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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself And Get Back Up

How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself And Get Back Up

Everyone reading this has felt self-pity at some point in their lives. As it is with life, not everything will go according to your plans. You tend to make mistakes and fail. Then, how does this make you feel? You feel crushed, defeated, and slowly, you start feeling sorry for yourself. Through absolutely no fault of ours, things just simply don’t go as well as you hoped it would.

“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure, and separates the victim from reality.” ― John Gardner

This is all normal. It does feel terrible when you’re stuck in this state for far too long.

However, the situation becomes dangerous when you feel sorry for yourself so much that it becomes a part of you. The first stage of getting better is recognizing that you are addicted to feeling this way.

This guide aims to help you get back up by giving you all the tips you may need to fight such an overwhelming feeling.

Feeling Sorry for Yourself: Knowing When to Stop

“It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are finished, Mrs. Miracle.” ― Debbie Macomber

Is it wrong to feel sorry for yourself?

The answer is no. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself because it’s a natural human emotion. It becomes wrong when it starts to consume you too much, to the extent that you are throwing big pity parties now and again. After all, when you experience it, there is a lot of exaggeration involved.

You amplify your misfortune more than it actually is. A deep sense of helplessness and hopelessness engulfs the fabric of your being. The feeling may also be accompanied by the belief that no one understands you, that you are not appreciated despite how much you work hard for yourself and the people you love.

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You may even start thinking that you will never get anything useful out of your life anymore. This self-destructive way of thinking can push you to go out into the world in search of attention and pity. However, not many people would notice it as they are also consumed by their own thoughts, feelings, and problems.

People are out there, dealing with their baggage of issues as well, and that’s just the reality. You have to work on getting out of the black hole yourself. Feeling entitled or victimized — as if things are much better for everyone else except you — will get you nowhere.

Better yet, turn your emotions into something positive. Use it to produce radiant energy that works for you in more ways than one. The pity party will continue to be unsatisfying, leaving a void that you can probably never fill. But it can also be the start of some much-needed introspection.

You can convert your self-pity into zealousness to grow and challenge yourself instead of wasting valuable time by being unproductive.

7 Steps to Help You Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have,” — Dale Carnegie

Feeling sorry for yourself has massive secondary gain. When you’re engrossed with self-pity, you feel a bit of dopamine rush as you feel good at the moment. You feel free to complain and moan and sigh as loud as you want.

Nevertheless, it only lasts for a short while. You will realize that it is never enough, and that’s when you begin to get addicted to the feeling.

Here are a few tips on how to express your emotion through the right channels.

1. Concentrate on Your Breathing

When you feel the ugly thoughts of self-pity creeping in, try to calm your mind and body. This way, you can think clearly and become more level-headed.

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How can you do this easily? Sit down and close your eyes. Then, breathe deeply through your nose, hold it in for a few seconds. and let it out slowly.

Don’t let any other thought come in at this point. Focus only on the air that goes in and out of your lungs. To avoid finishing the exercise too late or too early, you can set a two-minute timer on your smartphone.

Taking deep breaths may seem insignificant, but it is instrumental in relaxing the mind. Deep breaths enhance our ability to memorize, concentrate, and focus. That burst of oxygen going to your brain will help you achieve the clarity you need at that point in time. So, instead of letting doubts take over your entire being, spending less than five minutes to breathe deeply will bring a sense of calmness in your system.

2. Tap Into the Feeling of Gratitude

The truth is, no matter how bad the situation is, someone is having a more terrible time somewhere. Yeah, it sucks to picture someone else’s misfortune, but when you’re about to be overrun with self-pity, ask yourself an important question first. Is there someone out there who has it worse than me?

By doing so, you are giving yourself the liberty to see things from a broader perspective. You’re not just focusing on your terrible situation and thinking about yourself alone anymore. Now, follow up this question with three things you are grateful for. There are some things that you probably take for granted in your daily life, but they are crucial to your existence.

