Hopelessness is feeling like nothing will get better, that the future is bleak. Feelings of hopelessness and despair can be overwhelming. Are you looking for how to reduce hopelessness? There are things you can do to increase your sense of hope and optimism.
In this brief article, we’ll look at how to minimize hopelessness and improve how you feel about the future.
Talk to a Friend about How to Reduce Hopelessness
When feelings of hopelessness arise, it may seem as though you are alone in the world. The simplest way to counteract these thoughts and feelings is to reach out to a loved one. Find a friend or family member that you are comfortable talking to.
Let your loved one know that you are struggling with a lack of hope. You may be surprised to learn that others have similar feelings sometimes. It can be helpful to know that your thoughts of despair are experienced by many people at different points in their lives.
Simply letting another person know about your hopelessness can take away some of the weight of these feelings. Often people keep their distressing thoughts to themselves which leads to a sense of isolation. Talking to a friend can help you feel connected again.
Express your Emotions
When people experience emotions that are unpleasant, they often hide them or cover them up. Instead of pretending your feelings of hopelessness aren’t there, give yourself permission to express these emotions.
Journaling is a great way to get overwhelming thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. Sometimes the act of writing down upsetting feelings is enough to start feeling better. Writing can be a very cathartic practice for people–if you haven’t done it before, give it a try.
Many people find that physical movement like dance or yoga can help to bring forth emotions that have been buried for some time. Music and song can also be therapeutic for expressing feelings.
It is common when feeling hopeless to stay indoors–even to stay in bed or on the couch. Unfortunately, this just reinforces thoughts that nothing will get better and that you are helpless to change things.
Physical activity, particularly when done outdoors, improves feelings of well-being and increases your ability to manage stress. Start by going for a walk around the block. Moving your body, getting fresh air, and soaking up the sunshine will do wonders for your mind and body.
Try to implement a routine that includes going outside and getting some physical activity every day. If you have trails, a river, or a park nearby, spend some time walking, hiking, or cycling in these spots.
Make a Plan to Reduce Hopelessness
When life feels overwhelming and hopeless, it can be helpful to break things down into very small steps. Start by choosing only one problem or situation to deal with at a time and make a plan to address it in a series of steps.
Let’s say you’re feeling hopeless about not being able to find a job. This can seem like a huge problem to tackle, so break it down into parts. Your first step might be to draft a new resume. If that seems too overwhelming, start by making a list of your previous jobs.
You’ll find that once you start addressing the things in your life that are contributing to your feelings of hopelessness, you will gain a sense of confidence and power. You will see that you really do have influence over what happens in your life and future.
Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Hopelessness
If your feelings of hopelessness have reached a point where you no longer want to live or if you have thoughts of harming yourself, reach out to a professional. With proper support, you can start to feel positive about your future again.