Are you feeling hopeless and depressed right now? Do you feel like life is against you? Yeah, I know that feeling of helplessness too well. I know things have been tough for you lately, and every hard work you put into making things better seems like a waste of effort. You cry secretly on your bed every night. Perhaps, right now, you are feeling like a comedian, lost in the mortuary; no audience to laugh to your joke. Yes, you are trying so hard to make things work, to be happy but every single day, you are experiencing a downward spiral.
You know what? You being here on my blog today, reading this means that you still have hope that your life will change real soon. So, your situation is not totally as hopeless as you might think. Therefore, there is something you can do to redirect your life towards fulfillment.
Life is all about one more shot. You’ve got to take that shot; it could be the winning shot.
Life is full of surprises
Life is unpredictable. A wealthy family can wake up tomorrow to realize that all they have worked for is gone. And a poor fellow can wake up tomorrow to realize that he’s got the life-changing opportunity. Therefore, don’t ever feel that your future is hopeless because you don’t even know how and what the future will be.
A man was looking for a job, so he went to a hotel to apply for one. He saw the receptionist and he asked: “Is there a vacancy?” The receptionist said “No”. He was disappointed and very sad. He felt like a failure because he was unsuccessful in getting a job. On his way out, he saw a notice on the notice board. He checked and saw that the hotel is actually looking to hire a manager. The man was happy, and quickly went back to the receptionist. He said “there is a vacancy,” and the receptionist asked, “Where?” The man said “here”. Again, the receptionist said to him “there is no vacancy.” This time, he was feeling so hopeless and depressed.
Life plays tricks on us
He turned to leave with his head down. He was on his way out when one of the hotel cleaners came to him and asked: “Sir, I know of another hotel, there is a vacancy there.” The man was happy and asked, “Where is the hotel?” The cleaner asked “What type of room do you want to book? I’m sure they will have vacancy over there.” Immediately he heard that, he left the cleaner standing and ran back inside to meet the receptionist again. This time, he was crystal clear. He said, “I am here to apply for the position of the manager.” All the while, the receptionist thought he was looking for a vacant room to book. Haha.
Sometimes, life plays tricks on us. If you are not clear with what you want in life, you might always end up feeling hopeless and depressed. Ask yourself: What do I want? Be precise and to the point.
I recommend you read: How to get what you want in life.
You are not alone
Do you think you are the only one feeling hopeless and depressed in life? You think you’ve got it so bad. Oh, just wait to hear someone else’s story, and you will know that your case isn’t that bad. Not everyone you see smiling, are truly smiling inwardly. Everyone is dealing with one or two challenges. You know why? It’s because life is full of challenges. And if you want to live the life you truly deserve, you must be ready to overcome your challenges. You’ve got to learn how to rise above your challenges and live a fulfilling life. The reality is that you are fully responsible for your happiness.
Are You Feeling Hopeless and Depressed? Worksheet PDF
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Symptoms of hopelessness and depression
I quickly want to talk about the common symptoms of hopelessness and depression. If you show any of these symptoms, don’t worry, I will teach you how to overcome your hopelessness. I will reveal the simple things you can do to rise above your ugly situation. Read on, and soon you will know what to do when feeling hopeless and depressed.
1. Feeling worthless
You can’t help it! You feel useless and worthless. Circumstances around you keep reinforcing that you are worthless. You keep hearing the voice in your head, telling you how worthless you are. Perhaps, you just lost your job, and in addition, your partner left you. Now you are feeling hopeless and alone in the world. Or you lost a loved one, and somehow you felt that if you were there with them, they would still be alive. Now, you are feeling hopeless and suicidal. You know what? What will be, will be. I want you to know that some things are just beyond you.
2. No motivation to do anything
You use to be the hardworking type. Whatever you believe in, you put in all your strengths to make it happen. But somehow, it ends in frustration. All the time, energy and resources you spent didn’t yield any good result. It feels like you are fetching water with a basket. As a result, you lack the motivation to do anything. Nothing interests you anymore because you are feeling so depressed. You are afraid of committing to another goal because you’ve got nothing to show for your previous hard work. You don’t feel like going to work, you wish you can call in sick every day. Life is hopeless to you, nothing is worth it. It’s like bad luck keeps featuring you in its latest album ‘failure’.
