Contrary to the sugar-coated picture that is formed in our minds through films, pop music, and TV, the reality of life can most of the time be pretty devastating leaving us feeling hopeless and confused.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we often contemplate life simply because of the need for answers and solace in the wilderness of life.

Ultimately, a significant portion of art, philosophy and literature masterpieces came out of misery. But why does life makes us feel so miserable? The question has yet remained not fully answered.

The time that we live in is, strangely, the peak of freedom, opportunities, variety of choices and quality of life, but at the same time of loneliness, depression the dissatisfaction with that life.

Some think misery is in our nature, that it has been with us since ever, just changing forms and causes. The explanations vary from medical conditions to spiritual learnings that address the never-ending question – How to find happiness?

But one of the hardest parts of feeling miserable about your life is knowing something needs to change, but not knowing what and where to start.

This endless chain of inability to act can become one’s other nature if not cut (or at least weakened) in early stages. Luckily, there are real and almost ridiculously easy actions and methods that can be implemented on the micro levels of life that can completely change the macro picture of that life.

Life is in a very real way defined by time. Time is broken into centuries, decades, years and days. Understanding one’s life by looking into every day will most certainly create a more positive view (and outcome) of that understanding and thinking process.

Because, it is cliché but we have to face it, misery usually comes from thinking, or more precisely, overthinking.

This leads us to a trap that we want to be set free from and, fortunately, there are ways to defeat negative thoughts and they, interestingly, usually involve raw actions almost devoid of thinking.

1. SLEEP EARLY

Believe it or not, going to bed earlier is among top advice from psychologists for improving the quality of life.

Feeling rested, being able to concentrate, thinking clearly creates the path to a better mood, thinking patterns and styles, creativity which are the very things that give the end result of general satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with life.

In the sea of medications and quick fixes, sleep cycles have been naively underestimated.  Sleeping habits can be the cure or the cause of various problems that seem to have no roots.

Sleep makes a whole half of our lives, therefore, it is almost hard to understand how its importance and value got so lost from sight.

In a very real way, the quality of our sleep will determine the quality of our day. If we deprive ourselves of sleep, we wake up cranky, our body is not rested, the brain is not refreshed.

There are chemicals in the brain that do the job that is similar to clearing garbage from the nerve endings and making room for new information for the next day. No wonder that we can’t think clearly after a night without sleep.

Some scientific research has shown that the amount of sleep is actually not the most important factor in the sleeping process, but rather the time we choose for sleep.

This itself can actually be simply concluded: if you fall asleep at 5 AM and sleep until 5 PM, you will most probably nevertheless somehow wake up tired. According to the research, the ideal time for calling it a night is actually between 10 and 11 PM.

And the other funny thing that it is most important to be asleep until between 2 AM and 3 AM, after this hour the brain and body already took what was needed from sleep.

Just stepping out of our way to try making a change of unhealthy sleeping routines can, and will make a tremendous change on so many levels, and most importantly, on the overall way that we feel about our life.

Sometimes, we think that there is something seriously wrong in our lives and we see the problem in our job, partner, house, in everyone, in society – when, in reality, the problem can disappear simply with a change of sleeping routine.

2. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Negative feelings usually come from focusing on things we wish to have or achieve, but seem to fail or even fear to try.

Paralyzed by fears, doubts and a spectrum of negative feelings, we end up not even trying or giving our best to acquire the desired goals.

This way, we dwell upon the things we can’t change (or think we can’t change), the failures, the losses, all the things that we are dissatisfied about. This pit of gloominess can suck us in so deep that we forget all the good things that are before our eyes every day.

Even though it seems so easy, we have to be self-disciplined when it comes to being aware of all the good things in our lives.

Gratitude should be practiced almost like a ritual that will be an integral part of every day in which we remind ourselves, regardless of anything else that is going on, of all the good things that make our life.

The interesting thing is that whatever is going on and putting you out of order at the moment is probably very temporary compared to the great things that are constants in your life.

Those things are usually family, friends, but also having a pet, having a nice home you can always come to. But it can even be as simple as a hobby or a really good song that fills us with feelings.

One of the best ways to cope with bad feelings, experiences, and circumstances that are taking place in one’s life is to turn to good things and finding a true sense of gratitude for them within oneself.

This mindset will make you feel better, and therefore automatically attract more positive factors into your life. Imagine it like a magnet, an exchange of energy.

A lot of the times, the best cure for sadness and feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction is actually acknowledging all the other things that bring us joy.

Negative feelings and events can even be a wake-up call that will actually lead to realizing the presence and importance of some of the best things in one’s life.

3. EXERCISE

Physical and mental health are even more than connected, it would be better to say they are intertwined. Mental state can be translated into brain chemistry and the state of the body is an important factor and a predisposition for generally feeling good or bad.

Simply said, if you eat unhealthily, live in an extremely polluted area, or generally just don’t have any physical activity and your body is not in a good condition, it is more than possible that there won’t be flowers blossoming out of your mind either.

