“I hate my life.”
Life can sometimes hit you hard. Unexpected events such as a break-up, job retrenchment, or the death of a loved one can leave you reeling and questioning the meaning of life. In those moments, it may feel like there’s nothing but endless gloom ahead.
When things start to get overwhelming, what can you do?
Mental Health – A Quick Look
The concept of a “healthy state of mind” has recently made its way into discussions, next to hotly discussed topics such as politics and global warming. In the United States alone, millions of Americans experience some form of depression every year.
According to a survey conducted by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode in their lifetimes.
Of the various forms of depression, dysthymia (also called high-functioning depression) affects a little more than 1% of the population. This form of depression is characterized by signs such as uncontrollable weeping, suicidal thoughts, bouts of acute self-loathing and emotional paralysis.
In your “I hate my life” moments, it is extremely important to shift the focus to yourself. This is the time for you to start taking care of yourself: whether it is your spiritual self, your emotional self, or your physical self. When you start focusing on yourself, you will be able to transform negative thoughts into feelings that are more positive, and find the strength to carry on.
So when you’re feeling down, here are ways to bounce back:
1. Live in the “now”
In life, we are so used to worrying about the future. While this can keep you abreast of things, it also inevitably brings about a sense of anxiety over what we cannot predict, and essentially have limited control over.
When we spend most of our time worrying and mulling over what is wrong and what went wrong; when we consistently think about all the negative possibilities that may happen in the future, it increases feelings of misery and does not help in managing your feelings of depression.
Recognize the power that mindfulness has, and put it into practice when going about your everyday life. Mindfulness is a skill that can definitely be improved with consistent practice. Essentially, it is about training your brain to fully focus on and enjoy the present. Try to engage your senses into the moment. Put your focus on smells, sounds, taste, and sight. Doing so will leave you with less time to mull over negativity and feelings of hopelessness.
2. Spend time to wallow.
Some feelings of depression may have been caused by an action that resulted in feelings of misery and self-loathing. When there is a need to wallow, go ahead and let it out.
You cannot just go ahead and contain your “I hate my life” thoughts forever. Let it out. Cry if you must. It doesn’t make you less of a man if you once in a while let your guards down. But don’t stay there. Learn when it’s enough and try to lift yourself out of that depressive state.
If you can, journal your feelings of misery and hopelessness but once the gloom has lifted, make sure to write about it as well.
3. Appreciate the power of music.
We are all aware of music’s power to shift your mood from one state to another.
When in a depressive state, try to listen to feel-good music. An upbeat or any feel-good song can shift the atmosphere around you instantly and present you with a surge of positive thoughts and emotions. The statement “music is food for your soul” still stands true as happy music has always been proven to have the power to lift your mood from the slums of depression.
4. Today’s mood is only for today.
Keep in mind that your feelings for today are not to be brought to tomorrow. Leave your bad moods, emotions, and feelings of helplessness of today and wake up to a brand new start tomorrow.
If you spent the day with countless unsuccessful attempts and have feelings of hopelessness, know that tomorrow is another day and thus presents hundreds of opportunities to accomplish what was not done today.
Always keep in mind that while some days are bad, there will always be days that are good. Learn to get over a bad day with excitement for a fresh new tomorrow.
5. Set Goals
When bouts of loneliness and depression creep in, it is always paired with episodes of high-functioning depression, a feeling of uselessness and thoughts of not being able to accomplish anything.
When this happens, write down small and achievable goals. Be careful when creating your list, though. A list burdened with heavy and huge tasks has the tendency to lead you into failure. Instead, try writing down smaller goals.
You can probably bring your cat to a vet for a start. Or you can opt to sort laundry by color instead of sorting and doing laundry at the same time. When checking your emails, you may want to consider going through the very important ones instead of reading all at the same time. Or you can clean the kitchen first instead of doing the whole house.
As soon as you are done with one small task, proceed to another small task until collectively, you are able to finish everything. While the tasks may be smaller, it gives you a feeling of joy for the many little accomplishments you have made for the day.
6. Do not listen to the voice of depression.
That little voice inside your head may tell you asking for help will not matter. That little voice may also tell you that nobody loves you, inhibiting feelings of self-loathing and unexplained moments of sadness.
If you know how to identify this voice, however, it would be easier for you to ignore it.
Be logical. Counter each negative thought with common sense and logic.
If that little negative voice tells you your sister or friend will not be of any help at all, you can perhaps tell yourself it’s better than not asking help at all. If friends ask you out and that tiny voice tells you it may be boring, convince yourself that going out with friends is better than just staying at home in bed doing nothing at all.
In time, you would be able to realize that these negative voices inside your head are just that – negative voices.
7. Do away with over-generalizations.
“I hate my life” moments, sometimes, can be just because of one or two bad things that happened during the day. It could be a goal not accomplished or a failed well-laid plan. Fostering these negative emotions can eventually lead to bouts of depression.
It is always good practice to focus on the good things instead of the bad. If you can, write the good things down on a piece of paper (or a journal). At the same time, write down the bad things that transpired during the day.
Writing these things down lets you realize that there are always more good things than bad. It’s not a bad day after all!
Doing this regularly would practice you to always look into the brighter side of life.
8. Incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.
Studies revealed that people suffering from depression require more fatty acids known as EPA in their diets. This 2002-study resulted in a 50% decrease in depression symptoms like anxiety, irrational feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and sleep problems for participants that took in a gram of fish oil per day.