3. Doubt about your future
Oh, you are afraid of the future. You wish there is a real seer who can tell you exactly how your life is going to be in the future. But even a seer isn’t sure of anything because nothing is guaranteed in life. You are feeling hopeless, anxiety is taking over your life and you are falling deep into depression. There was a time you feel confident that your future will be bright, but now, it seems like the word ‘brightness’ has been deleted from your life permanently. You doubt everything you do, everything you hear, and everything you once believed in.
4. Low self-esteem
Right now, you don’t feel good about yourself. In other words, you are ashamed of yourself and place little to no value in your opinion and thoughts. You don’t even have the confidence to share your opinion anymore because internally you feel like you don’t even deserve to have an opinion about anything. You feel like you don’t deserve anyone’s attention because you don’t worth anything. Your last relationship was a mess, and you keep blaming yourself for it. And now you feel like nobody is going to love you again. As a result, you are feeling hopeless about love. Maybe, all the proposals you submitted were rejected, and now you doubt yourself. A tiny voice within you keeps screaming “Hey, loser.”
5. Loss of interest
Lately, you have lost interest in everything about life because of the situation you find yourself. You never thought you would encounter such an ugly situation, and now you are drained mentally, physically and emotionally. There is no way you can think of moving on because it’s like your life is frozen. You can no longer connect with your inner self, not to talk about connecting to the outside world. You had everything going well for you, and suddenly, you lost everything. Now you wish you could turn back the hands of time, but time won’t permit you to do so. Above all, you lose interest in the things you love doing. You use to enjoy watching football, going shopping, having sex, going out with friends but now the thought of doing those fun activities sound forbidden to you.
6. Negative thinking
You don’t know when it all started, but now you can only see the worst in everything. Every time you are always considering the worst possible scenarios and have little expectations. You have a negative view of the world. You dwell on your mistakes, and you are constantly thinking of what you could have done differently. Whatever goes wrong is your entire fault, even when it has nothing to do with you but if something good should ever happen, you never take credit for it because you think you don’t deceive it, you only got lucky. As a result of your negativity, you are dealing with regrets, depression and fear.
For instance, during the executive meeting, you have an amazing idea, but you refused to share your idea because you are falsely reading their mind and you think “My boss and colleagues think I’m stupid.” Or your spouse divorced you and went to marry another person, and all you can think of is that “I will never find love again. I will be single forever.” You think yourself as worthless, and you don’t have any hope that your life will change for the better in future. Sometimes, you even have suicidal thoughts. You think that you would be better off dead. Moreover, nothing feels like fun anymore.
Other symptoms of hopelessness and depression include:
- Deep feelings of sadness.
- Social withdrawal.
- Inability to make decisions.
How to stop feeling hopeless and depressed
I don’t know what situation might have led you to feel hopeless and depressed. It could be the death of a loved one, facing rejection, being in emotionally or physically abusive relationships, failing an exam, facing extensive legal troubles, going through divorce or child custody issues, facing disappointment, losing an election, being bullied, having a serious illness, being unemployed, facing life-threatening event, having issues with love, facing serious financial difficulties, losing a promotion or opportunity, etc.
Whatever the situation might be, I want you to know that there is a way out. No matter how long the night is, the day will surely come. Your current situation is not permanent, so it will surely pass. There is certainly a way out. I will share with you 7 things to do to stop feeling hopeless and depressed. I always do these 7 things anytime I find myself feeling depressed, anxious and hopeless. I’m sure it will work for you as it always works for me.
1. Love yourself
The first commandment to stop feeling hopeless and depressed is to love yourself. Self-love starts with having high regards for your own well-being and happiness. You have to first admit that you deserve to be happy. You have to acknowledge the fact that your well-being is very important.
Self-love is the greatest medication to depression and hopelessness.
Self-love is all about realization. Most importantly, realizing that your situations don’t define you because situations are temporary. Whatever happens today won’t happen tomorrow (tomorrow won’t be exactly like today) because tomorrow isn’t a replica of today, but you are. You are the person who faced today, and you will be the same person to face tomorrow. You are permanent as long as you have your breath, but your situation isn’t permanent. I’m sure you will agree with me that it is foolishness to focus on the temporary thing and disregard the permanent thing. So, why would you disregard your life?
Loving yourself means knowing who you are and coming to terms to what you deserve. When you love yourself, you will put yourself first; your well-being and your happiness come first. It’s not selfishness, its healthy-living (self-love). You will know what you deserve and won’t settle for less. Therefore, you won’t feel the urge to hurt yourself because you have high regards for your health. When suicidal thoughts should come, you will overcome it with self-love. When you are facing breakup depression, the love you have for yourself will help you to boost your self-esteem.
