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

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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

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2022

    Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context

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    Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context

    Are you wondering…

    Where am I going in life? Where am I supposed to be going in life?

    And to answer your questions, here’s what the great writer and thinker, Christopher Morley famously wrote:

    There are three ingredients to the good life – learning, earning and yearning.

    Where Am I Going? Is It the Right Direction in Life?

    There are many times in life where one does not know what comes next or where to go in life. The realization that you are lost and don’t know where to go, or that you don’t like where you are going often comes as an epiphany.

    Most people describe this as being in a rut. It’s like you have everything you want and still so much is missing. You could have everything in the world but something about your life still doesn’t feel right.

    Signs That You Need to Change Direction in Life

    It is important to identify when you are unhappy with your life and want to change where you are going. Some of the most common signs of needing a change in life are as follows:

    1. You feel unhappy with your life and often reminiscence about the choices you made.
    2. You feel as if you are forced to go against your morals and intuition at work or home.
    3. The situation that you find yourself in currently is causing you a lot of stress.
    4. There is a fear or dread of the future and the consequences of your life decisions that have been causing you anxiety.
    5. You feel like you had to give up on your passions and interests just to make it in this world.
    6. The future that you are currently envisioning seems nothing like what practically lies ahead.
    7. You find yourself surrounded by unhappy people who often think you’re too idealistic.
    8. You often look forward to having a ‘good day’ even when nothing is particularly wrong with the days right now.

    If you feel like most of these signs apply to you, then it’s time to re-evaluate where you are headed in life and how you want to change that.

    The 3 Key Phases of Life

    Before learning how to choose the right direction for yourself, first try to understand the 3 key phases of life:

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    The Learning Phase

    The Learning phase typically stretches from the age of five into the early twenties and its over-riding characteristic is freedom.

    Your thinking is unfettered, you are chock-full of dreams and aspirations and (happily) someone else is footing the bills. It’s not a cliché to say that schooldays, for many of us, really were the happiest days of our lives.

    Contrast it with adult life – no one expects very much of you, and other than passing a few exams along the way and you can just swing along, having a great old time …

    The Earning Phase

    The next phase is the Earning years; the period from leaving formal education (at 20-something) to retirement (at 50-something or 60-something). Welcome to the grown-up world, welcome to the tax net.

    The overriding concern in this Earning phase is the security (I spell that word as follows: $ecurity because, for many people, this phase tends to be all about generating sufficient income to pay the monthly bills.)

    Reality bites. This can require sublimating the dreams of youth as a life of routine takes over. Few in the Earning years question the choices they have made because, typically, this questioning process can be quite disconcerting – oddly, I find this is particularly true of people who are less than happy with their working lives.

    Routine generation of wealth becomes paramount and you get swept along with the current. This is fine if you made sound choices in your late teens and early twenties with regard to your career. But if you didn’t … for routine, read ‘RUT’.

    Which brings us to Morley’s Yearning phase – from ceasing your full-time occupation until … well, ceasing.

    The Yearning Phase

    What is yearning? Unfortunately, yearning is not the same as simple hankering, wanting or desire. The dictionary definition of yearning is:

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    “A feeling of intense longing for something lost, absent or unattainable.”

    A bit gloomy. So for many people, the Yearning years are about looking back over a life not quite fulfilled and saying ‘I wish, I wish. If only … if only …’

    With the wisdom of years comes regret for the road not taken, the too-conservative choices made.

    Studies conducted in the geriatric population and on terminally ill people consistently demonstrate that regrets in human beings arise as a result of decisions not taken. The wise old owls that I have talked to over the years all speak with one voice on this.

    It is better to look back and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t …’ rather than wistfully saying, ‘I wish I had …’

    Think about where you are…

    As you think about your career, your life, and your plans for the future, you are, at the very least, going to have to contemplate some uncomfortable choices about yourself, your personal style and your level of happiness.

    I make no apologies for this – that’s just life. But I contend that it is better to take the time and spend the effort now to improve the choices that you make for later, rather than to have those choices made for you at a time that may not suit you.

    Some people get these choices unerringly right and they do so early in their lives. Others come to a realization of the right path much later in life. Ray Kroc changed his whole approach to his McDonald’s business in his early 50s. [1] Colonel Sanders didn’t start his KFC franchising efforts until he was in his early 60s.[2] And the list can go on.

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    It’s never too early and it’s never too late – but you have to think about it.

    How to Choose the Right Path

    Do you know at what phase of life are you now? Once you understand where you are now, the next step is to find the direction you want to move to.

    You have the motivation and direction to take your life where you need it to be, you just need to get up and do it. The best time for change is now, and if you procrastinate any further you might miss out on a great opportunity.

    To live a meaningful life, it is important to pick a direction that brings both peace and success. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing a new direction in life:

    1. Chose What Your Inner Child Would Want

    It is very important to acknowledge the needs and opinions of our ‘inner child’. That’s because we often have real happiness at this age and develop passions that last us a lifetime. To calibrate your direction in life, think of what the younger you would feel about your current situation and what would they want to do.

    2. Think About The Things You Want To Change

    Make a list of the things in your current life that you are dissatisfied with and want to change. Then think of the alternative options you have to give yourself a life where you find happiness and fulfillment by avoiding these things. This will help you understand what must be done to feel good in life.

    3. Find Inspiration to Follow

    Everyone has an idea of what they want in life and finding inspiration isn’t hard in this day and age. Just think about those you admire and see as role models and try to follow in their footsteps. As they have already reached a place you associate to be a goal, you will find it easier to navigate your way through life to reach that destination as well.

    4. Be Clear on What You Don’t Want To Be

    To find out where you want to be headed in life, try finding out where you don’t want to end up. This would help identify situations and placed you would try and avoid at all costs. It keeps you on the right track because if you minimize the wrong paths, then choosing the right one becomes much easier.

    5. Learn to Enjoy Where You Are

    There is no such thing as a perfect life. What you need to learn, is to work hard and to find things to be happy and grateful for.

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    Live in the moment, appreciate the things you have. Only this way you will see clearly the meaning of your life.

    6. Commit to Getting or Staying Healthy

    Nothing is more important than your mental, spiritual and physical health.

    Getting your life on the right path isn’t something you can achieve in a day. But, with hard work and dedication, you will get there!

    7. Help Others

    By helping others you will increase your sense of purpose and improve self-esteem.

    There are many ways to do this. Volunteer in your community, mentor young people, or just help neighbors.

    You will be surprised by the feeling you will have after.

    Start Making the Change Today

    After reading all this, you are surely ready to change the direction of your life. Start by making a change today instead of just thinking about it. Every difficult journey starts with a single step, and this is the sign to take yours. Once you make one change, the rest follow suit and soon your life will be exactly how you want it to be.

    Need more help to get out of the rut? Take a look at these articles:

    Featured photo credit: Johannes Plenio via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Britannica: Ray Kroc
    [2] Biography: Colonel Sanders

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