They don’t have to be something so grand. You may feel grateful for having a roof over your head, for instance. Millions of people don’t even have that bare minimum. You may also be happy about having three square meals and clean water every day. Thinking of such things is enough to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

3. Embrace Optimism

How about looking at your situation as one more lesson in life? It helps to be more constructive about your predicament. For example, if you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you just lost a promotion spot for the third time, look for the optimistic side of this. Ask the relevant questions: Why does my dream position keep slipping away? How can I get it right?

Yes, you are allowed to feel upset for losing something so important to your career, but think about how fulfilling it would be to finally get it. Picture yourself in that new post and how you can feel more proud of it when you succeed against all the odds.

A dash of optimism is perhaps all you need to discover the hidden errors denying you of something you want badly and give you the strength to try again.[1] Look at those moments of failure as an opportunity to learn a game-changing lesson rather than as a door into self-pity land.

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4. Embrace the Emotion

Remember that it’s perfectly normal to feel sorry for yourself. You are human, and it’s all part of our psyche. So, don’t waste your energy in fighting it. Be okay with that moment of weakness in which you see everything through a negative lens.

However, set a deadline. Giving yourself a short time to embrace the emotion allows you to thoroughly process what has happened. This situation may have caused shock, a flurry of thoughts, or intense emotion, but take it all in now. We are all familiar with some cases wherein we have tried to push away feelings to make ourselves believe that we have the strength to carry on as if nothing happened. How did that turn out? Most times, it never ended well.

Pushing emotions aside can make them pop up at unexpected times when you’re not ready to deal with them. It’s quite common to see people conceal their emotions because they don’t want to appear weak. Still, denying your experiences will not erase them.

You become a warrior by facing those painful experiences and moving on bravely. Feel free to cry a river, but when you’re done, build a bridge over it. Even if it is only ten minutes, savor that moment and then dust yourself up as you focus towards moving forward again.

5. Lend Someone a Helping Hand

One keyword in self-pity is “self.” When you feel it, you are focusing on a single person: you. Have you ever thought of directing all that attention to someone else? Focus on adding value to another individual. Whether it is a close friend or a random stranger, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you have that moment of respite to proffer solution to someone else’s problem or just lend a listening ear. It will get you out of your head, and you have the extra perk of feeling good when you genuinely help others. It’s certainly amazing to see someone’s face light up and know that it’s because of you.

So, this action doesn’t have to be grand. You can help out by assisting someone with moving or giving valuable advice for a crucial decision. Alternatively, you can simply listen while they vent. Kindness works wonders, and it may help you stop feeling sorry for yourself.

6. Take A Social Media Hiatus

We’re all familiar with the pressures that come with social media. On these platforms, everyone is focused on giving the illusion of a perfect life. The happy faces, countless vacation pictures, and flawless family photos could be a significant contributor to your self-pitying habits.

A lot of people start feeling sorry for themselves when they believe that everyone else around them is doing so much better than them. At this point, taking a break from social media is beneficial. You see only what people want you to see, and you don’t need someone’s fake life belittling what you have achieved on your own.

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A social media hiatus allows you to dedicate some time to yourself.[2] Engage in other activities to make up for it instead. You can try watching movies, reading a few books, hanging out more with your loved ones, or taking up an exciting hobby. It’s all up to you.

7. Set Realistic Daily Goals

Your attitude makes a whole world of difference. When you feel like you don’t have enough power to change a situation due to your terrible mental state, try to break it down. A task looks insurmountable until you break it into bite-sized chunks. It’s the same with your personal goals.[3]

Take some “me” time and reflect on what you want to change about yourself. Think about how you can improve your situation. Why are you feeling sorry for yourself anyway? Say, it may be because you believe that everyone at your office hates you.

Then, sit down and get your pen. Why do you believe that they don’t like you? What flaws do you have that are possibly contributing to this? It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to brainstorm the little steps you can take to change this, especially if you plan one change per day.

