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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes? (And How to Fix It)

Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes? (And How to Fix It)

Why does life suck? That may be a question that comes up when you are faced with many difficult challenges that are completely out of your control. Besides the coronavirus epidemic we’re all facing right now, there’s also death, disease, bankruptcy, injustice, mental health issues, illness, and the list goes on.

There are so many more things that make life so hard. It also feels like they come in waves; one bad thing happens, and then they keep coming, like the world wants to kick you when you are down.

So why does life suck sometimes? There are times when it has nothing to do with you, how hard you are trying in life, or how good of a person you are. Life gets hard, bad things happen, and sometimes it just plain sucks.

The fact that life sucks sometimes is never going to stop because life is filled with challenges and difficult moments that we simply can’t avoid. Even if you had unlimited money, fame, or fortune, you wouldn’t be able to avoid the inevitable difficulties.

The Good News

If life is always going to suck, and adversity is always going to be coming for you, you can’t control that.

So stop trying. You can’t control anything in this world except yourself and your reactions. It’s time to stop focusing on the suck and begin focusing on the good in your life. Life is all about perspective, and perhaps right now you are choosing to obsess about the negative, the lack, the suck.

This is addictive because we are biologically programmed to do so, to assess all situations for danger through the negativity bias.[1]

We are biologically programmed to focus on negativity because it keeps up safe and forces us to avoid things that may cause us harm or discomfort. We have evolved since the days of constant physical threats coming from wild animals or ominous sounds, but our survival instincts have remained intact. Because of this, we focus on the negative, and we now have to learn how to fight with the feelings that naturally arise from this.

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Since we are biologically predisposed to look for danger, this trait is exploited by the media to sell products to you, which you can’t control. You also can’t control the outbreak of disease, your friend’s poor choice to treat you like trash, or the price of food going up.

None of this is within your control. Instead, it’s time to let go of the fear mongering and focus on the things you can control.

What to Do When Life Sucks

You can choose to follow your Neanderthal programming and focus on fears you can’t control, or you can choose to focus on all the abundance you have in your life. We have never lived in a safer or more abundant time in human history. With that in mind, here are my top six ways to stop yourself from asking “Why does life suck so much?” and start embracing the abundance.

1. Focus on the Good

You have a lot going on in your life, and some of it is unavoidably positive. If you’re reading this, you likely have a safe place to sleep every night, people who love you, and unlimited access to food.

Instead of focusing on all the good things we have, we often focus on what went wrong, what we don’t have, and what isn’t good enough in our lives.

Society has set an impossible standard that encourages you to feel like you don’t have enough and that you aren’t enough. Relentless sales ads convince you that everything about you is flawed and can be repaired if only you purchased this one product.

Instead of focusing so much on why life sucks, spend time focusing on all the good you have in your life. Every day, write something good that happened and do more things that spread goodness.

One act of kindness a day gives your brain a boost of oxytocin. It will also give the person you are helping a boost of oxytocin as well, and anybody watching you be kind also gets the boost[2].

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Being kind spreads love and positivity, so start being kind and helping more with no expectation of a reward. Your life will get easier when you have your natural brain chemistry working with you.

2. Express Gratitude

Another way to focus on the positive in your life is to express gratitude daily. Every day, find something you are grateful for and write about it, post it on your social media (for shared oxytocin release), or find a way to express it through art. Send someone flowers, or simply take a moment to tell someone how much they mean to you.

Gratitude is the antidote to misery. It costs you nothing and spreads more goodness into the world. The best part is that you can inspire someone else to express gratitude, kindness, and happiness.

Gratitude and kindness are infectious and can help you respond when you’re asking “Why does life suck so much?”

3. Handle Problems Head on

Challenges that cause life to suck are going to keep coming, and they are going to hit hard. Don’t bury your head in the sand, as that only leads to delayed suckage and an extra dose of anxiety.

When something hits you hard, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Grab a notepad, write out the problem, and then write down possible solutions. If you’re having trouble, ask your closest friends what they think. Ask them for some emotional support to carry out your plan if necessary.

Try not to create excuses about how you are busy or tired. Taking a moment to handle your problem head on will not only save you time in the long run but also relieve your emotional struggle when life sucks.

It will also energize you to move forward knowing that something has tried to knock you down but that you rose to the challenge, took control, and defeated it.

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4. Take Mental Health Days

Sometimes we experience real pain, loss, and suffering that make life really suck. The death of your best friend, the loss of your job, or difficulties in a relationship may present hard times that drag you down.

In these cases, taking a day or more to stop and face the feelings can help you return to a sense of balance. Try to face your grief and know that no matter how inconvenient it is, it will take time to heal.

