I understand heartache, I do. I also understand some people have worse luck than others. In fact, anyone who has ever met me and heard about a tenth of the tribulations I have been through probably thinks I was Hitler in my past life. If you are looking for how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, I get it, truly.
It is hard to see everyone around you seemingly skate through life without a care in the world, because there really are those people. There are people in other countries who have nothing, but if that argument doesn’t hold water for you like it doesn’t for me, then don’t buy into it.
How to stop feeling sorry for yourself
Through every trial I went through in life, there was always that person on the sidelines saying things like, “Things could be worse.” And, there were many times in my life when I thought “Yeah, but things could be a whole lot fucking better.” But, feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help. In fact, it might be the thing that keeps you stuck.
There is a point in life when we all need to have a pity party and let people come and give us the empathy we need. But, every party should end. You find the strength to give it up and move forward.
Instead of accepting defeat and throwing in the towel, staying perpetually sorry for yourself, try these pick me up tricks to find the inner lucky that you just don’t see right now.
#1 Hang out with someone shallow. It is easy to feel sorry for yourself when you are a very emotional or highly sensitive person. The best way to not feel sorry for yourself is to hang out with someone with no depth.
What you find in the midst of your pain, you are real and have feelings. It is much better to feel sadness and go through a hard time, than to walk through life without feeling or really caring about anything genuine. Shallow people make people with depth feel pretty good about where they are at. [Read: The 36 shallow traits a superficial person can’t hide]
#2 Visit a children’s hospital. I am sorry, but nothing makes someone feel less sorry for themselves than going to visit or helping at a children’s ward at the hospital.
Sign up to help with child life and entertain kids in your spare time. When you realize there is always someone worse off, especially children who haven’t even had time to really experience and live yet, your problems seem less critical.
#3 Volunteer. When you realize there is always someone worse off than you, it becomes difficult not to see all you have and know that for as sorry as you are for yourself, there is someone who your sorries should really be going to.
Volunteering is a great way to find that you are not the most unfortunate soul out there, even if it feels that way sometimes. [Read: 20 positive ways to create a chain of goodwill]
#4 Count your many blessings. Stop looking at all your struggles and take a look around to find those positive things in your life. Whether it is your good friends, a house over your head, or a spouse there to love you, we all have blessings that we sometimes diminish by seeing only the dark side.
If you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it is about seeing all you do have instead of what you don’t.
#5 Put away your social media and unplug. Social media isn’t real. All it does is make you feel like everyone else’s life is awesome, and yours sucks. Let me let you in on a secret, not that many people post their misery. They post the best selfies, talk about the good things they have, and celebrate their many gifts and accolades.
But, everyone has bad days. Everyone experiences tragedy, and everyone goes through periods of sadness, we just don’t put them on the internet for all to see. If you stop comparing yourself to what isn’t real, you just might find that you really don’t have things so bad.
Get off of social media and live in the real world. [Read: 13 ways to wean yourself off social media]
#6 Spend the day with someone special. Do you have someone in your life who just makes you feel good to reconnect with them. Sometimes, it just takes a day to turn your week around. Make a commitment to stay in touch with the people who care and are an incentive to feel good.
#7 Do something nice for someone else. Do something nice for someone else. Not only will it give you a little boost of good feeling, but it also helps you brighten someone else’s day. Win-win.
Evolution gave us little boosts of good feelings to encourage us to help others for survival. So, get that little goodness running through your brain and help pick someone else up too.
#8 Make a goal. It is hard to feel sorry for yourself when you have your eyes on the prize. Instead of sitting around ruminating about something that happened or feeling bad about something in the past, make a goal for yourself and work each day to achieve it.
Whether running a marathon or completing your undergraduate degree, if you start moving forward, it will be impossible to sink. [Read: How to be a good person – 10 small changes to transform your world]
#9 Change one small thing every day. Sometimes, we try too hard to change ourselves. We end up failing because we are creatures of habit, and it becomes too hard to change.
Make a commitment to change one small thing about yourself and your situation every day, like a one percent change. What you find is one day you wake up to a different person. It won’t happen overnight, but if you make continual and constant small changes, they add up to happiness.
#10 Figure out what your purpose is. Feeling sorry for ourselves sometimes stems from not really understanding why we are here. Suffering for suffering’s sake is a very hopeless concept.
If you have an understanding of meaning and purpose in life and see suffering is not just random, but intentional and necessary, it helps you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and see how what you go through is a necessary component of your time here on earth. That makes it easier to accept and to find the silver lining lurking in every situation. [Read: What is the point of life? Secrets to decode the cosmic joke]
#11 Join a support group. Misery loves company not because it creates more misery, but because you feel less alone and sad. If you recognize you are not the only one goes through a struggle and finds support with people who “get it” and understand your feelings, your feeling of community makes you want to move on past the pity that you feel for yourself.
#12 Find a cause to support. If you can’t seem to get yourself out of a rut then immerse yourself into helping pick someone else out of theirs. Instead of sinking in your own situation, find a cause you believe in and change someone else’s life for the better. It helps the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that probably drive your feelings of pity. [Read: How to feel better about yourself – 20 small changes for big results]
#13 Stop going to therapy. What happens at therapy? You rehash all the bad things you have been through, over and over and over and over. Talking through things doesn’t make them disappear. For some people, it just makes them relive the events again, never able to reconcile or let them go.
Therapy might work for some. If it is just a time you go to purge and it goes nowhere, then move on. Stop rehashing to make sense of something that just might not ever make sense to you.
#14 Don’t hang out with people who feed into it. For every person who feels sorry for themselves, there are five who love it that they do. If you are someone who other people feed off of because they thank their lucky stars they aren’t you, then they feed your monster. You feed theirs.
Knowing how to stop feeling sorry for yourself means you stop hanging out with people who feel sorry for you. They aren’t helping. They just might be the thing keeping you stuck. [Read: Stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]
#15 Forgive yourself, your past, and leave it there. Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves because we can’t forgive others who wronged us or even forgive ourselves. You must forgive to move forward. Let the past be the past.
Only by letting go of whatever you feel sorry for yourself about, can you find the hopeful inner you. Instead of pitying yourself, you celebrate your time here.
[Read: How to stop ruminating: Leave your past and live your future]
If you can find meaning in life and stop feeling as if everything is out of your control, you might see that suffering is never in vain. Realizing everyone around you will suffer is how to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
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