“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”Roger Crawford
The only thing constant in life is change itself. Everyone has good and bad moments no matter what social media and beyond may portray. We can have challenges at work with pressure from our managers, be the good person with a kind heart and be trodden on, and a combination of events often come at once ‘when life sucks.’ Firstly I would like to offer you my compassion for what you are gong through right now and I truly hope this article can help you grow to a better place for you. When ‘my life sucks,’ you may feel lost, hopeless and lacking in confidence leading to ad-hoc auto-pilot decisions that either lead you in circles or into a further downward spiral. I can assure you that no matter what pocket of space or alleyway you are currently in within the mind right now, there is a doorway out of this maze and the first key door might be right in front of you. Through a combination of newly formed perception, self-acceptance, and the building up of your resilience and environment, you will live a happy life, a life of meaning and a life that is successful for you.
Why does life suck so much?
Perhaps you have recently lost someone you loved very much, had a challenge in the work place, been through a recent relationship ending or perhaps an amalgamation of many things.
According to Carolyn Ferreira, Psy.D;
“Feeling lost feels a lot like depression”
Feeling lost can be underpinned by feeling our lives lack meaning and a sense of hopelessness. We can also feel like we have lost our identity when we lose a job or break up from a relationship. Much of our lives are spent in the work place and in addition in some form of relationship and we begin to build a story in our minds of who we are and assign our identity in part to such life domains.
“Mental health experts have argued as far back as the Great Depression that unemployment damages mental health and undermines the social fabric of society. Involuntary joblessness can elicit feelings of helplessness, self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. “ Kristen Muller, M.D.
A combination of a lack of meaning and losing our sense of identity can underpin why you may feel the way that you do at this present moment in time. Having a job you are passionate about can give you a sense of meaning and a strong sense of identity as one example.
How to bounce back?
According to the Sustainable Happiness Model (2005), happiness comes down to three key elements; genetics, circumstances and thoughts. According to this model 40% of our happiness is due to our thoughts. Although numerous studies support this theory, respectfully they may not apply to every single person always. It is suggested that 10% of our happiness comes down to our circumstances in life for example this could be a negative event in our life such as a work issue, our family social setting, cultural aspects and more. A family in a low-economic setting could be just as happy or happier than a family in a high-income setting. Respectfully this information maybe difficult to accept if you have recently gone through a very hard time and indeed life sucks. What is exciting is that our thinking and mindset can be changed and this can influence a huge part of our happiness and result in action that can further increase well-being.
Change your mindset
Much of our behavior can stem from our subconscious mind (see 9 interesting facts about the subconscious mind), and it is important for us to begin a morning routine and bed time routine to help us change our mindset. According to Jim Kwik our variations in brainwave states (delta, theta, alpha, and beta) have varying dynamics on how we accept information in our minds. When we are organically coming out of our sleep and in between becoming fully awake we are particularly impressionable to information. The same can be said for when we are in a relaxed state and transitioning into sleep, and meditating. Harley Street Hypnotherapist Gail Marra discusses in our video interview how thoughts can act as a marinade whilst we sleep, and therefore it is important to find peace with our thinking patterns and life’s challenges before we actually go to sleep. If we worry about our problems and let them get out of hand and then we sleep on such problems they can become worse in our mind as we sleep which will result in further anxieties the following day. Imagine waking up to use the bathroom at 3am when you are ‘half asleep’ and then picking up your phone to read something negative in the news. This could have a deep impact on your mindset when you wake up the next morning. Imagine going to bed worried about your financial position which can marinade during your sleep causing further anxiety the following day. If we could instead speak to a loved one about our situation, make a plan for the following day to contact the right financial companies to assist you with your situation and make a savings plan with a loved one or close friend we can at least regain our ‘sense of control.’
Morning and Bed Time Routine;
- Start practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises for anxiety first thing in the morning almost as soon as you wake up. Also before you go to bed.
- Do not look at any screen, phone, television, for the first 20-30 minutes when waking up / before going to bed.
- Read one powerful quote when you wake up to set the tone for your day such as a Mindfulness Quotes or Resilience Quotes.
- Practice gratitude each day.
Identify where life has gone wrong
Sometimes we feel lost and anxious from a mixture of events in life that sneak up on us. Most of our worries actually never come true and anxiety lies in us thinking about the future and worrying about things that will most likely never actually happen. Take time to meditate, take a breath, and partake in some healthy activities such as a nature walk or jogging. Process what is happening to you right now and look at the bigger picture. Assess what you can control and learn from past actions that may have led you here today. Let go of what you cannot control and focus on your health.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.”Marcus Aurelius
Work on personal growth
We can use coping strategies in two main ways in order for us to grow as individuals.
1.Problem Focused Coping – This is where we focus on direct solutions to a problem such as working harder, talking to a friend, starting the gym and so on.
2. Emotional Focused Coping – This type of coping assesses what our perception is on the event itself, pulling out learnings and optimism from an event instead of ruminating, positive visualisation, past positive thoughts and so on.
More on these types on coping and resilience training can be found in our free app – Meaningful Paths on Apple IOS and Google Play stores.
Remove negative influences
According to Michael Ungar a resilience researcher, nurture trumps nature, and our environments have a huge impact on our levels of resilience and well-being. More on this can be found in our Resilience Master Class. If we surround ourselves with kind and happy individuals, have a supportive working environment, plenty of green spaces, and more then we begin to build a world around our selves full of positive constructs for our well-being.
Start new hobbies, volunteer for a local charity and push your boundaries to regain a sense of meaning and identity.
Don’t give up
Your life will not change in one day, but today can be the first most powerful yet subtle step to your new path. In our free self-help eBook Ariadne’s Thread (which can be found here – growth worksheets), we use mythology to show you how to keep going and a metaphor from Hades on why belief and not giving up is so crucial in the early phases of changing your current situation.
A conclusion of thoughts
No matter what your current situation, a crucial aspect is for you to regain a sense of meaning in your life and to also regain your sense of identity. Consistency of a morning and bedtime routine, mindfulness and meditation will be strong foundations for you to live a happy life and to transition from your current situation. Removing negative influences and surrounding yourself with positive constructs that are good for you will help you stay afloat and eventually thrive in life.
Please explore our other blog pages, look out for our video interviews and free webinars with about health, well-being and finance and explore all of our free worksheets under our Resources section.
Thanks for listening.