Sometimes we get knocked down, maybe one too many times in a row. We can really start to feel hopeless. Sometimes life is just shitty. There’s no doubt about that. We begin to wonder whether this is the way it is. It is easy to see how sinking into a deep hole of hopelessness happens and how it is easy to get stuck in this feeling. Pulling yourself out of this hole can seem daunting, but it’s not impossible.
Remain Rational When Feeling Hopeless. But How?
Remaining rational is a tricky start to all of this. Getting caught up in our emotions can cause all sense of rationality to quickly go out the window. We watch our rational self fly by as we sink a little deeper into feeling hopeless.
Remember that life is not static – that is, things are always changing, which means things will not always look and feel like this. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself to be patient. Know that the intensity of these feelings will pass.
Emotions are fleeting, while facts are tangible. When we lead with our emotions, our brains tell us what we feel rather than what we know to be true. These can be very different things. Stick with the facts of the story.
Let’s say you have an awful week at work and worry about your job. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of this pressure. Instead of getting that sinking hopeless feeling, first, consider:
What do you know to be true?
The facts, not opinions
What was actually said/done/decided?
Be aware of ‘absolutes’. Words like should, always, all, none, never, only or every are examples of ‘absolute’ words, and words like this can be dangerous. These words can distort our thinking and perspective. Have you noticed saying phrases like:
“Nothing I ever do is good enough.”
“All of my life is awful.”
“I never do anything well.”
“I always screw things up.”
Notice how final these phrases are. They leave no room for rationality, growth, or movement, which keeps you stuck feeling hopeless.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courageAnais Nin
Remind Yourself Of Your Strength
You are resilient and strong. You have navigated your way through your life’s adversity to this point, and you have survived. Undoubtedly there have been periods of highs and perhaps some really awful lows. However, the reality is that you made it through all of that, and this new challenge will be no different. Remind yourself that you do have all you need to get through this.
You are capable of adapting. Adaptation is about changing to meet new challenges. Like I said before, life is not static, and you have demonstrated your ability to change through all of that. Find your own way of adapting to these changes and challenges, in a way that is right for you.
Find Your Supports
Individuals or groups have the power to help you through. When you are feeling hopeless, find your people, those who can help you through this time. There is no shame in asking for help. Just as you would help your loved ones through difficult times, allow them to support you in the same way.
Surround yourself with like-minded people, positive people not negative. Find those who want to help you out of your funk, not aid you in sinking deeper.
Misery loves company, and when you are knocked down, misery will try and find you. If you are struggling, someone close to you who is unhappy in their own life (and not taking steps to change this) can keep you in a negative space. This does not help pull you out of your hole. Be aware of those who are helping you or holding you back.
Look For The Positives
There are always positives hiding in there, no matter how small. Find that gleam of hope and run with it. It may be that thing that you need to get you out of this feeling. From here, more positive will follow because now your brain is starting to rewire to see things from a positive perspective and not from a negative one.
From positivity comes hope. Creating a sense of hope is a powerful driver in seeing beyond hopelessness to what is waiting on the other side. When we have hope, we have a belief or awareness that things will get better. We become more future-focused. It is a mind-frame that overcomes adversity simply through the belief that things will change. That’s powerful.
Adversity or difficult situations are a part of life. Sometimes we can get stuck in the not-so-great feelings when things feel a little too tough. Low feelings can create a sense of hopelessness of the situation, ourselves and perhaps our future.
Awareness of your feelings is a conscious and deliberate start to pulling yourself out of the hopeless hole. Create a sense of hope. Find something positive to hold onto. Know that everything in our lives is always shifting and moving.
Photo by Look Up Look Down Photography