What to do to love yourself
For you to love yourself, firstly you have to accept yourself for who you are. Whatever you cannot change about yourself, accept it and change your perspective towards it. Be kind to yourself. I know you have heard the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Likewise, I will add this: “treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.” If you want to be treated with respect, you’ve got to respect yourself first. If you want to be treated with love, you’ve got to love yourself first. If you want to be taken seriously, you’ve got to take yourself seriously first. The best person to teach others how to treat you is certainly YOU.
Whenever you are feeling hopeless in life, reassure yourself that you love yourself and that the situation that makes you feel hopeless will surely pass. Tell yourself it’s just a matter of time.
2. Manage your expectations
If you want to stop feeling hopeless and worthless, learn to manage your expectations. Stop having too many expectations of everything. Don’t have too high expectations of yourself, your partner, your family, your friends, your work, your children, your future, your life etc. Too high expectations make you prone to depression and feeling hopeless.
Let’s assume you’ve been having an increment of $100 every day for two weeks, so your total balance in the account is $1400. Don’t have too high expectation that within 24hrs, your account balance should increase to $7000. You know why? It’s not realistic.
Why is it not realistic? Look at the pattern of things happening in your life. The pattern in this example, clearly shows that you gain $100 a day (24hrs) and now you are expecting to have $7000 in your account? Do you know what that means? It means you want to gain $5600 within a day (24hrs) as opposed to the usual $100. With such expectation, you are already setting yourself up for failure.
Another disadvantage of setting too high expectations is that it blinds you from seeing progress. It won’t even make you acknowledge the fact that you’ve made progress. You know, if eventually you make $700 that day and your account increases from $1400 to $2100, you will still feel disappointed. And this feeling of disappointment could lead you to depression. You will be disappointed that you didn’t make the target of $5600. Hello, but you are forgetting something. You can’t see the progress you’ve made. For the past 2 weeks, you made $1400, but within a day, you make half ($700) of what you would have made in 2 weeks. Isn’t that huge progress?
Your spouse spends 12 hours at work, leaving you alone at home. You complained and your spouse promised to change. And because your spouse has promised to change, you set a high expectation. You expect your spouse to spend only 8 hours at work, after all, that’s the official working hours, you thought to yourself. Your spouse started spending 10 hours, a reduction of 2hours. But you are still not happy. Why? Because you didn’t get your expectation, but you fail to recognize the positive change that has happened and you fail to understand that change is a gradual process. So, you start having depression in marriage.
Disadvantage of high expectations
High expectations won’t let you see the progress you are making in life, or the progress others are making instead; it makes you focus on the things that are yet to be achieved, and make you feel like a failure. High expectation is one of the root causes of depression and hopelessness. Learn to set healthy, realistic expectations.
Ayobami, are you suggesting that I shouldn’t think big? No, I want you to think big. But when you think big, learn to break down your big goals into smaller units and work with the smaller units till you get there. For example, if you want to fly a plane, you’ve got to enrol to an aviation school first, take classes and exams. Life is step by step. You didn’t become an adult in a day, even though the goal is adulthood. You started life as a baby (smaller units).
3. Take a break
How often do you take a break from everything happening within and around you? Do you ever take a break? If you want to stop feeling hopeless and depressed, you’ve got to learn to take a break from life. I enjoy taking a break from everything because it helps me to reflect on life, see the things I wouldn’t see on a normal good day and after that, makes me feel refreshed and re-energized.
When you take a break, it helps to rejuvenate you. Common, life is too short, don’t take it too seriously. You need a break to enjoy life. Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go for a vacation. You can take a break where you are. Start by changing your routine and doing something you haven’t done before. When you do things you haven’t done before, it will help boost your confidence.
Anytime I am feeling overwhelmed, my go-to remedy is ‘take a break’. I immediately stop everything I am doing and also stop my mind from thinking about those things. It’s a moment of silence for me. Silence in my thoughts, mind and consciousness. Then, I start to think of the fun things I could do. The number one fun thing I do is to watch comic videos and animal videos on social media. They make me feel happy and relaxed. Then, I could watch movies, or go out and take a walk in nature. If I have enough time, I go for an adventure. I notice that by the time I come back to the task I was tackling, I suddenly get new ideas to better tackle it and achieve success.
