In the United States, depression is a common medical disorder that affects women more than men. According to reports, depression affects more than 10% of women compared to 5.5% of men. Besides going to therapy, you can also take practical steps to improve your mood by increasing your level of self-acceptance.
How to Increase Self-Acceptance
Depression affects how you think, feel, and act. Although the symptoms of depression may feel overwhelming, increasing self-acceptance helps you to love and appreciate yourself. With that in mind, here are some ways to increase your levels of self-acceptance:
1. Change how you dress
Dressing casually this way may not seem like a big deal, especially if all your friends dress casually, too, but it can make a huge difference to your mood.
According to an article in Good Therapy by Rheyanne Weaver about the link between clothing and emotional choices, “one study has shown that women who are depressed or sad are more likely to wear baggy tops, jeans, and a sweatshirt or jumper. Women who are happy or positive are more likely to wear a favorite dress, jewelry, and jeans.”
Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways to show off your personality and dress to impress. And getting dressed up doesn’t mean you have to wear uncomfortable or tight clothes. The key is looking for something that makes you feel good. For example pair your favorite tee with some dark wash jeans for a comfortable but stylish look. Don’t forget what’s underneath and let uncomfortable underwear ruin a perfect outfit. Fashion consultants suggest wearing a seamless thong to avoid any panty lines and uncomfortable digging elastics.
When you dress better, you’ll feel better.
2. Change how you talk about yourself
Without realizing it, you may often speak about yourself in a self-deprecating way. Even if you intend to be humble if someone compliments or praises you or you are making fun of something clumsy you said or did, your subconscious mind takes you at your word. When you speak ill about yourself, you unwittingly also feel bad about yourself.
By refraining from the habit of speaking about yourself as if you are flawed, you will notice more positive moods. Your words affect your thoughts and your thoughts affect your feelings.
3. Change your limiting beliefs
We base our beliefs on self-fulfilling prophecies. When you believe something, you automatically start to accumulate evidence to prove that it is true. However, this is not real evidence, but only selective memory. It’s difficult to change your limiting beliefs, but it’s possible with enough persistence.
The first step is to identify your limiting belief. Next, think of what the opposite of that belief might be. Finally, start to consciously accumulate evidence to justify your new belief.
For instance, if you have a limiting belief that people don’t like you, then your mind recalls instances when people have disapproved of you. Once you recognize this belief, choose the opposite belief; believe that people like you. Think back on all the times people have said or done nice things for you. Also, socialize more and note when people treat you with respect and kindness.
4. Change your body language
Most people are not aware of how body language affects mood. However, Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor, has researched how body language affects our thoughts and feelings. She found that adopting a power pose changed body chemistry and other people’s perception of us.
If you slouch in your chair, stand with your shoulders hunched, or walk with your head down, you are telling everyone, including yourself, that you feel you don’t deserve attention.
It will surprise you how wearing fashionable attire, refraining from criticizing yourself, changing your limiting beliefs and adopting an upright posture will help pick you up and improve your relationship with yourself and others.