The change can be as simple as smiling more, using daily words of encouragement, and being more proactive in your decision-making process. No matter how little it seems, it will make a massive difference in the long run. One day, you’ll wake up thinking that you have become a completely different person.

Nonetheless, it is a never-ending process that only looks easy because you have broken it down. With this, you will feel empowered and confident enough to see your life in a better light.

Final Thoughts

Stopping yourself from self-pitying is not an impossible task. Get started with the simple techniques above and overcome negativity successfully. All it takes is that determination and the right amount of energy to make this work. You can do this.

More on Dealing With Negative Emotions

Featured photo credit: Chad Madden via unsplash.com

Reference

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness How To Deal With Inner Conflict And Free Yourself How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life How to Express Your Feelings in a Healthy Way

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

I’ll never forget the first time I heard that the way I was talking to myself, realizing how it directly influenced every aspect of my life. We can be our own worst enemy at times and our internal conversation and negative thoughts can be extremely limiting. Like most people, I was blind to this somewhat obvious piece of information.

Eventually, I realized that the negative thoughts I had weren’t facts at all, but instead self imposed limitations that I was putting on myself, which I also had the power to remove. Over the last decade, it has become very clear to me that most of us actually have very similar negative thoughts. Here are some of the most common negative thoughts we all have and what we should think instead.

1. I Am Not Good Enough

Have you ever thought that you weren’t good enough? When we feel that we aren’t good enough, we tend to drown in this emotion of self-doubt and pity. It can be a symptom of low self-esteem, but the truth is that every one is good enough.

You might not have the skills or tools to achieve what you want now, but you are certainly good enough and worthy of receiving what you want in life. If you have a $10 bill, and it falls on the ground into a puddle of mud, does that $10 lose its value? Of course not! So why do you feel that you lose value based on what you have done in life?

What to Think Instead

Instead of saying, “I am not good enough,” tell yourself that you are worthy of all you desire in this life, just like everyone else[1]. Focus on the things you like about yourself in this moment. You can even make a written list and post it nearby if it helps you to see it each day[2]

Practice Loving Yourself to Overcome Negative Thoughts

    2. I Can’t Do It

    “Can’t” is one of the most limiting words that you can tell yourself. Henry Ford once said,

    “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

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    If you tell yourself that you can’t, you are sending messages to your mind and brain that you can’t, and so that will be your experience. Your mind won’t try if you have already told it that something is impossible. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing your negative thoughts on what you think you can’t do, tell yourself, “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” While we all do have limitations, believing in your abilities in the first step to achieving your short and long term goals in life. 

    And sometimes, you may just need a little motivation boost. Get the Instant Motivation Boost Worksheet, it’s a free worksheet that will guide you to do the little things for an instant boost of motivation. Grab the free worksheet here.

    3. I’m Not as Lucky as Other People

    This thought normally comes from holding an illusion that other people’s lives are better and they are luckier, and that is what separates you from them. “Perfect” doesn’t exist, and there is often a lot of effort that goes behind that perceived “luck.”

    It is very disempowering to think that life will never offer you good things; the truth is that if you tap into some gratitude, you’ll see that you already have good things all around you. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on all the luck others seem to have, tell yourself, “Good things can and will happen to me.” Use a sense of gratitude to begin to notice all of the good things you would normally never notice. For example, when was the last time you felt grateful for the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, or your comfy bed?

    4. I Don’t Think I’ll Ever…

    Whatever you believe will become your reality, this is true. You shape your future every day by the choices you make and your habits. You can sabotage your opportunities by limiting yourself with negative thoughts.

    What would it be like if you believed that you could do what you really desired and have the experiences you wished instead? It is not about getting it right the first time, but trying. Don’t stop yourself before you have even given yourself a chance.

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    What to Think Instead

    Don’t limit yourself with negative thought patterns that tell you you’ll never do something. Instead, tell yourself, “I am confident I will…” Even if you don’t feel confident in this moment, feeding your brain positive thoughts will slowly build confidence over time. 