Take a break from reality
Learn to take a break from your reality. Reality shouldn’t control you all the time. Therefore, free yourself from everything and just enjoy being you, just like when you were a child and didn’t need to worry about anything. If you have to spoil yourself, do it. Taking a break means taking time to be kind to yourself.
4. Avoid distractions
When you get distracted, you lose focus and losing focus could lead to frustration as you won’t be able to achieve your goals. I know you are wondering, “Ayobami, you said I should learn to take a break and now you are saying I should avoid distractions. Is taking a break not a distraction already?” No. The main reason why you should learn to take a break is to help you avoid distractions.
Are you confused? Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. To clarify, I will explain it using this scenario. You have a report to complete. You started drafting the report, and then you got a notification on your phone. Your favourite YouTube channel you subscribed to have just uploaded a new video. What will be your next action after seeing the notification? Of course, you are tempted to watch it.
You check the duration of the video and you convince yourself that you can spare 12 minutes. After watching the video, you start reading comments. And then YouTube suggested similar videos and you clicked to watch too. Before you know it, you have spent hours on YouTube. As a result, you could no longer complete the report and you console yourself that you will complete it tomorrow too. And then tomorrow comes with its own distractions too.
Time is the determinant of life, don’t waste it.
How does learning to take a break help you to stay focus?
When you got the notification on your phone, if you had already had plans to take a break, you won’t be tempted to watch the video right away. Your time is already well-planned, and you have included break time in your plan as well. Taking a break puts you in charge of your time and helps you to effectively manage distractions. Of course, you are still going to watch that Youtube video, but not now. You will tell yourself “when I am done with writing this report, I will watch the video.” That could also serve as an incentive or reward for your hard work. Now you will be more efficient and effective at completing the task because you are eager to watch a video afterwards.
Taking a break will also help you to be disciplined. You will be inspired to stick to your plan, therefore distractions won’t get you so easily since you’ve already made a deliberate provision for distraction in your plan (your break).
If you want to stop feeling depressed and hopeless, you have to learn to avoid distractions. Keep your goals and vision in mind and focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes, it’s necessary to go offline just to avoid distractions. Distractions could also be internal, so always put your thoughts in check. Tell yourself, there will be time to think of other things later, right now I have to focus on what I am doing. If the task is becoming overwhelming, then take a break for some times. It has to be a deliberate break to help you refocus when you get back to the task. Avoiding distractions is an intentional act; it is something you must constantly work towards. How to avoid distractions
5. Learn from failure
Failure is a teacher, and it has an active lesson note, but it’s left for you to either take the lesson note or ignore it. When you fail, you have just acquired new knowledge without knowing. You’ve just learned what is not working, and then you are left to figure out what’s working. Of course, you didn’t plan to fail, but when you fail; don’t see it as the end of the road for you. Most importantly, let it motivate you to succeed.
I remember one of my clients who came to me crying. My client started a transportation business and she was facing lots of challenges to keep the business running. She reached out to investors and she got lucky. My client got investors to help the business. She was extremely happy because she knows how difficult it is for start-ups to get funding. She took it as a good sign that her business won’t fail. My client invested the money and just when she was expecting profit, she recorded a loss. She tried to stabilize the company but the loss kept increasing and she failed.
Capitalize on your failure
She cried, telling me how miserable she feels. She was so depressed and she told me “Ayobami, I’m not good enough. I’m a failure. I’m tired of living.” We went through a series of coaching sessions and I taught her how to capitalize on her failure. Inspired by her failure, she came up with another business idea. She did her research and saw that an alarming number of startups are failing in her country. So, the business idea was to empower start-ups and point out pitfalls so that they don’t fail and also provide a platform for them to get the resources they need.
Her new business became a home of resources for start-ups. Today, her company is doing great and has won several awards. She was named among the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs. She thought she was a failure, she changed the game by capitalizing on her failure and now she’s a success.
You are not a failure!
Don’t let the simple fact that you have failed, make you feel like a failure because you are not a failure. Every successful people today have a story to tell about their failed attempt. Learn to analyze the failure to understand the root cause. Yes, I know it’s difficult to analyze your failure. The thought alone is emotionally unpleasant, but if you want to learn from your failure, you must be ready to acknowledge it and analyze it to know where the shortcomings are so you can improve on them.
And if there are no shortcomings, yeah not all failures have shortcomings. Sometimes, you might fail without a reason. Perhaps, the time isn’t right for you yet or the failure is trying to redirect your actions to something better or redefine your priorities in life. Whatever the case might be, don’t ever call yourself a failure. The ugly experience will surely pass, and you can re-establish yourself.
