Do you constantly feel as though your life stinks? You may think you are alone, but actually many people have the same feeling you do. That feeling that nothing in your life ever goes right, that you will never be successful or ever amount to anything. It might even feel like you are the only person who cannot get ahead in life. You see other people passing you on their way to success, and there you sit — stuck.
How many times a day do you say to yourself, “I hate my life.” Everything seems like a struggle. You never catch a break. How many of these thoughts sound familiar:
- You believe if one car is going to slide off the road in a snow storm, it will be the one you are driving.
- You feel as though all your friends fell in love and are now happily married while you keep dating weirdos and losers because they are the only people you seem to attract.
- You think your boss promotes everyone else but you because they obviously hate you, and you can’t seem to figure out what they want.
- You’re resigned to the fact that, after trying every diet there is, you will always be overweight and unhappy.
- You find holiday celebrations painful because, unlike the idyllic families in your neighborhood, yours is dramatic and dysfunctional.
- You feel every day of your life is the same stressful rat race, repeated on too little sleep and with only a dollar in your pocket.
- You think you do everything for the people around you, but no one ever helps you out with anything, leaving you overworked and under-appreciated.
- You long dreamed of having children, but now that you do, you fight every day to keep them healthy and out of trouble.
- You believe your life is a mess, and there is no hope of change coming any time soon.
Maybe Your Life Didn’t Always Suck
Maybe it was going along just fine, but then tragedy struck. You may have been injured in an accident or lost a close family member to disease. Maybe your house burned down or was destroyed in a flood, and you lost everything. Maybe you are fighting disease yourself or you lost your job and cannot find another one.
Whatever the reason, your life sucks and you want to know why. Why is this happening to you? What are you doing wrong? How do you deserve such misery? And how do you turn your life around? Believe it or not, there are ways to do it.
Outlook on Life
The one thing all of the above thoughts have in common is the strong negative emotions that come with them. Emotions are part of life, although some people try to avoid them. They are natural and beneficial, unless you let them bring you down.
You may not realize the power emotions can have in your life. Negative feelings are natural, but if they stick around too long, they can start to color everything. What may have started out as a bad day at work can turn into a whole month of bad days if you let it.
While you are having bad days at work, your negative attitude could spill over into your relationship. Next thing you know, you hate your job and you think your significant other might want to break up. So, while you are at work, you are miserable, and then when you are out on a date you are nervous and unhappy. The only time you are comfortable is when you are at home alone.
Then you start spending your alone time worrying about your job and failing relationship, so that time is unhappy, too. When you are with family and friends, you complain about work and your significant other because you need to vent to someone. Your interactions with your loved ones become strained and negative. You realize your whole life sucks.
Once you decide your whole life sucks, you then determine that it must be something is wrong with you. Other people manage to enjoy a happy life and a successful career. You start to doubt yourself and try to figure out how you developed these poor character traits. You wonder “why am I such a loser, and how did my life go down the drain?”
Negative Emotions Beget Poor Decisions
Before long you are making bad decisions based on an overly negative view of the world and a bleak outlook for your life. You decide your parents were right, you will never amount to anything, anyway, so you stop going to that job you hate every day. You could end up putting your professional and financial future in jeopardy because you figure you will probably die of cancer before you are old enough to retire.
All of this grew out of one bad day at work. Negative emotions have a way of taking over everything if you let them. Your life might not be as dramatic as this example, but if you are wondering why life is hard, your thought process probably took a similar path.
There are many variables in life. Bad things happen to everyone. You cannot control everything. What determines the effect they have on the rest of your life is how you respond. If you let the negativity grow and fester, your life will seem like one long series of bad days.
Why Does Life Suck?
It seems trite, but there is always someone who has it worse than you. This does not minimize your problems, but it should put them into perspective. You are not the first person to suffer with your particular affliction, and your suffering is not more intense than everyone else’s.
Gaining some perspective on your life is the first step in making a change. You have to believe you are capable of change in order to make it happen. The good news is everyone is capable of change if they really want it. If you want your life to stop sucking, you can make that happen. You do not have to be the strongest, richest, smartest person on your block to improve your life. You just have to try.
Hope is the main ingredient in a happy life. Once you dig deep inside yourself and find hope, everything else will be possible. As long as you are alive, there is hope. Here are some things you can do to help overcome those negative feelings.
1. Practice Gratitude
For most people, life is not a series of great moments, celebrations and huge accomplishments. Actually, it is more like a bunch of little things that make them happy. If you have an overwhelming feeling your whole life is a mess, everything bad always happens to you, and it can never be any better, then you are missing the small victories.
