When depression or anxiety hits, it can be hard to remember your own self-worth. Negative thoughts and self-doubt have an insidious way of sinking in when you’re feeling down. And when these thoughts settle in, they only serve to perpetuate your feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness.
But just because you suffer from depression or anxiety doesn’t mean you have to feel down about yourself. Here are some simple ways to silence your inner critic while struggling with depression or anxiety:
1. Connect with friends, family and other people who love you. When you connect with those who love you, you can choose to see yourself through their eyes—not yours. You’ll start to realize what you bring to the table in these wonderful relationships, and the love you’re capable of giving to others. You can focus on other people instead of yourself. Having family and friends who value and validate you can really tone down the negative voices in your head.
2. Help someone else. Volunteering at an animal shelter, working with the homeless, or doing literally anything to help others can take the focus off yourself and help you see far past any negative feelings you may be facing. Not only that, you’re contributing to someone else in a meaningful way. By doing so, you’re helping improve another person’s quality of life and lifting them up…which, in turn, lifts you up!
3. Remember that every moment of sadness means a moment of happiness is around the corner. For every moment you feel sad, remember there is another moment of happiness that will follow. Sometimes you may have to wait, and sometimes you may need to ride the waves to get to that rainbow on the other side—but that rainbow is always there. Just don’t quit before the miracle happens!
4. Listen to uplifting music. Put together a playlist that has powerful anthems or songs that make you feel good! Put songs on your list that you associate with happy memories, or songs that you know change your emotions for the better. Music is very powerful and can turn a bad mood around, in an instant!
5. Exercise and develop healthy habits. Working out consistently, eating well, and sleeping enough each night all help lift your mood when you’re depressed. Numerous studies have shown the positive benefits of exercise, especially in those with anxiety or depression. Get out for a walk, a jog, a hike, or even try something new and exciting—rock climbing, mountain biking…anything! The endorphins you’ll generate will boost your mood and make you feel better about yourself!
Applying a few of these coping mechanisms will help silence those harsh critics inside your head when you start to feel down. They’ll help you develop more confidence in yourself, while feeling an enhanced sense of control over your emotions. There’s no need to let depression tell you that you’re anything less than amazing!
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