Sometimes life serves up a bunch of lemons. For some of us, that’s all we seem to get. So much so that no matter how positive we try to be and how hard we try to change things around, things still seem so hopeless. Nothing works out our way, and it’s almost as if we are being punished. What’s the point right? I’m here to let you know that even though you may be feeling hopeless right now, there are some things you can do about it.
“Remember sadness is temporary. This too shall pass.”
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How To Overcome Hopelessness
1. Realize It Is A Season
The first thing I want you to remember is that feeling hopeless will not last forever. Life has good seasons and bad seasons. It’s true that some people’s bad seasons are longer than others, but there will come a time when it will pass. Life has its ups and downs and to varying degrees. It may feel like the downs will last forever but this is not true. Your perspective is just skewed. Things will get better, and you will experience a good season again. To help you realize this and shift your perspective, you must proactively practice gratitude on a daily basis and have something to look forward to. This leads us to our next two strategies.
2. Practice Gratitude When Feeling Hopeless
As I mentioned in the previous strategy, our perspective can be skewed when feeling hopeless. Practicing gratitude is a great way to shift the way you are looking at things. Gratitude keeps you focused on the positives even when you are experiencing difficult and trying times. The key is to be proactive and aggressive about being grateful. An occasional thought about the good things and people in your life is not good enough. You have to be consistent and focused. Write things down daily in a gratitude journal. Say a gratitude prayer every morning. Learn to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
3. Have Something To Look Forward To
It’s difficult staying hopeful and positive if you have nothing to look forward to. When you do the same thing, day in and day out, experiencing the same mundane routine, you’ll feel stuck and in a rut. You must do something different and exciting from time to time. Make it a habit to schedule things that you love doing. This is a part of self-care which is extremely important in living a happier and more fulfilling life. This way no matter how dreary and hopeless things may seem, at least you have something to look forward to. Schedule something every week. It can be as simple as spending some alone time with a bath and book. If you want to start making self-care a part of your life, are some awesome self-care ideas.
4. Reach Out To Others When Feeling Hopeless
I know it may be hard reaching out for support when feeling hopeless, but if you want to change things around, then make it a priority. Personally, I had always felt comfortable fighting my own battles. I had a tendency to try to take on all of my issues alone. The problem was that nothing had ever gotten any better. I was stuck listening to the same negative thoughts in my mind and always ended up feeling more hopeless. Now, I know that I must let go of my stubborn, reclusive ways when I’m struggling. I make it a point to rely on the people that have my best interests at heart to help lift me up. Whether that be talking to someone about my issues, or just spending time in their company. When you feel hopeless, call up a friend to chat or go hang out with them. Reminisce with a close family member, or go to lunch with a friendly co-worker. Seek the support of a licensed therapist or certified life coach if you need to. The important thing is to reach out to someone when you feel hopeless.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line (when you are more comfortable texting): 741741
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
5. Put Your Foot Down
When feeling hopeless, sometimes you just have to put your foot down, draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. Ultimately you and only you are responsible for your happiness but if there are roadblocks in your life, deal with them. These roadblocks can be both internal and external. Maybe you need to get your self-doubt in check and work to boost your confidence so that you can make a change. Perhaps you have some discipline issues that you need to work through. Or maybe there are people around you that are taking advantage of you and draining you to the point of hopelessness. Set boundaries with yourself and/or others and put your foot down. Be fed up with feeling hopeless and take action. Get crystal clear on what needs to change in your life, and then work to change them. It may not be easy but putting your foot down and getting clear on what must be done is the first step.
6. Give Hope To Get Hope
I always say, give what you want. If you want to feel hopeful and positive, then give it to others. Who needs your support? How can you help someone else who is feeling hopeless? When you do kind things for others, it is not only proof that there is hope out there, but you’ll feel better about yourself, and hope will come back to you. Social Psychologists define The Law of Reciprocity as a deep-rooted urge to return a favor. Basically, when someone does for you, you feel obligated to do something for them. Think about a friend that picks up the tab for lunch. Next time you go eat, chances are you’ll return the favor. This works with giving hope and positivity as well. When you give hope, hope will come back to you. Make it a daily habit to brighten someone’s day. Pick up a cup of coffee for a co-worker or shoot an old friend an appreciation email. Give hope to get hope.
7. Make A Productive Change When Feeling Hopeless
When you feel hopeless, it’s a great time to make a productive change in your life. Learn to set goals and accomplish them. Go back to school and learn a new skill. Develop routines and habits that work for you. Learn to overcome procrastination and stay motivated. Put your energy into improving yourself and your circumstances.
You may be feeling hopeless but things will change. Things will get better. Just realize that it is only a season right now and just like every season, it ends. You can also practice gratitude and start having something to look forward to. Reach out to others when you can, put your foot down with yourself and others, and give hope to others. Finally use this time to make a productive change.
Which one of these strategies resonates with you the most? Which one will you try to overcome hopelessness? Let us know in the comments below.
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