Don’t Give Up!
If you’re going through a particularly hard time and struggling to cope, then I want to encourage you to not give up! When we’re experiencing difficult times, sometimes it can feel like we’re going to feel this way forever. Or perhaps it may even feel like there’s no way out and no light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. I know this because I have been there and have felt like giving up myself on more than one occasion! It’s a dark and scary place to be but more often than not a few, small adjustments to our lives might just be enough to pull us up again and back into the light.
The first trick is to realise that everything changes and nothing is permanent. We are forever changing whether we like it or not, so it can be a relief to know that this is a temporary feeling and it will pass. Secondly we can learn to shift the way we think about these difficult times and use them as an opportunity to grow as a person. Every challenge in our life is there to teach us something but it’s up to you to listen to the lesson. It may feel horrible and scary, but what has it taught you? What might you do differently next time if it was to happen again? What has it shown you about who you are as a person? I’d bet that it has made you into a stronger and wiser person, who wouldn’t be where you are today if it wasn’t for these challenges… and you should be proud of yourself! If it helps, you can write down a list of everything that you have learnt from your experiences.
So if you are currently feeling at rock bottom and don’t know what to do next, the best thing is to bring it back to your basic needs and water them…then the rest can grow from there…
Five Vital Components When You’re Rock Bottom
1. Letting the Feelings Flow
The first step I’ve found particularly useful is to not put up any resistance to what emotions you’re feeling. I’m not necessarily suggesting that you wallow in a bad mood for days, but if you’re feeling upset about something don’t fight it. The more we fight a negative thought or emotion, the more it’ll come back to bite us because we end up giving it more attention and focus. Ever heard of the saying by Carl Jung, “what you resist persists”? Instead what I’d suggest is when you’re feeling overwhelmed, let it in and for a few moments just experience it rather than bottling it up. Cry if you have to! Let it in, feel it and let it pass again. It’s possibly there to teach you something. I’ve found that once you’ve allowed yourself to feel it and let it pass through, you’ll feel a release of tension that was built up. Once that happens you can start to move forwards again and will probably feel some relief. If you want to read some tips on how to also feel a bit more positive then read my other blog post.
2. Exercise and Food
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…being active is so important for your mental health. It increases serotonin levels in the brain, which makes us feel good and able to cope with life. If our serotonin levels are low then we start to feel unhappy, and exercise is a great way to combat this. If you’re not that into exercise, then start small and go for a 10 minute walk around the park and build yourself up. Or there are plenty of YouTube videos that are free and have differing levels of capabilities. Diet also has a great impact on our mental well-being, so make sure to eat a balanced variation of healthy food. Stress can have a great impact on our appetite by either suppressing it or encouraging us to comfort eat, therefore it’s important to try and be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies during these times.
3. Good Friends and Laughter
Reach out to your friends in times of need, that’s what they’re there for! Sometimes it can be difficult as it’s easy to feel like a burden when we’re down, but generally people are kind and they’ll want to help. Just getting out for a coffee and a chat will do wonders to your mood and lift you up. Also take the time to do something together that will make you laugh! You’ll soon start to feel much better.
4. Something for the Mind
We have lots of thoughts running through our heads everyday. We can imagine whole realities and make up scenarios that don’t exist but also stress us out! Take ten minutes out from your day to try some meditation, mindfulness or hypnotherapy. Again there are so many free resources online and you can access many guided meditations etc. which will help to calm your mind.
5. What makes you happy?
This can be a great time for re-evaluation of what it is that does make you happy and what you may want out of life. These don’t have to be necessarily big things, perhaps you’d like to book a trip or holiday, which you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Whatever it is for you, this is a good moment to refocus and rediscover your greatest needs.
These are five very basic needs that if you give some time and attention to, will help the other areas of your life to flourish. Please remember there is always help out there if you feel like you’re not coping. And if you are struggling and would like to discuss these matters further, then please feel free to contact me today and find out how you can start to make changes in your life.