When something bad happens, it’s easy to feel like the pain will never end. It can be impossible to picture the light at the end of the tunnel, and you can’t help but to wonder why such negative things have to happen to you when you don’t feel you deserve it. These emotions can leave you feeling hopeless and unmotivated.
However, despite these feelings, we are resilient, and we can push ourselves through these rough patches, because all things do come to an end. It can be hard to emotionally get through these obstacles on our own, but if we make the effort to remind ourselves of some positive inspiration, it can make our lives much easier.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that is going wrong in life, consider these five things to remember that can help you overcome that overbearing sense of despair and have hope for a more promising future, as suggested by psychotherapist Jennifer Weaver-Breitenbecher LMHC, CRC.
1. All Feelings Are Temporary
“All of them,” says Weaver-Breitenbecher. “We may experience particular feelings (sadness or anger) more often than others (happiness), but each and every emotional state will change at some point in the future. No one person has ever been born feeling one emotion and only ever felt that emotion.”
2. Not Everything Is Out Of Your Control
“Even when it seems like everything in your life is out of your control, remember you can always choose what you focus on and how you choose to process the moment,” says Weaver-Breitenbecher. “You can decide whether the moment wins or not.” Knowing we have a choice can be inherently rewarding, so it can be beneficial to come up with a plan on how we can better our own situations, even if it feels like there’s not much else for us to do.
3. Something Went Right Today
“Not everything went wrong today,” says Weaver-Breitenbecher. “Something went right — maybe it’s as trivial as the barista making your coffee correctly or as profound as your best friend calling to check in. A lot of things may have gone wrong today, but at least one thing went right.”
4. You’re A Survivor
Remind yourself that despite your challenges, you’re still standing, and perhaps you are better off than you imagined you would be. “You’re still here,” says Weaver-Breitenbecher. “So far, you’ve survived everything put in your path. Sometimes, you emerge triumphant and sometimes you’re a little bruised — but you survived.”
5. The Bad Stuff Makes Us Appreciate The Good Stuff
It sounds cliche, but there’s nothing like looking on the bright side. “We wouldn’t appreciate happiness if we didn’t know what the opposite was,” says Weaver-Breitenbecher. If you need a little assistance focusing on the positive, start a gratitude journal. Studies show that people who write about what they are thankful for once a week are more optimistic and feel better about their lives than people who focus on the negative events instead.
Photo by MartaZ*
Photo by Jeffrey Beall