The world is getting more complicated, painful, and stressful, and the more this happens, the better you have to take care of yourself. We are overwhelmed every single day with information that inundates our brains to the point of collapse.

All this pressure means that something has to give, and often the first thing that goes is taking care of our mental health. We ignore our feelings because we have decided they are bad, and instead, we focus on our loss and sadness.

To counter all of this negativity, slow down, take a deep breath, and prioritize your mental health. Clear out all of those unhelpful emotions so you can feel more balanced[3].

5. Think of Adversity as a Way to Grow

It should be no secret that many moments of growth and great leaps of personal development come from making it through suckage and adversity. Successful people will tell you that they wouldn’t trade their pain and their struggle, for without it they wouldn’t be who they are.

Adversity is a test from the world to you to see if you have grown enough to be able to face the things you want to achieve. You have dreams and goals that are out of your reach, and you get challenged until you grow into a strong enough person to handle the next level of challenges.

This is why it is so important to not only embrace challenge and pain but to ask how you can become a better person from it.

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6. Quit the Negativity on Social Media

Nothing promotes a negative, the-world-sucks mindset quite as much as the news and media outlets on social media. The world is struggling, but it shouldn’t all land on your shoulders.

If you want to feel like you are doing something positive, pick something you are passionate about and do it with all the spare time you now have not scrolling through negative news stories[4].

When life sucks, improve your relationship with social media.

    In the meantime, use less plastic, eat as local as you can, and do the best you can to live guilt-free. Unsubscribe to all the negativity and drama that the news and social media are constantly blasting at you, and you will immediately gain more peace of mind.

    Conclusion

    These are my quick steps to help you start to feel better and move forward when you start asking “Why does life suck?” You need to take care of yourself, and that may mean more than just buying yourself gifts, giving yourself half-hearted compliments, and or taking a bath.

    It may be necessary to give up the compulsion to listen to the news, make time to face your feelings, express gratitude, and focus on the good in your life instead of what’s lacking.

    The hits come, but when you get back up, make sure you are walking in a positive direction. One day, you will thank your struggle, for without it, you would not have found your strength.

    More on Overcoming Hard Times

    Featured photo credit: whoislimos via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Jade Nyx

    Qualified Life Coach

    Best Brain Workout! Super Learning Hacks How To Stop Failing Your Goal And Achieve Success in 2021 Stop DREAMING, Start LIVING… Why We Need to Take Action Why is it HARD to Learn? Upgrade your Learning Style and Study Better! 15 Daily Intentions to Set for a More Driven Life

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    Last Updated on April 19, 2021

    Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: 5 Levels Explained

    Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: 5 Levels Explained

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory of motivation that lists five categories of human needs that dictate individual behavior. These five categories refer to physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.[1]

    Motivation plays a big part in athletic coaching. I spent 44 years coaching basketball and each day at practice, I was trying to motivate our athletes to give their best effort. In this article, I will examine Maslow’s hierarchy and five areas of needs from an athletic perspective.

    1. Physiological Needs

    These needs represent the most basic human survival needs. They include food, water, rest, and breathing, and all four have importance in athletics.

    Food has had an evolution in the world of athletics. I cannot recall my coaches in the 1950s and ‘60s mentioning anything about food. As time went on, the pre-game meal became important. Steak seemed to be the meal of choice early in the evolution. Research then indicated pasta would be the better choice.[2]

    Today, I think most coaches prefer pasta. However, if the players are ordering from menus, some coaches believe the players should stick with their regular diets and order accordingly.

    The next step in this evolution was that the pre-game meal, although important, is not nearly as critical as the athletes’ overall nutrition. At our University of St. Francis athletic seminars, we invited nutritionists to speak and to educate our players on their nutritional habits.

    The ultimate change in food intake may be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady. He adheres to a specific, disciplined diet that has allowed him to play superb football at age 43.

    Water also has had an evolution in sports. It went from not being allowed in practices to coaches scheduling water breaks during the practices.

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    Rest is extremely important in all sports, and statistics validate its importance. NBA research found that during the course of the season teams win 6 of 10 games at home but only 4 of 10 on the road. In the NBA playoffs, the statistics change to 6.5 at home and 3.5 on the road. Many coaches believe rest is the key factor to these statistics because the players are sleeping in their own beds for home games.[3]

    Our St. Francis basketball team found the importance of breathing on a trip to play in a tournament in Colorado. In our first game, we were playing great and winning by 12 points early in the game. Then the altitude kicked in, adversely affected our breathing, and we lost the lead and eventually the game.

    In our second game, having learned our lesson, we substituted more frequently! Maslow’s idea of physiological needs plays a major part in the athletic arena.

