In today’s age of omnipresent social media, it might seem like everyone else has their lives together and is happy and confident at all times– but the truth is that feeling hopeless is a common experience for many people. In fact, we’ve all felt it at times.

If you’re feeling hopeless right now, know that you’re not alone. You might be feeling like nothing you can do will make a difference, or that you don’t have any control over your life. These feelings are understandably overwhelming and can contribute to depression or anxiety.

We’re here today to get to the heart of feelings of hopelessness, and to help you develop some strategies on how to manage these feelings.

What causes feelings of hopelessness?

“Hopelessness” is an umbrella term that can apply to a very wide array of situations.

One of these situations might be an excess of negative thinking patterns. Constantly engaging in negative thinking, like focusing only on our shortcomings or failures, can make us feel like we’re not capable of achieving our goals.

You might also be feeling hopeless as a result of trauma or loss, like the loss of a loved one, a job, or a relationship. It’s pretty common to feel like life will never be the same after experiencing a significant loss.

Chronic stress can be a major contributing factor in feelings of hopelessness, too. If your job or another aspect of your life causes you constant stress, you might feel like there’s no end in sight to what you have to deal with, leading you to feel hopeless and discouraged.

Finally, hopelessness might be the result of a chronic medical condition. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or autoimmune disorders might lead to feelings of hopelessness due to the difficulty these conditions cause in your daily life.

Don’t worry– although the stress, chronic medical conditions, or loss are significant problems, there are ways you can cope with the accompanying feelings to make life feel just a little bit easier.

Practice self-care

“Self-care” is a buzzword these days, which people use to refer to all kinds of things, from therapy to bath bombs and luxury beauty products.

However, self-care is a truly important practice. Good self-care means getting enough sleep (and practicing good sleep hygiene), eating a healthy diet, and engaging in physical activities and hobbies that bring you joy.

Knocking over boxes with negative words

Challenge your negative thinking

This takes a bit of practice, but it really does help. Challenge your negative thinking by learning to identify negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they’re based on facts or assumptions, and try to reframe your thoughts into more positive and realistic ones.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about helping you to stay present and focused on the “now”. It can help you to manage feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness by keeping you focused on what’s in front of you, rather than worry about things you can’t control– like the past and future.

Seek professional help

Speaking with a licensed therapist or counselor is a very important thing to do when you’re dealing with feelings of hopelessness, depression, or anxiety. At Chenal Family Therapy, we’re here to help. Our 21 locations make it convenient for you to find a therapist near you, but we also offer telehealth visits.

You can give us a call today to get started on the path to feeling better.