What to do when you feel hopeless – Hopelessness and I have a past. Yes, I am a therapist and I have felt crushing hopelessness. One of the most powerful reasons I know there is a solution for my clients is because I found solutions for myself. Today, hopelessness and I rarely meet, and if we do it’s for a fleeting moment.
There are 7 things to overcome hopelessness; I do all 7. I have to. If you don’t know what to do when you feel hopeless, keep reading.
What To Do When You Feel Hopeless – Step-By-Step Plan
Watch the video below to learn more about the seven steps to overcome hopelessness or scroll down to read the highlights.
1. Make a choice.
Decide to BELIEVE that there is a solution to every problem, even if you have NO IDEA what it is or what it could be.
You don’t have to have the answer; you just need to trust that there is one.
2. Identify what is causing you so much pain. The thing that has caused you to lose hope.
It may be your mental health, addiction, physical health, the death of a loved one, divorce or any combination of these or other things.
The immediate answer is not the only answer. There is a deeper answer underneath the event. Something like “it will never stop”, “I will never feel happy”, or “no one will love me the way I want them to”.
Once you know what is causing the pain, you can formulate a solution.
3. Take suggestions and do things you don’t want to.
This one is tricky because when you feel hopeless it can seem impossible to do the simplest of things (like bathing).
It does not matter how impossible it seems, you have to believe that it is possible and then do it. All of it. More than you thought was possible.
This is just like when you work with a personal trainer and they tell you to do more pushups than you have ever done. You don’t believe it’s possible but when they push and you work, it happens.
4. Use the tools you have and don’t stop.
Consistency over time is key.
- Manage stress,
- meditate, and
- take care of your body with healthy foods, rest and exercise.
- I am a huge fan of yoga for relaxation and Epsom salts baths, know what works for you.
5. Have a support team.
The key word in this step is SUPPORT.
People who are literally holding you when you don’t feel like you can hold yourself. These are positive and loving people that can listen, hug, guide, bring you dinner or laugh with you. This may include a therapist, friends, family, spiritual guru, psychiatrist or functional medicine doctor.
I have leaned on each of these people and more. The more people you have on your team, the more perspectives and solutions you are exposed to. At the end of the day you have to follow your truth, however we can become conscious of our truth In many ways.
6. Surround yourself with positivity and love.
The light needs to outweigh the dark. This means, limiting your contact with negativity as much as exposing yourself to positivity.
Notice if you watch the news, watch dark crime dramas, listen to ‘woe is me’ music and hang out with people who argue, criticize or worry.
7. Know your enemy and how to defeat it.
Your negative thoughts and corresponding fears are the enemy.
Become skilled at identifying a negative thought and switching it to a positive one. If you get stuck in the negative loop, change your environment, do something uplifting, call someone loving.
If you do these things it will get better. No one can do these things for you, you have to do the work for yourself.