. On the lined side of the card, write out all the reasons why your negative, is actually a positive. Try to find at least three things to write on the lined side of the card. For example, on the blank side of the card I could write “I’m too emotional” as my negative. I flip the card over and write things such as “I care deeply about people/things” and “I am a passionate person” and “I express my emotions freely”. When you write out different ways of saying the negative thing you feel about yourself, turns out that it’s not negative at all, it’s actually quite positive. You can turn all of the negative things that you think about yourself, and turn them into positive things. The best part of this exercise is when you start to see the change. Over time, you can throw some of these flash cards out, because you will no longer think negatively about yourself in that way. Sometimes you will add new cards, and that’s OK because it’s just another opportunity to change your mindset. Make sure to carry your flash cards with you (I always have mine in my bag) for emergency pep talks such as job interviews, meeting new people, or any other stressful situation that would cause you to think negatively about yourself.
Practice daily affirmations
When you suffer from depression, you know there are good days and bad days. Sometimes, those “good days” are just bad days in disguise, impersonating happiness and self worth. What’s really helped me get through those days is practicing daily positive affirmations. Daily affirmations are reminders of the things to be grateful for in this blessed life. Things about the world, things about yourself, sometimes even things about others, help remind us of these blessings. Phrases such as “You are enough” or “The universe has blessed me with good fortune and happiness” are simple reminders that we can access every day, sometimes multiple times a day. You can write a new affirmation every day or you can take advantage of today’s technology and download affirmation apps (my favorite is Mantra) to remind you to do this daily. Taking time out of your day to do this only helps cement the positive energy you’re bringing into your life.
There’s always ways to break the cycle of negativity. Remembering our worth can definitely be hard sometimes, so I hope these tips help you remember just how wonderful you are. Above all, I hope you never forget.
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