6. Face your fears
If I tell you that I use to be extremely shy, would you believe me? The truth is that growing up, I was extremely shy. I know what I want in life, but I am also very much aware that my shyness would be the hindrances to achieving it. How can I become a motivational speaker, if I can’t even face one person and talk with that person? How can I be in a leadership position, if I don’t showcase the confidence to lead? However, I decided to face my fear by contesting for a leadership position back then in school. I was afraid as hell, but I went on to follow my action plan.
During the manifesto night, I couldn’t speak eloquently. I was shaking on stage and between me and Moses in the bible; I’m not sure who would have won the contest of stuttering. But to my surprise, I won the election. The students could see beyond my anxiety, and they saw someone who is genuinely passionate about moving the faculty forward. Someone who is intelligent and smart. That victory certainly helped me to build my confidence. And as I continued to carry out tasks in that office and engage with people, my confidence level kept increasing.
What are you afraid of?
If you keep running away from your fears, you might constantly find yourself wallowing in depression. Sometimes, your key to happiness and fulfillment in life is hidden in your fears. Until you find the courage to do your fears, your life stays hopeless. I want you to think of the things you are afraid of, rate them according to priorities and evaluate the risks of facing your fears.
Are you afraid of telling that person how much you love him/her? Common, what is the worse that could happen? You might be rejected, but if you are rejected, is it not better? At least, you would know that the person doesn’t want you. The constant heartache and restless nights will be over, and you can move on to love someone else. And who knows? They might as well feel the same for you, and that could be your opportunity for a fulfilling marriage.
When you face your fears, it doesn’t mean that your fear will disappear. It might, and it might not disappear, but your fear won’t be able to stop you from achieving your goals. Facing your fears means doing what you have to do, even when afraid.
I strongly recommend that you read this article How To Overcome With Fear: Befriend Your Fear there, I revealed that my secret of being confident is by working with my fears.
7. Don’t measure your achievements against others
The fastest way to have a depression attack is to start thinking of the things you couldn’t achieve, but others achieved. If you want to stop feeling hopeless and depressed, you have to make a deliberate act of not measuring your achievements against other’s achievements.
For example, if you are driving home and you see your colleague car entering their compound, would you start to think that you should also move your car into that compound because those ones have gotten home? Of course, you won’t even care because you know you are also going home too. You are aware that your home location is different, so what you have to do is to keep driving until you get home. The same thing applies to your life.
Your destination is different.
Everyone has a different destination in life. Though it might be similar, it’s different. Therefore, stop comparing your own achievement to others because your destination is different from theirs. Yeah, they might have reached home before you, but you will also get home if you keep pushing forward. Yeah, it’s ok to wish that you have reached home too. In other words, it’s ok to wish that you have the level of success or achievement someone has. But don’t measure or compare your achievement to theirs. Keep your focus on your goal, and keep pushing forward. Don’t stop, keep going, until you get to your destination (achieve your dream). Every single time you are tempted to measure yourself against other people’s success, just reassure yourself “I will get home.”
Are you still searching for a full-time job meanwhile your mates are already getting married, having children, travelling the world, heading big organizations etc? Yes, it is enough for you to feel depressed about it because you are human and you want the good things of life too. But don’t focus too much on it because it will stop you from working towards your goal. Yeah, it’s ok to cry. If you need to cry for sometimes, do it. Let yourself feel the emotions, don’t deny your emotion but don’t dwell in the emotions for long. Let the emotion inspire you. Stand up, and keep trying until you achieve success.
What to do when feeling hopeless and depressed
The secret attribute of hopelessness and depression is inactivity. The more inactive you become, the higher the level of your depression and hopelessness. So what can you do when feeling hopeless and depressed? The answer is to deliberately increase activities. Therefore, I will give you 7 activities to do when you are feeling hopeless and depressed.
Years ago, I lost my phone during a one-week youth program and I was extremely sad. The phone contained some important data and I didn’t have any backup. So, I didn’t feel like participating in any activities. I just wanted to lock myself up in the hotel room and after the conference, take a flight back home.
I was in the toilet corridor when one of the participants came to talk to me because she saw how sad I was. She shared her story with me and told me that I should make good use of my time because I won’t be able to recover the time lost, but I could still recover the item lost. And if I should eventually recover the items lost and realize that I couldn’t recover the time lost, I might end up regretting everything.
