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What To Do When Your Life Sucks

What To Do When Your Life Sucks

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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