1. Replace unhealthy thoughts with positive, balanced thoughts. When you are depressed, you tend to think the worst about yourself. You focus on your failures or shortcomings and ignore any positive attributes. After you have dealt with depression, start to think positive, more realistic thoughts about yourself instead of unhealthy ones.
This doesn’t mean just telling yourself things like, “You are great!” or “You can do it!” You should look at your incorrect thoughts and challenge them. Ask yourself, “What evidence do I have that this thought is true?” or “Do other people view me this way?”
If you are honest with yourself, this can help you replace your unhealthy, negative thoughts with positive, realistic ones.
Make sure that you continue this practice over time. CBT will not change thought patterns after just a week of practice. It may take a while. However, CBT and practicing new thought patterns will physically changes the neural structures of your brain. This is the reason why CBT and psychotherapy are so effective. Being depressed can change your thinking, and CBT is a way to reverse these changes.
2. Accept your faults with your strengths. Everyone has weaknesses and strengths. Everyone has failures or things they’re not good at, but they also have successes and things they excel at. Accepting that you have faults can help you boost your self-confidence after depression. Even better, focus on your strengths and what you succeed at. This helps you remember the positive aspects of yourself.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything perfectly or get it right on the first try. Sometimes, you can still try new things or enjoy activities even if you aren’t very good at them.
Tell yourself, “It is okay that I am not perfect. I have weaknesses, just like everyone else. This doesn’t make me weak or a failure. It makes me human and makes me me, which is okay.”
3. Keep a journal. As you are getting over depression, you can let go of unhealthy thoughts that lower your self-esteem by keeping a journal. This helps you get the thoughts on paper instead of dwelling on them because you’re keeping them inside. However, don’t just write about your negative thoughts. Also write about positive thoughts, too.
Each day, spend a few minutes writing down your negative thoughts. Then, end with writing down positive things so you can start to see all the good things in your life.