Her words put me back on track
As a result of what she told me, I deliberately started engaging in the activities of the program. I took a lot of pictures with others phone and they were kind enough to send it to my social media page and email. And I made new friends, learned many things and had a lot of fun. Though at night, when I retire to my hotel room, I think of the lost phone again, however, the effect of sadness it has on me was gradually diminishing.
You know what? The day I was to travel back home, the phone was found. So, if I had not participated fully in the program and refuse to do any of the fun activities, I would have regretted it. Whatever situation you find yourself, I want you to know that it will surely pass. You might not recover what you lost, but time will make the difference.
Therefore get up, and start doing these 7 things to stop feeling hopeless and depressed. Don’t let depression and hopelessness defeat you.
1. Relax and play
If you are dealing with anxiety and depression, you need to relax and play. Start doing things that will make you happy. Yes, I know in your current situation, you don’t even feel like doing anything, but you know you can’t just be sitting or lying about doing nothing. If you are not doing anything, you will lose yourself the more as negative thoughts will overshadow you. Therefore, for you to get out of depression and hopeless, you have to be deliberate about it. Nobody can help you except you help yourself, therefore I urge you to please stop sitting or lying about doing nothing.
Life is too short, please, get up and do some fun activities. This will distract you from your ugly situation, boost your morale, give you the energy to face your situation and perhaps make you see your situation from another perspective too. I want you to know that life is an opportunity, and if you don’t take advantage of what today has to offer, you won’t get it tomorrow. Every day has something to offer, so live today and let tomorrow do the worrying.
You don’t have an idea of what activities you should do for relaxation and fun? Don’t worry; I will give you ideas.
50 things you can do for fun and relaxation:
- Watch comic videos or read comic books.
- Watch animal videos.
- Practice yoga.
- Practice painting.
- Sit on a swing.
- Visit a friend.
- Walk a dog.
- Have fun with VR.
- Go for Karaoke night.
- Watch children playing.
- Go shopping.
- Eat out or try a new restaurant.
- Go fishing.
- Go hiking.
- Visit orphanage.
- Go to a beach.
- Visit a museum.
- Visit a zoo.
- Do inner peace meditation.
- Visit an aquarium.
- Go to the spa.
- Volunteer for a community service.
- Watch sport.
- Go for a stroll.
- Do a crossword puzzle.
- Travel to a new location to explore.
- Talk with your family members.
- Play an instrument.
- Get on a train.
- Go for a cruise.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Go to a live show.
- Pack a picnic launch.
- Run or roll on the field.
- Go for a walk in nature.
- Scan your old photographs.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Go bowling.
- Do window-shopping.
- Plant a garden.
- Play a board game.
- Go for a swim.
- Spend time with animals.
- Sing and/or dance.
- Watch your favourite child cartoons.
- Watch movies.
- Go on a long drive.
2. Restructure your thought
When you are feeling depressed, always make a conscious effort to restructure your thought. Are you dealing with a loss? Think of the good times and the good memory you have of that person and don’t dwell on the fact that they are no longer with you. Restructuring your thought is a smart recovery technique.
Are you feeling worthless? Think of the things you’ve done in the past that made you proud and focus on those things. If you have footage, watch it. Most importantly, this is not the time to dwell on thoughts that will make you sad or make you have self-doubt. You have to deliberately think of the good things that have happened in your life and focus on those good things.
I recommend you read: 5 Reasons Why Positivity Is Absolutely Important For Success and learn how to restructure your thought to dwell on positivity.
3. Positive reinforcement
Overcoming depression and feeling of hopelessness requires reassurance and for you to do that you need to constantly practice positive reinforcement. Treat yourself with kindness by giving yourself reward or praise for the things you do. In this weak moment of your life, you need positive reinforcement to awaken your motivation.
For example, draw an action plan for each day. You can download a ‘to-do list’ app on google play store and plan your daily activities. Then make a positive reinforcement plan. For every activity you complete in your ‘to-do list’, reward yourself for it. For example, if I do 10 pushups today, I will buy myself my favourite chocolate. Or if I don’t think of my problem today and stay positive, I will give myself a spa treatment. Or if I finish writing the report, I will watch the latest movie on Netflix.
4. Find support
When you are feeling hopeless and depressed, don’t withdraw yourself from family, friends and social group. Yes, I know you just want to be alone, which is OK but doing so for a long time isn’t healthy for you because it will drain your emotional strength. You need support; you need people you can talk to even if they won’t give you advice.
