How to Cope When Every Day Is Worse Than The Last
Is “I hate my life” your mantra?
Well, I want you to fight back. Fight back against the voice in your head that says “I hate my life.” How do I know you’re saying this?
Maybe not in so many words, but that’s the underlying current. And guess what? I know that there’s a voice in your head that repeats this to you too. “I hate my life.”
Right now, I want you to stop what you are doing, and give me all of your attention. Because I’m going to let you in on five secrets that could change your life. It starts with changing your mindset.
Secret #1: You Are Not Your Thoughts
I know it feels real, but that voice in your head that keeps repeating, “I hate my life” isn’t the truth. That’s just a version of things you are telling yourself about your life. The first step to changing those thoughts is to see that you are having them in the first place.
Are you aware of your thoughts or are you on autopilot? Starting today, no more mindless chatter. I want you to be intentional with every word you say to yourself.
Secret #2: You Always Have the Power to Change
I get it. You’re down, broken, and feel like you’re all out of options. It seems like life is either passing you by or beating you up. You ask yourself “why.” Why must things always be so hard for me? It feels out of your control. Like you’re at the mercy of your life.
Take a moment and take a deep breath. You always have the power to change your life. Always. It may not feel that way right now, and I know you can’t see your way out, but I’m telling you it doesn’t need to be like this.
What I’d like you to do is to spend 15 minutes each morning gaining back your control. Go for a 5 or 10 minute walk or just sit quietly in a chair. Then write down some goals for the day that you’d like to achieve. These don’t need to be big goals. Check them off as you do them.
Secret #3: What You Wanted Then Is What You Have Now
What you wanted then is what you have now. The problems that seemed insurmountable then you’ve already solved. The problems just keep changing. You got what you wanted but now it’s part of your problem.
This means the problems keep coming because you keep looking for them. What I want you to do is to stop. Literally, just stop for a minute. Breathe again. Now here’s where it gets complicated. I don’t want you to list five things you’re grateful for. That’s not going to work. You don’t appreciate them right now.
Instead, I want you to mentally transport yourself into the future. Imagine that you’re looking back on the situation that you are in right now. What would your future self tell you to do? If you already knew the solution to your problems, what would it be?
If a friend came to you with the same problems that you have right now, what would you tell them? Sit with that for a while, and really give it some thought. The answers are always there, if you’re willing to see them.
Secret #4: It’s Easier to Stay the Same
It’s easier to stay the same. I know, I know… “I hate my life…” you are telling me. Do you? If you did so terribly much, why wouldn’t you change it?
Because it’s easier to stay the same. It’s less work to try and change. It’s less work to solve problems. Complaining starts to feel normal. Staying down becomes the norm. Change is scary and big, and you don’t know what’s on the other side.
Here’s what I want you to do. Don’t change all at once. Don’t change in a hurry. Just change one thing today. Find the smallest incremental step that’s taking you in the direction of the “life you don’t hate” and then do it.
Secret #5: The Answer Isn’t Over There
You keep thinking if only this or that… everything would be better. If only I could meet the right person I’d have a relationship. If only I had finished college I’d have a better job. If only I was less awkward I’d have more friends. The answer isn’t other there. The answer is right here with you now.
The last thing I want you to do is to take responsibility starting today. Nobody else is going to solve this for you. What I’d like you to do is find someone who has been in the position that you are in and turned it around. Find an example for your brain to focus on of what is possible. Start with yourself, right here, right now.
One last thing: If you’re truly struggling and life isn’t getting better, please do reach out to someone. If you’ve monitored your self-talk, set up some positive routines, brainstormed solutions to your problems, started making small changes, and focused on good role models—but your mood is still low and that awful phrase keeps repeating (“I hate my life”), then you may need the help of a mental health professional. There’s no shame in reaching out and I suggest you do it soon.