Often it’s when you least expect it and when things are going really well that life can sucker punch you and turn sour. It’s the surprise of a streak of bad luck that can have the worst impact. It seems that when one thing goes wrong, everything starts to unravel.
Whenever life gets you down, people will often tell you to look at the bright side; to find the positives and compare yourself to those who are less fortunate than you. This isn’t very helpful. In fact it makes you feel worse.
Allow yourself to feel bad
You are entitled to feel awful once in a while and to acknowledge that whatever it is that is getting you down in life, is valid and justified. It could be an unexpected illness or losing your job, you may have suddenly faced some financial difficulty or received some bad news. Whatever it is, you have every right to complain. Being negative is not the worst thing you can do. In fact, it is a healthy and necessary response to help you through the process of healing and getting back on track.
Take responsibility and then move on
The most important thing you can do is to understand the difference between blaming yourself and taking responsibility. Whether you have made a bad decision and the downfall is entirely your fault, or you have had absolutely no control over why your life sucks, it’s important to accept what has happened and to learn from it.
There is no point punishing yourself. Be accountable for your actions, think about whether or not you would behave the same way given another chance and then once you have made sense of it all, try to move on.
Do things for yourself
Another way to soften the blow is to be extra generous and kind to yourself. Now is the time to spoil yourself in simple and healthy ways. Take a break and step back from life to regather your thoughts and recenter yourself. A walk in nature, a swim in the ocean or a soothing bath are easy and inexpensive ways to comfort yourself.
Focus on your health, both mental and physical. Eat well and drink plenty of water. Exercise is a natural antidepressant. Make time to do the things you love and spend time with people who make you happy and also accept yourself when you are sad or angry. Talk about it. Write about it. Get it out of your system. Listen to or make music. These are the things that will give you permission to explore your bad feelings and find the good ones.
Face what happened
Finally, look forward to solutions. Take solace in the knowledge and certainty that every moment passes and this feeling doesn’t have to last forever. Sometimes the only thing you can do is wait a situation out, particularly if you are grieving. A broken relationship, the death of someone close, loss of any kind is heartbreaking and makes you miserable.
Denying your emotions or burying them inside you by not properly reflecting on them is unhealthy and will cause more damage in the long run. If you do the hard work immediately, which could just be a matter of enduring it, your healing will come eventually.
Know that it will make you stronger
You will learn from your experiences and become stronger because of it. Everybody goes through difficulties in life, some more than others and the only way to grow is to go through both the good and the bad. It is easy to be hard on yourself and feel guilty about thinking that your life sucks, especially if you are aware of your privilege.
When you know about what is going on around the world or even to people in your life, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t entitled to complain and in some instances this can lift you out of your depression. In the meantime have some sad days, get cranky, be disgruntled about things and look your anxiety in the eye. It could be just the motivation you need to make some changes in your life.