    2. Safety Needs

    Safety needs include protection from violence, emotional stability and well-being, health security, and financial security.

    If a fight breaks out during a basketball game, there can be serious injuries. This is the reason a coach steps in immediately when there is any violence or dirty play in practice. The coach must protect the players. You drill your teams to play hard—never dirty.

    The importance of emotional stability has gained more credence in sports in recent years. Many teams hire psychologists to help work with their players. There is a great deal of player failure in sports and it is critical for the players to stay emotionally stable.

    Health security is much more prevalent in sports today than in my playing days. I once got a concussion during a basketball game. We had no trainers. The coach handled it by telling me after the game, “Sullivan, you play better when you don’t know where the hell you are!” He was right, and my medical treatment ended there! Games today have trainers available to protect the health of the athletes.

    Financial security is predominant in professional sports. Most players today use free agency to go where the money is because they consider sport not to be a sport at all. They believe it is a short-term business at their level. I personally appreciate the athletes who have taken less money so the team can retain teammates or use the dollars to bring in new players.

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    3. Love and Belonging Needs

    These needs can be summed up with two words: love and relationships.

    After teams win championships, you will often hear coaches say, “I love these guys” or “I loved coaching this team.” You can tell by their body language and the tone of their voice that they really mean it.

    I think coaches say this because the season can be a tough grind. Practices, scouting, film work, travel, and problems that arise take a toll on coaches. However, when you have teams that give all they have every night in practice, you do come to love them.

    ESPN did a 30-30 segment on the North Carolina State national championship team coached by Jim Valvano. I was especially interested in watching it because I knew a player on the team who used to come to our camps. Terry Gannon played a major role in their championship.

    The program was a reunion of their players. This was 20 plus years from their title, and if you were to take one thing away from the show, it would be how much the players loved each other.

    In the last analysis, sport is all about relationships. You can meet former teammates with whom you played 40 to 50 years earlier and that athletic bond is as strong as it ever was. Although you may have not seen each other in years, your friendship is so cemented it’s like you have been seeing each other weekly.

    David Halberstam’s book, The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship, validates the relationship between athletics forges. Ted Williams is dying and three of his former Boston Red Sox teammates—Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio—make the trip to Florida to see him. Even though 50 years had passed since they played together, the bond among them never waned.

    Love and belonging epitomize the essence of sports.

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    4. Esteem Needs

    These needs are characterized by self-respect and self-esteem. Self-respect is “the belief that you are valuable and deserve dignity.” Self-esteem is twofold—“it is based on the respect and acknowledgment from others and esteem which is based on your own self-assessment.”[4]

    Often the players on the bench are the ones the coach respects the most because they work so hard in practices yet receive none of the glory. The best coaches never let the starters or stars ever denigrate the players on the bench. Coaches must always acknowledge the value and the dignity of those who play little. They often turn out to be the superstars of their professions.

    Some coaches will never get “it.” They think they can motivate their players by degrading them. They embarrass the athletes during games and they constantly berate their performance in practices.

    Great coaches are just the opposite. They are encouragers. They do push their players and they push them hard, but they always respect them. Great coaches enhance the self-esteem and confidence of their players.

    5. Self-Actualization Needs

    “Self-actualization describes the fulfillment of your full potential as a person.”[5]

    I believe three words are the key to self-actualization: potential, effort, and regrets.

    You often hear in athletics that a player has potential. It also is not uncommon for the person introducing the athlete to rave about his potential. I was fortunate to work with an outstanding man in the Milwaukee Bucks camps, Ron Blomberg. Ron had the best definition of potential that I ever heard: “Potential means he hasn’t done it.” Will he do all the work necessary to fulfill his potential?

    Effort is great, but it’s not enough. If you want to reach your full potential, you must have a consistency of effort in your daily habit. Only consistency of effort can lead to success.

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    John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, said that success is becoming all your ability will allow you to be. He agreed with his friend, major league umpire, George Moriarty, even though he used to kid him. Coach told him he never had seen Moriarty spelled with just one “i.” He followed this with, “Of course, the baseball players accused him of having only one ‘eye’ in his head as well.”

    In his poem, The Road Ahead or The Road Behind, Moriarty wrote,

    “. . . for who can ask more of a man
    than giving all within his span, it seems to me, is not so far from – Victory.

    When your life is winding down and you look back if you can say you gave “all in your span”—that you consistently gave it your best effort—you will have reached your full potential and there will be no regrets.

    Final Thoughts

    Now that you’ve learned more about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, consider reflecting on the last two needs (esteem needs and self-actualization needs) and ask yourself the following questions:

    • Are you doing all you can to enhance the self-esteem of those around you?
    • Are you doing all you can to self-actualize the potential you have been given?

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

    Reference

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