4 Things to Remember When Life Feels Hopeless

 

Every day I fully appreciate the fact my life is on the uneventful side.  I wish I could say all days are sunny but I experience  showers and severe thunderstorms as well.
We all experience challenging times; how we handle our challenges and come out of it should be listed under our greatest lesson, and stored away for future reference.
I find myself many times in prayer (my first cry for help), then talking to family and friends. However, through it all I always, ALWAYS say to myself…“one day you will wake up, and it will be better” and lo and behold…that’s exactly what happens…every time.  
What helps me cope with life, good or bad? I start with prayer, talk to my family, friends, and always keep a positive outlook.
With Luv,
L.

 

4 Things to Remember When Life Feels Hopeless

Hopeless
“However long the night, the dawn will break.” ~African Proverb

Were there times in your life where it felt anything that could go wrong went wrong? That was me five years ago.
In a span of nine months, my marriage to a partner of eight years broke down, I lost four family members to unexpected deaths, and I suddenly found myself hurtled from living the dream life to being jobless, penniless, and homeless.
To say life knocked the wind out of me would be an understatement.
Each time I picked myself up, another blow would send me sprawling toward a sense of utter defeat. It was as if a tornado swept through my entire being and left me empty and devoid of hope, strength, and any ounce of self-belief.
Shell-shocked, I spent that whole year crying. I would wake up crying in the mornings, run to cry in public toilets during the day, and end my days crying myself to sleep. It was a dark period of my life where everything was one blurry haze of tears.
As those days of hopelessness stretched on, the only thing I could focus on was taking baby steps every day to build a new life and a new future.
It was an arduous journey where I was often taking one step forward and two steps backward. Many times I felt like I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I struggled to find the strength to inch forward.
Five years on, I finally came out the other side. My new life and the new me are still under construction, but I now have in me a spring of strength to propel me forward, regardless of setbacks or how grim the situation seems.
This newfound capacity did not develop overnight. It grew gradually as I practiced and incorporated into my life the valuable insights below.
If you’re going through difficult times now, the following four reminders may help you be more resilient.

Remember that life always changes, things can get better

When troubles strike, it can feel like things will only get worse, but that is the pessimist in us talking. If we keep the faith and respond to the situation with positive and constructive actions, we can break out of the cycle and things can get better.
Sometimes all we need to do is to simply let time pass and to resist the temptation to overreact and aggravate the problem. During times like these, I would distract myself by actively engaging in other areas of my life.

Recall how you overcame similar struggles in the past

When plodding through a challenging time, it’s natural to be gripped by fear, self-doubt, and pessimistic thoughts that we won’t be able to surmount the obstacles. We forget that it always feels impossible until it’s done, and that we have overcome similar struggles in the past.
A simple but extremely effective thing I did was to list down the occasions in my life where I busted through hurdles and rose above the seemingly insurmountable difficulties. As I penned out the victories, I found renewed faith in myself and in the unknown future, which may well bring the good instead of the bad like I feared.

 Remember that things aren’t as bad as they seem

Zoom out on the issue and focus on the grand scheme of things. More often than not, the raging fires in our lives hijack our attention and we fail to see the big picture. It’s rarely the case that every aspect of our lives went awry at the same time, and it’s critical to keep the right perspective when the going gets tough.
We need to remember that our problems are merely a subset of everything that’s going on in our lives and not let the worries, fear, and anxiety overtake our minds. Even if every area of our lives—namely health, relationship, work, money, and passion—went haywire, the fact that we’re alive means there’s hope for things to turn around.

 Remember that there are still things to appreciate

Do not let the darkness blind you from seeing the stars. It’s human nature to get caught up with the things that are not working out in our lives and forget the good bits. I’m a big believer of a grateful heart being a magnet for abundance and miracles.

No matter how terrible life may seem at any single point, there are always good things if we keep our eyes peeled for them.

Thanks to the challenges, I came to see who my true friends were and I also learned to appreciate many of the blessings I had taken for granted. I might have lost a life partner, loved ones, money, and employment, but these setbacks are transient.

I would always have my degree, knowledge, skills, professional experience and network, and people who care deeply for me to fall back on and to get me back on my feet.

As I grew stronger in handling life’s curveballs, I was grateful that I had developed this invaluable life skill at a young age so I can have the rest of my life to benefit from it. While maintaining a thankful heart, I realized that even in dark times there are stars we can gaze upon if we view our plight through the right lens.

Which areas of your life are you struggling with right now? How do you cope and stay resilient?

 

Profile photo of Sylvia Huang
About Sylvia HuangSylvia Huang is a blogger on life ideas that make everyday feel good. She writes about habits and productivity, health and wellness, emotional intelligence, and money matters. Her inspiration comes from her experiences living in Japan, France, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia, working in the fund management industry and travels in over twenty-five countries. Read her other articles on her website, OhSunnyMornings.com.

Are You Growing Series, #9 – Growth

are you growing
#9
08/22/16

Growth

“if people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve  made; if they don’t relaize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to GO.

 

Are You Growing Series, #8- Shift Your Self-Perception

are you growing
  #8
05/10/16

Shift Your Self-Perception

 

Feeling worthy requires you to see yourself with fresh eyes of self-awareness and love. Acceptance and love must come from within.

You don’t have to be different to be worthy. Your worth is in your true nature, a core of love and inner goodness. You are a beautiful light. You are love. We can bury our magnificence, but it’s impossible to destroy.

Loving ourselves isn’t a one time event. It’s an endless, ongoing process.

It begins with you, enfolding yourself in your own affection and appreciation.