By making an effort to see the little things in your life that are positive, you could begin to develop a whole new perspective. This effort starts with gratitude. It is difficult to be grateful when you feel like nothing goes right. There is always something to be grateful for, though. You just have to find it. Each night before you go to sleep, write down three things you are grateful for that day.
2. Focus on the Little Picture
When you tell yourself your life sucks, you are generalizing. You take your bad feelings of the moment and apply them to a much broader experience. You spread negativity all over everything, and the big picture becomes overwhelming.
Try getting more detailed in your assessment. Instead of saying that your life sucks, be specific about what aspect or experience is making your feel this way at the moment. You cannot fix a problem until you know what the problem is. Generalized suckiness does not really have a solution, but a bad day because you lost your keys can be resolved.
Once you focus on the details of your specific problem in the moment, you can begin to enact a solution. Even trying to solve the problem, rather than simply declaring it a bad day, will begin to summon your positive energies. When you find your keys, you will have something to celebrate. Beyond that, you could develop a system for keeping track of your keys that might keep this from happening again.
3. Take Responsibility
It is easy to blame the boss because you hate your job or blame your ex for making you feel unloveable. The problem with blame is it does not offer a solution. You cannot change what other people do or say. You can only alter your own behavior.
When you take responsibility for how you are feeling, you are one step closer to doing something about it. Instead of waiting for someone to make you happy, make it your goal to make yourself happy. Then plan a series of steps to get you there. First, you have to figure out what would make you happy. Be honest with yourself and be realistic.
The good thing about taking responsibility for your own feelings is when you make yourself happy, you get to take the credit for that. The plumber may have finally stopped the leak in the sink so you could get a good night’s sleep without worrying over the gushing water, but you had the good sense to hire them and insist they work at it until the job was done.
4. Refuse to Be Negative
Sometimes we veer into negativity with the language we use in talking to ourselves and others. When something goes wrong, you want to scream, “Why me?” or “Why does this always happen?” The implication you are making with these statements is that you have some type of character flaw that makes bad things happen to you. You are vulnerable and weak.
In reality, things just happen. When you see yourself as a victim of some evil forces in the universe, you respond with fear and doubt. Instead, the next time something goes wrong in your life, say to yourself, “I can handle this.” When you respond with strength, your perception is different. You see yourself as capable instead of as a victim.
5. Don’t Be Defeated
Never give up on yourself or doubt your ability to turn your life around. Today your life might suck, but it does not have to be that way forever. If you examine it objectively, you will probably notice your whole life doesn’t suck, in reality. There are just some bad aspects of it. Maybe you are having a tough year, but it hasn’t always been this way.
Focus on the parts of your life that are happy and going well as inspiration to improve the rest of it:
- If your life has not been good for a long time, that’s okay. You have evidence from your past that it can be good, and you will make it good again.
- Maintain a sense of hope for the future and never give up.
6. Seek Inspiration from Others
People are some of the most resilient, adaptable creatures on the planet. Although you may feel inferior in several ways, we all actually share many commonalities. You can draw on the human strength of others to regain your own positive outlook and turn your life around.
No matter what you are dealing with, someone has already overcome that and worse. Survivor stories can be some of the most powerful, inspirational knowledge you can gain. If you do not personally know anyone who has survived great illness or tragedy, read books about survivors. There are truly amazing stories written about survivors of every tragedy in history.
Knowing someone can go through an experience even worse than what you are dealing with and go on to create a happy, productive life for themselves will motivate you. The stories of survivors might even give you some ideas about how to get started moving your life in a more positive direction.
7. Take Charge of Your Life to Move Forward
Perceptions create negative feelings, and you can change your perceptions without changing anything else. When you stop focusing on the negative, all the things that are tough in your life will stop compounding. Concentrating on the positive aspects of your world, no matter how small they are, will help you develop a happier life. Changing how you interpret a situation can make it feel better, even though you cannot go back and change what happened.
Change happens in your mind before it happens in the world. If you are waiting for your life to get better, it may not. When you decide to think of your life as it is now in a more positive light, it will get better without changing at all. You cannot wait for your life to be perfect to be happy. You can start being happy now, and you will notice your life getting better right away.
Do things that take care of you and foster a positive outlook on life:
- Look for the beauty in the world and seek to develop that beauty within yourself.
- Expand your knowledge in a particular area of interest.
- Work on improving your health through new exercise routines and nutritious habits.
- Make changes in yourself that will change your life, and you won’t be stuck in a life that sucks.
When You Need Help Making a Positive Change
It’s not easy to make these changes. When you need assistance, Brookhaven Retreat can help. Our women-only recovery facility can offer guidance as you deal with mental health issues. There is a way forward to a more fulfilling life.