Overcoming Hopelessness: Tips To Help You Feel Better
Content note: If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help and support immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255, and is available 24/7.
Hopelessness is likely a familiar feeling many people might experience at some point. It could be triggered by various life events, such as losing a loved one, experiencing a traumatic event, or going through a difficult period. Hopelessness might also be a symptom of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. Whatever the cause, hopelessness could make life unbearable, and knowing how to move forward might be difficult. If you're feeling hopeless, it could be ideal to remember that help is available and there are steps you could take to improve your mental well-being.
Recognize The Signs Of Hopelessness
The first step in overcoming hopelessness might be to recognize the signs that could be contributing to this feeling this way.
Some common symptoms of hopelessness include:
- Feeling like there's no point in trying.
- Believing that things will never get better.
- Feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.
- Feeling isolated and disconnected from others.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, taking them seriously and seeking help is ideal.
Understand The Causes Of Hopelessness
Hopelessness could be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Life events: Losing a loved one, experiencing a traumatic event, or going through a difficult period could all trigger feelings of hopelessness.
A person with a mental illness: Like depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions could cause feelings of hopelessness.
Chemical imbalances in the brain: Imbalances in the chemicals that control mood could also contribute to feelings of hopelessness.
Environmental factors: Chronic stress, poverty, and other environmental factors could also contribute to feelings of hopelessness.
Try to understand the root cause of your hopelessness so that you could take the appropriate steps to address it.
Take Care Of Your Physical Health
Taking care of your physical health may be an essential part of overcoming hopelessness. When you're feeling hopeless, it might be tempting to neglect your physical health, but taking care of your body could positively impact your mental well-being.
Some tips for taking care of your physical health include:
Eating a balanced diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins could help boost your mood and energy levels.
Getting regular exercise: Exercise could help release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
Getting enough sleep: Getting enough sleep might be essential for good physical and mental health.
Avoiding drugs and alcohol: Drugs and alcohol could worsen symptoms of hopelessness and should be avoided. Taking care of your physical health could help improve your overall well-being and make it easier to overcome feelings of hopelessness.
Connect With Others
Feeling isolated and disconnected from others could be a common symptom of hopelessness. Connecting with others could help improve your mood and give you a sense of support and belonging.
Some ways to connect with others include:
Spending time with family and friends: Spending time with loved ones could help boost your mood and provide a sense of connection.
Volunteering: Volunteering in your community could help you feel like you are making a difference and could also provide you with a sense of purpose.
Joining a club or group: Joining a club or group that shares your interests could help you connect with like-minded individuals.
Reaching out to someone you trust: Talking to someone you trust about your feelings could help you feel better.
Focus On The Positive
When you're feeling hopeless, it could be easy to focus on the negative and ignore the good things in your life. Focusing on the positive could help improve your mood and provide you with a sense of hope.
Some tips for focusing on the positive include:
Keeping a gratitude journal: Writing down what you are grateful for each day could help you focus on the positive and improve your mood.
Practicing mindfulness: Mindfulness might be the practice of being present at the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness could help you become more aware of the positive things in your life.
Surrounding yourself with positive people: Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people could help improve your mood and give you hope.
Doing things you enjoy: By doing this, could help boost your mood.
Seek Professional Help
If you're feeling hopeless, seek professional help. A mental health professional could help you work through your feelings and develop a plan to improve your mental well-being. They might also help you understand the root cause of your hopelessness and provide you with strategies to manage it.
Some common forms of professional help include:
Therapy: Talking to a mental health professional in therapy could help you work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.
Medication: In some cases, medication might be prescribed to help manage symptoms of hopelessness.
Support groups: Joining a support group could provide a safe and supportive environment where you could share your experiences with others who might be going through similar challenges.
It might be best to find a professional who you feel comfortable talking to and who you trust to help you on your journey to overcome hopelessness.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
Online Therapy can offer numerous benefits for individuals struggling with feelings of hopelessness. Firstly, therapy provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can work through their emotions and develop coping strategies. By talking to a mental health professional, individuals can better understand the root cause of their hopelessness and develop a plan to manage it. Additionally, therapy can help individuals improve their overall mental well-being by providing them with tools to manage stress and negative thoughts and build resilience. Through therapy, individuals can gain the skills and support they need to overcome feelings of hopelessness and improve their overall quality of life.
Effectiveness Of Online Therapy
Research has shown that cognitive therapy may be more effective than imipramine therapy in reducing feelings of hopelessness and improving self-concept among individuals. A study was conducted on 35 outpatients with hopelessness and examined the impact of cognitive therapy and imipramine after 11 weeks of treatment. The results showed that cognitive therapy provided more significant improvements in feelings of hopelessness and overall self-concept than imipramine. These findings suggest that cognitive therapies may be ideal for reducing hopelessness and enhancing self-concept among individuals with depression.
Remember, you are not alone in your journey to overcome hopelessness. With the proper support and strategies, improving your mental well-being and moving forward might be possible.
Regardless of your hopelessness, try to remember that help is always available by utilizing the tools and resources at your disposal combined with online therapy. You may be on your way to improved mental well-being and moving forward from feelings of hopelessness.
What are the signs of being hopeless?
There are many signs that you may be feeling without hope about life. One sign is that you are unmotivated to do anything to change your life or find treatment for any mental health concern you’re experiencing. When you’re hopeless, you have the mindset of “What’s the point?” so you don’t bother to make any positive changes.
Another sign is lethargy. When you feel hopeless and unmotivated, you won’t have the energy to do anything. You may find yourself experiencing fatigue or just feeling lazier than usual.
Another sign is depression. Depression and feelings of hopelessness are often interlinked. When you’re hopeless, you often experience despair, low self-esteem, and negative thoughts that can significantly bring down your mood. This often results in some form of depression.
How do you fight a feeling of hopelessness?
If you’re experiencing these feelings, the best way is to find support. Support from friends and family is probably the best treatment for hopelessness because it reminds you that there is meaning in your life. You can also find support through working with a therapist, such as those at BetterHelp.
In addition to finding support, you can also partake in self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, and positive thinking, to help change your perspective on life.
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