 

what am i looking for in my life? self-acceptance and confidence

Mute swan Cygnus olor gliding across a mist covered lake at dawn

Self- Acceptance and Confidence

 

to build enough self-confidence to spread my message to wider audiences;

to quiet the negative self-talk;

to move away from negative self-limiting thoughts;

to quell my self doubts and just get on with it so that my life doesn’t feel like it’s one step forward and two steps back;

to recognize all the good in my life, and being content with it.

to worry less about my performance at work (which is very high, but due to family conditioning, I always feel ‘on trial’);

to feel more courage, and less embarrassment;

to be confident about consistently making good decisions;

Are You Growing Series, #7 – Open Your Mind

are you growing
#7
04/13/16

Open Your Mind

In a world where we are constantly exposed to true and false information, it is important to ask questions. To accept every piece of news without question reveals our gullibility. At the same time, blocking information because it conflicts with our core beliefs is also an issue. It is up to each of us to determine core truth when we make our decisions and decide what to share. Recognize when your feelings move from neutral with each topic; understand that you have choice as to how those feelings affect your perception and the outcome.

 

Are You Growing Series, #6 – Get Emotionally Honest

 

 

#6

 

03/29/16

 

Get Emotionally Honest

We have to let go of numbing our feelings and begin expressing our true feelings. Dont attempt to hide or numb your feelings by shopping, eating, and drinking to avoid the discomfort, sadness, and pain. If we are emotionally honest with ourselves we wil get to know our “true selves” on a deeper level.

Of course connecting to ourselves on a feeling level is for many of us, much easier said than done, but with practice, we can learn the language of emotions and become skilled at recognizing feelings when they arise, identifying them, experiencing them, and ultimately, honoring them through our communications and /or actions.

I believe we would be better off individually and as a society if we would be more emotionally honest. This could also help us  become more self-accepting which could lead to better life choices.

how to compromise

Coming to a compromise can be incredibly difficult, no matter if it’s with your boss at work, or with your significant other. Fortunately, there are ways to make the compromise happen more easily and less painfully. Coming to the table open to compromise and being willing to listen, are two of the big ones!

1. Calm down. Compromise, even ones that happen at work, can be emotional and frustrating for all parties. Before you try to hammer out the details so that everyone gets something that they want, you should take a step back from the emotions you have invested in your side.

  • Even if it’s just for a few minutes, take time to go somewhere by yourself and talk yourself through what you want or need out of the compromise. It’s especially important if this is something you need to do with your boss, or there is a lot riding on this compromise.
  • If you can’t take a little time to yourself, then just take three deep breaths, all the way down into your diaphragm. This will help to calm your nervous system and make it easier for you to process information and effectively present your side of things.

2. Lead with open-ended questions and statements. You want to get a sense of what the other person wants out of the compromise. You also want the other person to feel like they’re being heard. The best way to get a compromise is to really listen to the other side.

  • Ask questions like: “why do you feel that way about X?” and “How can we do this better?”
  • For statements say things like “Help me understand more about this situation/your side.”

3. Be respectful. To get any sort of compromise you need to be respectful about the other person’s point-of-view, even if you don’t agree with it. Respect the other person and their idea and show that you respect them.

  • Don’t call names or use words like “stupid, “useless,” or say things like “Why would you even propose that?” or “That would never work!” Denigrating the other person will make them dig in more firmly on their own side and it will be harder to create compromise.
  • For example: if someone at work proposes an idea that is different than your idea, don’t talk about how bad the idea is, or why it’s a bad idea. You can point out it’s flaws, while still being respectful. In fact, you can propose ways to make their plan more workable.

4. Create common ground. Remember, you and the other person both want to come to some sort of agreement. Being stuck in a stalemate doesn’t get anyone what they want. try to find something that you both can agree on, even if it’s a small thing. It will create good will between you both.

  • Signal your commitment to settle the disagreement. This way the other person will feel like you’re both working towards the same end, even if you’re coming at it from different points-of-view. This means listening closely to the other person, asking if there are ways to combine both your ideas and showing that you understand why it’s important to the other person.
  • The common ground could even be something small, like a joke, as long as it creates some sort of bond between both of you. For example: you could start off a meeting by saying that you’re all probably looking to get to lunch!

5. Present your side. It’s best to give your version or side of things in a calm, rational manner. This is the time for you to show why you want what it is that you’re proposing and what the benefits of it are.

  • Give facts. The more ways you can validate your feelings and opinions, the more likely the people you’re reasoning with will consider your position.
  • For example: if you’re trying to get a four-day workweek instituted at your workplace (good luck with that) don’t just say that you want it because you’re tired all the time and need a better break. Instead, present statistics and studies that have been done on worker productivity and how much better employees do when they have a better break.

6. Offer more than one possible compromise. A good way to find something that works for everyone is to offer more possibilities. Combine ideas in different ways and see if you can come up with creative solutions to the problem.

  • Brainstorm with the opposition. Answer the questions: what are you trying to accomplish? If there was no obstacle, how would you approach the problem? What would be the optimum solution for you both?
  • Come into the discussion with several different options that you’re willing to work on with the other person.

7. Aim for agreement not for winning. If you come into a situation where you’re looking for compromise, you can’t try to “win” it, because you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Winning is when you and the other person both feel like they’ve gotten what they wanted, or something approximate to what they wanted.

  • Try to avoid being super attached to your version of things. You can want things to go your way, without shutting down the other person, as long as you listen and consider their side of the equation.

Warning

Remember that compromises are win-win situations; don’t do anything that could make one side lose, or you will end up getting played or being avoided when it comes to future compromises.

Are You Growing Series, #5 – Faith

are you growing

#5

 

02/29/16

 

 

Faith

 Whether you believe in God, a Higher Power or something else, exhibiting faith in something greater than our self creates security and gives us a purpose in life. Feeling an ultimate direction for our existence leads to happiness.