How to Stop Feeling Hopeless and Take Charge of Your Life
The following article was kindly written and contributed by Adela Belin.
Hopelessness is a scary feeling – it’s like walking in a dark tunnel, desperately seeking the light only to find more darkness ahead.
You might think this is a permanent situation, you would want to give up and stop trying but at such times, it’s best to just pause and take a deep breath.
Remember that everything in life is transient. In order to get through this challenging phase, it’s important to not let your emotions take the better of you.
If you want to bring about a change in your situation, you need to want to change. Here are five powerful ways to stop feeling hopeless and take charge of your life:
Own Your Emotions
You can run away from the world, but you cannot run away from yourself – that’s the bitter truth of life and the faster we accept it, the better it is.
If you’re dealing with negative emotions, the first step is to become aware. Sit back, and process what you’re really feeling. Don’t fight it, don’t shun it off, don’t distract yourself – just acknowledge your emotions and embrace them.
Your feelings are valid, and you have every right to feel what you’re feeling. Once you have accepted it, it gets easier to understand the root cause of those emotions and what triggered them.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
One of the first things we do when we feel lost and are feeling hopeless is blame ourselves for being that way. We beat ourselves over it when we should actually be treating ourselves with love and affection.
Negative self-talk, especially when you’re not in the best of spirits is extremely damaging. It affects self-esteem and leads to depression. If not controlled, we start believing what we tell ourselves.
So, every time your inner critic rises, challenge those thoughts and convert it into an uplifting one. Start believing in yourself, embrace your imperfections and give yourself room to grow. You should not turn away from yourself when life gets rough.
Divert Focus to the Little Things in Life
Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed by the ‘bigger’ things in life that we find it difficult to live in the present moment and do things that bring us joy.
At such times, what helps is diverting focus to the little things and living each day as it comes. Feeling hopeless about the future? Tell yourself you’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Don’t ruin your present by fearing the future.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn rightly put it, “The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment.”
Count Your Blessings
The last thing we want to hear when we’re upset is, “be thankful for what you have” but if you actually take a moment to count your blessings and look at the bright side of life, you will see a change in your state of mind.
When we practice gratitude and appreciate what we have, we consciously shift focus from what’s not working to what is. It uplifts our mood and helps us stay strong during tough times.
The most effective way to be thankful is maintaining a gratitude journal wherein you can make a note of one positive thing that happened in the day. This healthy habit serves as the perfect reminder to be grateful for what you have.
Share Your Feelings
Many people tend to alienate themselves when they’re feeling low and hopeless.
While you might find comfort in doing so, it’s advisable to share your feelings with a friend, family member or therapist. You need to talk it out and get the load off your chest.
Not only will you feel lighter after sharing your fears and anxieties with someone else, but you might also get a fresh, new perspective on your situation which can help you heal and deal with it differently.
Your condition might seem irreversible to you at present but that’s not true. Always remember that no matter what, this too shall pass. Never lose hope and just keep going.
About the Author
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with a hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.