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Feeling Hopeless: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed & See Hope Again

Feeling hopeless is the absolute worst feeling in the world. It encourages you to feel stuck in a dark place without any hope for whatever the future holds.

Feeling Hopeless

When you’re feeling hopeless, you don’t know which steps to take next. You’re stuck in this endless cycle of hopelessness and darkness that you can’t get out of. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to find your way into the light.

When you’re feeling hopeless, this affects several factors, like your ambition, productivity, motivation, and even your ability to go out and have fun.

Hopelessness happens to everyone, but doesn’t mean it gets easier. If anything, this feeling is one of the darkest things you can feel that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

When you’re stuck in a cycle of hopelessness, you feel numb, alone, unmotivated, empty, and basically just dwelling in isolation and solitude. However, just because you feel this way, doesn’t mean it’ll last forever. Sometimes, all you really need is a break from everything to just breathe and pause from life.

[Read: What is the point of life? The secrets to decode this big comic joke]

Why do you feel hopeless

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer on why we feel hopeless, but it’s mostly because you want to give up on life. Maybe you’re going through a hopeless situation, or maybe everything feels pointless lately. What you need to remember right this moment is that things WILL get better.

You’ll eventually find the light and everything will feel okay. It might not make sense right now, but you’ll eventually have all the answers.

You feel hopeless because the pain is too intense and overwhelming that it turns into hopelessness without you realizing it.

While it can be tempting to give up entirely, you’re much stronger than you think. Your hopelessness is just a setback for a moment in your life, so you can’t let it define your entire life.

Whether it’s caused by failure, rejection, or uncertainty, you’ll find the light at the end of this tunnel and you’ll be so glad you held on. [Read: Are you feeling lost in life? Use these 6 questions to find your way]

What to do when you’re feeling hopeless

Feeling hopeless is a completely valid emotion. You shouldn’t feel bad for feeling this way as it happens even to the best of us. Whatever reason was the cause of this feeling, it’s okay to just breathe and pause even for a bit until you find your purpose again.

Hopelessness can leave you confused on which direction to go to, which is why it’s important to rest. Whatever you do, don’t let your hopelessness consume you to the point of giving up.

Though you need to give a solid try to get yourself out of this darkness. It’s definitely not going to be easy and you may feel as though it’s not possible to get out of that darkness, but it’s time to try to see the light. In this feature, we’ll be listing down some tips you can use in dealing with feeling hopeless. [Read: How to find yourself when you feel like you’ve completely lost your way]

1. Remember that life isn’t static

Life is ever-changing and nothing is ever going to be the same. If you’re feeling hopeless because you were put off by a lot of unexpected changes in your life, that’s okay. Not everyone adjusts to change gracefully, especially if you’re used to knowing every outcome.

However, things are going to happen to you, good and bad, whether you like it or not. This is also the beauty of what makes life so unique. You can’t expect everything to remain the same forever as even Earth is revolving constantly.

If uncertainty is the cause of your hopelessness, take it one step at a time in accepting the new changes. You never know, these changes could actually be good for you! [Read: 20 lifestyle changes you need to make in your 20s to experience a much better life]

2. Learn from the pain

As much as we went to avoid the pain coming from difficult situations, we can’t stop the inevitable. The beauty of what life is all about is that it’s composed of both good and bad moments.

You might experience loss, betrayal, and even grief, but you only experience those because the love and care were so great that it was worth being hurt for.

It’s also what makes life so fragile. Instead of letting the tough times defeat you, they can help shape you into someone stronger and wiser. Use that painful experience and learn from it to become better.

Whenever you’re feeling hopeless, remember that pain is an opportunity to learn and become stronger. Although certain situations are unpleasant, you have to take the best from them. [Read:  How to learn from the rejections you faced]

3. Reflect on your past

The majority of common advice reminds you to never look back into the past unless it’s to measure your progress. When you’re feeling hopeless, looking back into the past can help you reflect on everything you overcame. Remember every moment you thought you’d never survive and yet here you are, still fighting.

If you managed to surpass every difficult situation in your life, then you’ll surpass this one too.

Hopelessness can feel dark and unbearable but that doesn’t mean all is lost for good. Looking back into the other difficult situations in your life can help you find reassurance that you’re stronger than you think.

4. Focus on the good

Don’t let feeling hopelessness distract you from the positive things in your life. There is so much beauty in the world and just because you’re in a dark place right now, doesn’t mean life isn’t beautiful.

Life is comprised of both good and bad. This means just like life won’t always be good, it won’t always be this bad either.

There are so many things you have to be grateful for, even if you might not see it yet. You need to be the kind of person who sees the beauty in even the worst storms. Even if your current situation feels dark, that doesn’t reflect life in general. [Read: 20 things to be grateful for that you don’t appreciate in life right now]

5. Direct your hopelessness somewhere else

In dealing with and managing feeling hopeless, this is where distractions can come in handy. You can always distract yourself with an activity such as painting, journaling, or exercising. Distracting your mind can help steer your feelings of hopelessness into something more productive and creative.

It also serves as an ideal way of expressing your emotions without being judged by others. Studies show that art is very beneficial when you’re going through a particularly dark situation in your life.

