Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to Deal With Hopelessness


Sometimes we feel hopelessness- that sad encompassing feeling which leads you to believe that nothing you do is good enough and that you are trapped in unpleasant and undesired circumstances.

Hopelessness is never enjoyable, but it certainly is preventable and avoidable. Hopelessness, like other feelings which taint our outlook on ourselves and life, is best treated when understood.

Why Do We Feel Hopeless? Stop Seeing the Good or Bad....See the Facts

Our view of a situation is often a collection of the "evidence" we look for during our experiences.

If we look for evidence that imples a situation is negative, pointless, worthless, or shameful, then we will find that evidence and we will come up with a "verdict" based on the material we've collected.

The fault with this method of experiencing the world is that we decide on what qualities a certain situation possess before or after experiencing the situation. Instead of staying in the moment, we are either anxious about the future or disappointed with our past. In order to stay away from feelings of hopelessness, we need to start living in the present and analyzing the scenarios as they come in a manner like that of someone totally unattached to the causes or outcome.

Hopelessness can be just as destructive as foolish optimism, so in order to avoid treading into either extremes, we have to stop thinking about our situations in terms of good of bad. Instead, we need to look at our situation in terms of reality without projecting our expectations or desires.

This does not mean you should not address the way you feel during a situation- feelings and emotions are signs that can guide you throughout your decision making when paired with logical thought and education.
You should definitely try to understand why certain feelings come up during your experience, but do not let these emotions take control of the situation. Emotions are but one aspect of who you are and how you go through life; you must remember to acknowledge and address your rational thought, inuition, and values. These different aspects make up the moods, opinions, and views you have about the world. You must be able to understand and identify them, or else you will be operating subconciously and will lose control.
Don't allow these aspects to take over your power of choice.

Once we analyze why we feel and view a scenario in terms of "inner" reality, we can incorporate the "external" reality into our mindset.

What is actually happening in the moment? Take away the personal narrative, history, fear, and pre-conceived notions surrounding a situation and look at what is left. How little power do these remaining aspects have over your feelings? Can you control these remaining aspects, or will you have to accept them?

Once you begin to look at the world objectively and subjectively, through your inner reality and the external reality, you can utilize your observations to make the best decisions and consciously respond  to a situation instead of merely reacting to it.

Getting Over Your Past

Constant feelings of hopelessness are driven by our preoccupation with the past.

We deem our mistakes as our destiny, and we convince ourselves that we will only keep making these mistakes, or bad things will only continue to happen to us, or we will never be or do anything good enough.

In order to stop allowing the voices of the past to dominate your inner dialogue, you must heal it.

Think back to when these thought patterns were created. When did you start believing in these negative affirmations? Accept that you made mistakes in the past, and allow yourself to heal. Let go of those moment, give yourself the time and attention needed to free yourself from the ties holding you back. Decide that you are no longer going to hold yourself back. Decide that you are no longer going to allow yourself to sabatoge your future.

Be Good to Yourself

During times of hopelessness, we may be feeling extra sensitive and vulnerable. If you feel like the negativity or stress around you is hurting you, give yourself the time and space to recharge privately and nourish yourself.

Sometimes we adopt the atmosphere's or other people's negative energy and it joins our own inner negativity and we begin to feel very sad and hopeless. To combat this, put yourself in an entirely different mood and mindset.

Do a few things that make you really happy, that affirm your strengths or blessings, and that relax you and make you feel safe and nurtured.

Spend extra money on a really healthy meal. Do yoga. Get a massage. Be with loved ones. Stay in bed. Watch your favorite movie. Read a funny or heartwarming novel. Get yourself out of the rut and shake off the bad vibes.

Express Yourself

Sometimes we feel hopeless because we have too much emotional clutter and mental fatigue which we have not released. Although some might say venting to a friend is a wise choice, often times the act of venting reaffirms the accusatory or negative feelings involved in creatin the emotional clutter.

Instead, write about your feelings and explore them privately in a journal. No one will judge you, and try not to judge yourself. Only you can read it, so allow yourself to express all of your thoughts freely, and analyze them freely, and explore different conclusions as you like. Follow your inuition during this process and continue to do this. This process will not only allow you to experience release, it will also teach you more about yourself and thus give you more control so you can respond and not react.


Hopelessness is never fun, but such feelings are reminders for us to look at ourselves and our lives more closely to get to the root of the problem. Never ignore these strong feelings, and never make permanent decision while dealing with these feelings.

Remember, this too shall pass.