Sometimes it can feel like everyone around us is confident and we’re the only ones obsessing over how we look and act. The reality is that everyone has insecurities. All of us can improve on focusing on the important things like the supportive relationships in our lives, the qualities that will help us reach our goals, and taking action to be healthier mentally and physically. If you feel like it’s time for a perspective check, here are some tips to get started:

Identify Your Real Support Network: A support network doesn’t have to be an army of friends and family. It could be just one person who we can talk openly to about how we’re feeling. It helps to reach out to that person we can be honest with when things are overwhelming. There’s often a difference between the friends or acquaintances we want to like us and those friends who are really there for us. If hanging out with certain people we know makes us feel worse about ourselves, then it may help to spend more time with people who make us feel comfortable and accepted. If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable talking to about your insecurities or anxieties, consider getting support from a counselor who can help you work through those feelings.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: A big part of feeling insecure, anxious, depressed or lonely is those thoughts in our heads that tell us that things are bad, we aren’t good enough, nobody cares and it won’t get better. The simple exercise of checking those thoughts and challenging them can do wonders for our state of mind. If the thought floats through your mind that everyone is judging or looking down on you, counteract that with the reality that most people are focused on their own problems. This simple exercise can remind us that sometimes our insecurities are our worst enemies.

Take Care of Yourself: It sounds so simple, but little things like getting enough sleep and eating as healthy as possible can make a huge difference on how we feel emotionally. Lack of sleep can, in and of itself, cause problems with depression and anxiety. Also, exercising has been proven to significantly reduce symptoms of depression.  So if you’re feeling down, stuck or overwhelmed, take a walk or head to the gym for a little while.

Use Moderation: We all know that drinking too much or abusing drugs can actually make us feel worse in the long run. Moderation is important when it comes to partying, but it’s also important in other aspects of our lives. If we’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, we may have to say “no” to certain activities or opportunities. It’s more important to rest and take care of ourselves than it is to do everything.

Most importantly, be proactive and go talk to a counselor on your campus or in your community if you are worried about your thoughts and feelings. Use our Find Help Now page to get started.