This benefit is, of course, aside from the known good Omega-3 fatty acids do to cardiovascular health.
9. Recognize and reward yourself.
Reward yourself for each accomplishment, big or small.
Celebrations may not be as grand as with a party with friends but recognizing your little achievements is powerful against negativity.
10. Do something you love.
Almost always during bouts of “I hate my life” episodes, the things you enjoy doing are pushed to the sides. Depression is as powerful as positive emotions. This is the reason why fighting it out is important.
Doing something you love and enjoy is one form of fighting depression. Do something that relaxes you. If it is running, playing the piano, or baking – do it.
Doing something you love, when done consistently, gives you a sense of well-being and can lift your mood and get over depression symptoms.
11. Surround yourself with loved ones.
When you feel like there’s nobody left in this world, it is always sensible to surround yourself with family, friends, and people you love. At the end of the day, there is nobody else in this world that can provide you with a ready, listening ear than the people that love you. Remember that it is never right to put an “I’m OK” face when you’re not; especially to the people you love. Doing so can lead to high-functioning depression.
Do this even if you don’t feel like doing it. We understand it takes superhuman effort to finally admit to yourself that you need help. Do it anyway; even if that little negative voice inside your head is telling you otherwise.
You will never realize how much it lifts your spirits to surround yourself with the people you love.
12. Try something new.
A life comprising mainly routines can sometimes lead to moments when you feel like life is going nowhere. It makes you feel stagnant and devoid of purpose.
Once in a while, it would be helpful to try something you have never done before. By doing this, you can use parts of your brain that have never been used before.
Look things up online for available classes. It could be art, it could be learning a new language, a new skill, or it could even be a new sport.
Whatever it is that you chose, you would soon realize it is doing you and your emotions heaps of good.
Meditation is known to relax not just the body but as well as the mind.
This is extremely helpful when having bouts of depression. Remember that stress and anxiety can worsen your depression symptoms. Draw the stress and anxiety out of your system with relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
Rest assured, with yoga and other relaxing techniques, you would be able to develop a good sense of well-being and be more in tune with your surroundings.
Giving a slice of your time to someone or something has the power to lift your spirits. Not only will you be spending some time with like-minded individuals, you are also giving a hand to making the world a better place to live in.
If you have not tried volunteering in the past, this is the best opportunity for you to do so. It makes you spend time with people, you do good to society, and it gives you a sense of purpose.
15. Practice gratitude.
Volunteering not only gives you a sense of purpose, it also is a good practice for you to realize the good in you.
When you volunteer, you realize that you are not alone in your sufferings. You realize that some people had it worse than you. It gives you a clear picture of where you stand, and that this unexplained sadness and loss of purpose is something that not only you is suffering from.
Also, you can practice gratitude by writing down everything nice today. Once you finish your list, you would realize there are always more good things than bad. At the end of each day, you have enough reasons to weather it out till the next day because today was not so bad after all.
16. Get some exercise.
When that little voice is saying “I hate my life” over and over again, it would seem like the best thing to do is to stay in bed under the covers and wake up to another day. This is wrong.
Science suggests that depression can be fought off with a bit of exercise. Go sweat it out and run for a few miles. Or you can get out of bed and walk up and down your street. That’s a good start. From that street, you can make your way around the block, or to the other block.
Not only will it improve your physical well-being, but it will also help you fight depression symptoms.
17. Get enough sleep.
Sleeping problems are very common for people with depression. Either you are not getting enough or you are getting way more than enough sleep.
When with bouts of depression, try to get the right amount of sleep. Make it a routine to sleep at a specific time of the night and wake up at the exact time in the morning.
Doing this can help you with your everyday schedule. Plus, having enough sleep helps you feel more energized and balanced all through the next day.
18. Eat (and drink) well.
Aside from all the physical activities, you can also maintain good mental health by eating (and drinking) right.
Start with lean meats, grains, and vegetables. Avoid preservatives, sugar, and heavily-processed food. You may also want to limit your intake of beverages such as soda, alcohol, and coffee.
The food we take in is always something that is completely ignored when talking about mental health but when you try it, you would know it’s worth it.
19. Consider getting a pet.
Having a pet goes a long, long way.
A pet is someone you can talk to without fear of being judged. The responsibility it entails of having a pet can also give you a sense of purpose.
Imagine a furry pal bounding down the stairs each time you go home from work. It can lift your spirits by heaps.
And while we are all used to going to the pet store to get a pet of our choice, thousands of others have been abandoned by previous owners and are awaiting adoption in shelters all over the U.S.
When you adopt, you not only add a bundle of joy to your household; you also become a hero to the adopted pet’s heart.
20. Talk to a professional.
Talking to a professional – a therapist or a specialist – would determine your symptoms and identify a clinical treatment that’s patterned to what you especially need. it may sometimes include therapy or some sort of medication.
For whatever its worth, being treated for depression and its symptoms may take some time. Exhibit a certain level of patience. If you think the method is not working, talk it over with your therapist. They are specially trained to determine the best option for you.
Mental health is as important as physical health. No matter how healthy physical your physical self is, there is a need to address depression and its underlying symptoms.
If you think you are any of these symptoms, do not just get settled with the “I hate my life” attitude. Know that there are people who care, and don’t be afraid to seek help, like these male celebrities did.