Hey sis, it has been such a long time since we really talked. I have gone through such a stressful time working on a work project that I poured my all into. Now that project is in a transition phase and I am enjoying this period of time. Not only is my work life in transition, but my life feels like it is in transition. I am in this awkward point in my life where I am growing and learning about myself at an exponential rate. This has created a desire in me for newness and change. This can be great but can also be a catalyst for feeling hopeless about the future. So I wanted to just have an open and honest discussion about feeling hopeless about the future.
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Life Change and Feelings of Hopelessness
Change and transitions in life can be an exciting and positive thing. It can also be negative and gloomy. I believe that this is because transitions have many unknown variables. With each transition in my life, I have felt both extremes of this spectrum. Excited for what’s to come, yet worried that I will fail. Let this feeling stew and it will be a guaranteed recipe for becoming hopeless about the future.
This is so scary and unfortunate because feeling hopeless about the future is a sign of suicidal behavior. So how do you prepare for transition without falling into the anticipated black-hole of despair? Great question! I am by no means an expert just someone that has been there, sought professional help and found coping skills that work for me.
How to Overcome Feelings of Hopelessness
1. Talk to someone compassionate
I have always been one to keep my dark feelings inside and let them fester. I did not like to open up, did not think anyone cared and never felt like I had the words to explain myself. If you are a friend of a seemingly strong person ask them deeper questions about their emotional state, but if you are that person confide in someone. For me, my close friends saw that I needed help and referred to my counseling. So counseling became my place to open up. Then I became more confident in reaching out to select people in my life when I felt my lowest. This has taken a huge burden off my shoulders.
2. Think less and think Positive
It can be easy to transition from contemplating what’s next to feeling hopeless about the future. The best solution for this is honestly to think less. Sounds so simple, but it isn’t. Excitement mixed with anxiety will cause you to think out all your next steps and the outcomes. In the case of negative transition, this is especially true because it is all anxiety. In this process, you may quickly become worried, overwhelmed or defeated beforehand. To counteract this, it is important to choose to believe in a positive outcome. Not just in your thoughts but write it out. Then you need to stop overthinking. Do small things to stay present at the moment: take a long walk, pour all those thoughts onto paper or listen to inspiring music. Another great option is to simply focus on ONE small task you have can tackle right now.
3. Give yourself grace
You may feel hopeless about the future because you did something wrong, aren’t where you expected to be, don’t think you can measure up or that you need to have it all figured out. Sis I promise this is all false. You have given life your best and learned a lesson, you didn’t make a mistake. Where you are now is exactly where you are supposed to be. In time you will grow you into who you are to become. You have everything you need to succeed in your next season of life and do not need to measure up to external standards. And there is no need to have it all figured out right now, simply be present in each moment.
Find the Help You Need to Overcome
Feeling hopeless about the future is a normal feeling, but it does not have to cause you to give up on life. Embrace that your feelings are valid, talk to someone compassionate, don’t overthink and give yourself grace. Please don’t use this message to impose new standards on yourself. If this is helpful and freeing for you that is amazing. However, If it isn’t then please remember that everyone’s journey is unique. And I truly believe there is hope for every unique situation, even yours. If you suffer from severe mental illness or thoughts of suicide I want to encourage you to seek help today. Find a local therapist or contact the National Suicide Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “START” to 741-741. Also please remember to share your experience in the comments. You sharing may be the hope someone else needs.
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