    5. I Should Be Better Than I Am

    Using the word “should” in this context makes this a truly negative thought and makes one feel less than they are. How often do you find yourself saying “I should be more clever, more disciplined, more productive, etc. than I am”? Remember how you feel immediately afterwards?

    What to Think Instead

    Tell yourself, “I am making an effort to change what I don’t like.” Everyone has parts of themselves that they hope to improve, and this is certainly possible, but it requires approaching these things with a sense of self-love and patience. 

    Set yourself goals for the things you are not happy with instead of telling yourself what you “should” be like or be doing. Take action the things you wish to change and remove limiting modals from your vocabulary.

    Here are some ways you can start to improve yourself.

    6. I Am Not Strong Enough

    It’s normal to feel that you are not strong enough at times[3]. We are all human, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel weak at times. What is important though, is the conversation you have with yourself afterwards. If you keep reinforcing the fact that you don’t feel strong with negative thoughts, how can you expect to feel?

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, tell yourself that you are strong enough to deal with the challenges in front of you, and support yourself in finding the strength you need in that moment.

    7. Nobody Cares

    It might feel that you are alone at times and that nobody cares, but I am convinced that there are people thinking about you that you don’t even know of. People do care; not everyone expresses their emotions in the same way. It isn’t nice feeling that nobody cares, so stop focusing on that and assuming what other people feel when you don’t actually know. Change your focus to something that makes you feel better instead.

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    What to Think Instead

    Instead of assuming that no one cares about you, remind yourself that there are people in your life who do, in fact, care very much. Do your best to cultivate those relationships and accept the love others are willing to give in order to combat your negative thoughts. 

    8. I Am Not Smart Enough

    This is a very general statement, yet many people tend to say it often and then feel bad about themselves afterwards. What are you not smart at specifically? I bet that if I asked you to identify some areas that you are smart in, you could if you really tried.

    Not everybody is clever and perfect in every area, and this is what makes us all unique. If you feel that you are lacking in a certain area of knowledge, instead of producing negative thoughts, make time to study and learn whatever it is that you want so that you don’t feel this way any more.

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of believing that you’re not intelligent, remind yourself that you are smart in a unique way and that you are capable of improving your knowledge in any area you choose. Lifelong learning can be a goal you constantly work toward.

    9. If I Don’t Do Well, I’m a Failure

    Holding high expectations for yourself and having conditions attached to your self worth on your performance isn’t fair. You need to take chances in life if you want to get different results. Don’t be scared of failing; the real failure lies in never having tried.

    What to Think Instead

    When facing a challenging situation or possible risk, tell yourself, “I am going to try; I am not scared of failing; that is not what is important.” Even if you “fail,” you will learn something about the world and yourself, and as long as that’s the case, nothing is ever a true failure. 

    10. Bad Things Will Happen

    Thinking negatively in general is thinking that whatever happens, it is most likely going to be the worst case scenario. What would it be like if you imagined the best case scenario instead? Our positive and negative thoughts are very powerful, and it’s common to use visualization as a technique to imagine the best case scenario.

    Whether you imagine the worst or the best case scenario, you are influencing your results. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen and rather on what you want to happen.

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    What to Think Instead

    Instead of thinking that bad things will happen when you try something, try thinking that the best will happen. This way, you’ll aim high, and even if you fall a little short, you’ll still get farther than you were before. 

    Final Thoughts

    We all have negative thoughts from time to time. However, when the majority of your thoughts are negative, you are undermining your happiness at the end of the day. Our thoughts directly affect how we feel and, therefore, what we do in life.

    If you’re feeling sad and are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, you can consider contacting a mental health professional to give your mental health a boost and get you back on track toward positivity.

    Don’t limit yourself or what is possible for you. Master your thoughts and change your results. 

    More on How to Stop Negative Thoughts

     

    Featured photo credit: arash payam via unsplash.com

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