Don’t keep it all to yourself, it a big burden that would weigh you down. You can join a support group and talk to people that could understand your pain and your feelings. Sometimes, just talking to someone about your fears, your uncertainties, your struggles, your pain, your disappointment etc could elevate you from depression.
There is a new app that is dedicated to mental health. You will write whatever you are going through, and a user will either chat with you or talk to you. You can approve or decline a user request to talk to you. What I love about the app is that all parties involved are anonymous. You don’t know who you are talking to and the person doesn’t know who he or she is talking to. Therefore, everyone on the app is a stranger. At times, talking to a stranger could be a good option because you won’t have to fear your privacy being disclosed or fear being judged. The app is called “mind healer”. You can search for it on google play store and download it.
Above all, I am always here for you. You can talk to me anytime and I will be glad to listen and if needed, give specific advice on what to do. To get started, you can book a 30-minute free consultation
5. Dwell in the present moment
Stop focusing too much on the future because it’s the surest way to bring fear and worry into your life. Likewise, stop focusing too much on past moments because it’s also the surest way to bring regret and disappointment into your life. What should you focus on? Start focusing on the present. Yeah, your present moment is what you have to enjoy life because yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. In short, you don’t know when your last moment on earth will be. Therefore learn to explore the moments you are fortunate to experience.
I know you have plans for the future and that’s a good thing. Your plan will give you a sense of direction, however, to achieve the future plan, you have to start working and focusing on the present and unveil these great moments to achieve your future goal. For example, imagine you are climbing a high mountain, and you fix your gaze on the top of the mountain, what do you think will happen? You will definitely fail in that mission. For you to climb the mountain, you have to focus on each step you take as you gradually climb the mountain to the top.
Focusing on each step means you are dwelling in the present moment even though you already have a master plan in mind, which is to reach the top of the mountain.
When life seems hopeless and you feel depressed, make a deliberate decision to not think too much about your future, or your past, because it often causes stress, anxiety, sadness and doubt. Always take a step at a time. Since you have today to spend, why not enjoy your present moments? Do the things that you have to do now.
6. Be grateful
Whatever situation you are going through right now, someone is out there going through the same thing or even worse. Always know that there is nothing new under the sun. You are not the only one facing hard times; life has a reputation for being unfair. The reality of life is that plans do fail and expectations do get cut off, but even at that if you take a moment to reflect on your life, you will find one or two things to be grateful for.
Do you think you have nothing to be grateful for? Why not hear other people’s story and you will know that not all hope is gone for you. No matter the situation, you will surely overcome it. So, right now be grateful for the things you have.
What situation are you facing?
You don’t have children and you are feeling depressed. Take a moment and be grateful for the wonderful spouse you have. You are feeling hopeless at work because the projects you did fail. Take a moment and be grateful for at least the job you have for giving you a source of living. You are feeling hopeless and lost because your best friend betrayed you. Take a moment and be grateful for knowing the true colour of your friend. You are feeling worthless and depressed because there is nothing you can do as you watch your loved one dying on the sickbed. Take a moment and be grateful for having that person in your life and the wonderful memories you shared. You are feeling so hopeless because every opportunity keeps slipping through your fingers. Take a moment and be grateful for the chance to improve and become better.
I’m not saying it is easy, because it’s not but it worth it. Try to shift your perception of life and be grateful for those things that you still have despite the hard times, and you will be amazed, as peace will fill your heart. It will make you feel like the weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you be able to stand to face the future.
A suggestion of 25 things you should be grateful for:
- Life: you are still breathing.
- Time: it’s never too late to start again.
- Situation: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
- Parents/ friends/ siblings/ partner: you are loved.
- Courage: you kept fighting regardless.
- Mind: gives you valuable memories and keeps you from committing suicide.
- Senses: you can enjoy the beauty of life.
- Belongings: you have the necessary things to live comfortably.
- Tears: you can connect with your emotions.
- Mistakes: you can learn from experience.
- Disappointment: you can set your priority straights.
- Job: you have a source of living.
- Enemies: teaching you the reality of life.
- Teachers/mentors: helping you to unleash your potentials.
- Heartbreaks: helping you to realize that you deserve better.
- Laughter: helping you find fulfillment and happiness.
- Pain: it makes you value pleasure.
- Body: for being healthy and strong.
- Nature: for connecting you to a beautiful world.