Instead of focusing on that numb feeling, direct your focus towards healthy distractions instead. You never know, they could help reduce those feelings. [Read: Feeling stuck in life? How to change directions and live your dream]

6. Take it easy on yourself

Feeling hopeless isn’t an easy feeling, so you need to go easy on yourself. You won’t overcome it by forcing yourself to feel better even when you’re far from ready.

Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself a break when needed. Do whatever it takes to feel better, as long as you’re using healthy coping mechanisms.

Take it day by day until one day, you wake up and you might have a moment of clarity. While it doesn’t take overnight to overcome hopelessness, you won’t get rid of it through force and pressure, either.

7. Talk to other hopeless people

Even if you feel alone in this hopelessness, you’re not alone in your struggle. You can always talk to people who are going through the same darkness in life – they’ll understand you and even give you pieces of useful advice.

You’ll need support and sometimes, taking support from people who haven’t experienced hopelessness isn’t much of a help. Really, how frustrating is it to talk to someone who’s such a ray of sunshine and acts like they’ve never experienced darkness at all, right?

Talking to people who get what you’re feeling can be therapeutic and won’t make you feel misunderstood and alone. When you’re feeling hopeless, it can feel so lonely and that loneliness can make the darkness feel more unbearable than it actually is – which is why you need people. [Read: Why do I feel so alone? The answers that can change your life]

8. You don’t need a self-help book

Okay, the self-help genre had a rise in popularity recently. Contrary to popular belief, it won’t solve your problems. No matter how many self-help books you read, it’s not a magic pill to transform your life and turn it upside down.

They could give you useful and wise pieces of advice, but ultimately nothing will change unless you take action. Do they know why you’re feeling this way or who you are as a person? No. You don’t necessarily need to read a book that tells you how you should live your life.

Even the best-selling book on getting rid of hopelessness won’t transform your life, unless you either take advice from the book or find the support you actually need.

Honestly, reading a self-help book when you’re depressed or hopeless also makes every author sound condescending, which isn’t helpful in the moment. [Read: What is my purpose in life? How to find meaning when nothing makes sense]

9. Talk to a therapist

We literally live in the modern era so there’s no reason to have a bad perception of therapy. No, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy or something’s wrong with you. You can talk to a therapist whenever you feel like it, especially when dealing with feeling hopeless.

Sometimes, all you need is someone to listen and someone to give you a professional opinion on the matter. A therapist can give you the right coping mechanisms to help you manage your hopelessness better. This person isn’t biased – they’re not going to tell your secrets to anyone so it’s a safe place.

It’s the only place where you don’t have to feel judged or ashamed for feeling a certain way. If you feel like your thoughts and emotions are too much to bear, visit a therapist. [Read: How to deal with loneliness in healthy ways]

10. Visualize

Visualization is one of the self-awareness tactics you’ll learn in meditation, which is also applicable to difficult emotions. When you’re feeling hopeless, visualize your life and everything you want to achieve. Even when it feels pointless and hopeless right now, visualize your ambitions, success, personal goals, and relationships.

In other words, visualize the kind of life that would make you happy and proud of yourself. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the reality that we think that’s all there is to life.

Visualization can help you focus on the bigger picture and find purpose in everything you’re doing. [Read: How to manifest a better tomorrow and find your true happiness]

11. Cry

Hopelessness can literally make you feel numb and empty of any emotions. However, if you feel the need to cry, you shouldn’t ashamed to do so. Crying is extremely healthy and no, it’s not a sign of weakness.

Keeping your emotions pent up inside of you is the worst thing you can do.

It’s entirely possible that your feelings of hopeless are derived from repressed emotions, why is exactly why you should cry. Fall apart, cry, scream, do whatever you feel like doing – just let it all out.

12. Treat yourself

Everything might feel devoid of emotions but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself. Order that ice cream or that burrito you’ve been craving for so long. Don’t feel guilty buying that video game or maybe that dress you’ve been eyeing for ages.

You never know, maybe treating yourself might make you forget your hopelessness for quite some time. Treating yourself now and then helps you remind yourself that you’re alive and fighting, even amidst feeling hopeless. It might be tough, but you’re here – and that’s all that matters. [Read: 27 ways to focus on yourself and create your own sunshine]

13. Focus on your passions

This is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling hopeless, but your passions are important. They remind you what it feels like to be fueled by life and creativity.

In a state of darkness, your passions have the capacity to ignite your soul and entire body with purpose, direction, and fulfillment.

Whether you’re doing something as mundane as painting or listening to music, it can remind you what life is really all about. Hold on to your passions even in hopelessness – they’ll remind you to keep going until you find the light.

[Read: How to overcome self-doubt and get on the path of self-enlightenment]

So, what should you do when you’re feeling hopeless?

Hopelessness can be so dark that it makes you feel stuck in your current situation without any direction or provision. It’s so dark that it can empty your emotions entirely. However, it’s not the end of the world.

Try these steps we’ve shared here, it may feel like the last thing you ever want to do, but try it until it becomes a little bit bearable. One day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re not feeling as hopeless or lost anymore.

Feeling hopeless is a horrible feeling that can keep you stuck for days, months, or even years. Although, you always need to remember that feeling this way shouldn’t give you shame or guilt. Rather, it just makes you human.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...