- Privilege: you are not living the worst life on earth.
- Choices: you have the opportunity to make decisions.
- Technology: explore the beautiful world of possibility.
- Love: for the wonderful feeling of affection you feel within you.
- Bed: for the ability to sleep and relax.
- Music: for the ability to get in touch with your deepest emotions.
7. Shun negativity
The world is full of negativity, adding negativity to your life could make it explode. When you are feeling hopeless and depressed, that is the moment you should shun negativity the most because you are already vulnerable. Therefore, always monitor your thoughts and change every negative thought you have to a positive one. Put your imagination in action and start imagining the good things you want. After all, it won’t cost you anything to imagine a good life for yourself. Lead a positive lifestyle by believing that something good will surely happen in your life.
Always remember that nothing is permanent, therefore your pain, sadness, depression and feeling of hopelessness will surely pass away. The more positivity you surround yourself with, the easier you will rise above your depression. Shun whatever is the source of negativity in your life. If it is your friends, keep a distance from them. If it is social media, take a break from it. Do everything you have to do to stay positive.
Keep yourself busy; remember I told you that hopelessness and depression strive on inactivity, so you can’t afford to just sit there doing anything. Be conscious of your thoughts, connect to nature and connect with positive people. Always remember to reward yourself for every successful conscious effort you make to stay positive.
You are the product of your thought!
If you think that nothing good happens to you, I’m afraid that could become your reality in life. Therefore, it is important to speak positivity into your life. You have the power to make yourself happy, so do it. You have to start saying positive words to yourself and be kind to yourself. When you keep saying that you will overcome, soon your confidence will return and you will be able to truly overcome whatever are the causes of depression and hopelessness.
Examples of 35 positive words to say to yourself:
- I love myself.
- I will never accept defeat.
- Whatever my situation, I will surely overcome.
- I will not stop believing in myself.
- I am who I am and I will live my authentic life.
- Nothing will stop me from being successful.
- I believe I will achieve my dream no matter what.
- I am a winner in every ramification of life.
- Henceforth, I will do what makes me happy.
- I deserve love, kindness and happiness.
- I will not let other’s opinion about me to define me.
- This condition I am facing will surely pass, and everything will be OK.
- I will live to the fullest.
- I’m grateful for my life.
- Whatever my choice, good or bad, I will own it.
- I will follow my intuition and trust myself more.
- I am proud of myself.
- My potential is limitless, and my worth is unfathomable.
- I will go for what I want and I will get it.
- I will change the world and make a huge difference.
- I won’t live a wasted life.
- I will make myself happy and treat myself with kindness.
- Every day, I will do my best to reach my goals in life.
- I will never settle for less in life.
- I won’t permit anyone to make me feel I don’t deserve what I want.
- My challenges will become my success story soon.
- I am good enough and I will work hard to be a better version of me.
- I can decide for myself, and I will make the right decisions.
- My life is valuable and I am a precious gift to the world.
- I know who I am, I have confidence in myself.
- I am courageous, I refuse to give up.
- I will be open-minded, and willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in life.
- I choose to think positively and create positive change in my life.
- I will always reward myself and celebrate my success.
- I will learn from my mistakes and disappointments.
Feeling so hopeless has nothing to do with your worth because you are valuable. Most importantly, always remember that your situation doesn’t define you. Therefore, don’t let your ugly situation make you doubt the bright future ahead of you or your ability to achieve your dream. Whatever you are facing now is temporary, and it will surely pass. Therefore, don’t be too hard on yourself; be kind to yourself. If you are having a down day, have it. Don’t deny yourself the emotions you feel inside. Cry, if you have to cry. Be alone, if you have to be alone. Mourn, if you have to mourn. But don’t stay down for so long. Get up from there, and put back the piece together.
When feeling hopeless, do at least one fun activity a day to re-channel your energy and rejuvenate yourself. However, if you are unsuccessful at accomplishing your plan for today because of your depressed mood, don’t worry. I what you to know that tomorrow is another day, and it certainly comes with the opportunity for a second chance to try again. Do things that make you feel good, and take responsibility for your action.
To stop feeling hopeless and depressed, every action you take must be intentional, and it will help you to rise above depression, hopelessness and anxiety, therefore bring you closer to happiness. Please note, if you have severe depression, kindly seek medical help. Also, please consider taking antidepressant medication for the elimination of your severely depressed mood.
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Copyright by Ayobami Abiodun