But the problem is that the current common lifestyle really involves all the aforementioned things that cause physical and mental distress. So, until that changes, we have to at least be responsible for our wellbeing individually.

This means resisting to as many things that harm us in any way regardless of anything. Of course, absolutely no one is perfect (even those that appear so on social media), but the point is to try being a little better every day.

Developing an exercise routine will certainly affect your mood positively and it can even change the overall vibe that colors your day.

The main two problems with this solution are – first, exercising is physically hard and unpleasant; and – second, the change cannot be instant, it takes time for the effects to be noticeably felt.

Nevertheless, exercising does not have to mean going to the gym three times a week. Since it is always most important to bring yourself to begin and the beginning is the hardest, the best solution is baby steps.

You can pick up yoga, or even dancing classes (find whatever suits you) but the point is to increase the amount of physical activity that you’re giving to your body. Everybody is prone to inertia, but fighting the basic tendency toward laziness is really self-care.

4. TRY SOMETHING NEW

Depression can often come out of the monotony and is actually frequently defined as “feeling as if nothing is going to happen to me anymore”.

The logical solution for this extremely demotivating thought is simply proving it wrong by trying new things.

It is kind of an unsoothing idea of leaving the comfort zone in any way, and the truth is we miss so many opportunities because of the comfort of avoiding any form of change.

But if we think about it, the best things happen when in the moments and ways that we didn’t see coming.

We all know the irresistible temptation to watch already many times seen movies, to go to the same places with the same people, but this eventually becomes a stale feeling because change is inevitable.

Having all this in mind, we should always remind ourselves to enrich our lives from time to time with a self-initiated change. This also can be achieved in very small, but very efficient ways.

One of the most beautiful, healthiest and most fruitful forms of this kind of change is travel. Every year, a certain portion of time should be set aside for traveling – this is also self-care.

Depending on the matter of money, free time and other potential obstacles, traveling should, naturally, be organized within the realm of one’s possibilities. In other words, it can be a weekend camping in the woods just as a holiday in Egypt.

The point here is simply going away, experiencing the change of surroundings for some time. An absolute, almost scientific promise is coming back from a trip completely refreshed – it can be compared with a snake coming out of old skin.

Nevertheless, any form of change is refreshing and even therapeutic. As with everything, be creative! A fifteen-minute change in room setting can make a difference.

Play a new game, try a recipe you one bookmarked, go to a club you’ve never been to, buy a skateboard, take a yoga class, explore the best places for red beer in town, organize a getaway weekend on the country with your friends. Visit new places, meet new people, try new things! You will find that you as well are becoming a new person.

5. SET GOALS

Another important trigger of feelings like “it’s all pointless” is not being able to visualize the future in any way. Sometimes it can even be scary – not being able to see any direction that your life is taking.

To prevent this kind of feeling, always set some kind of goals that will primarily serve you as a drive that will fuel your movement on the line of time.

A goal can be described as a sketch that enables visualization of the future in some way, and therefore gives a sense of purpose and reality of one’s life.

Having this in mind, all goals do not and should not be accomplished as planned because it never works out that way.

It is impossible to reach dreams as it is impossible to touch the shiny moon in the sky. Therefore, even failing should not leave us beat on the ground because actually the most important part of having goals is actually just having something to strive to.

This feeling of striving to something (that is sometimes called hope) is one of the things that really make us feel alive.

The goals that are suggested here don’t even need to be in the domain of a career or actually winning first prizes on contests. Goals are a concept that is entirely defined with one’s perspective of what success is in any way, in any area.

Therefore, just setting a goal to see significant progress in playing guitar, writing poems, or in any hobby means a lot for your state of mind.

Learn a new skill that will improve your abilities in your working field, make a list of books that you want to read until the end of the year, decide to become a pro in baking brownies – the list is endless.

In this way, you outgrow yourself every step of the way, but most importantly, you manage to organize the consumption of time of your life. By doing that, you are giving your life form. “Do not squander time. That is the stuff life is made of.” – Gone With the Wind.

6. SPEND TIME IN NATURE

Taking a day off and going on a picnic or just for a walk in nature can fill you up with a surprising wave of positive energy which will be translated into positive thoughts and feelings. Just filling up lungs with oxygen changes the overall state of the body and it can bring a complete change of mood.

Just choosing a park instead of a café for having coffee with a friend is a positive change of surroundings that your body and mind will certainly feel. We tend to spend most of our days tangled up in the same routine which mostly consists of going to work and coming back home to our computer.

Break this pattern with a visit to the nearest green area, a forest, or, possibly, treat your eyes with a view of a river and your senses with a pleasant breeze between the trees.

We are genetically an organic part of nature, but the modern lifestyle, ruled by cities, unfortunately, alienates us from the rest of nature. We feel this on a deep level, but it is hard to recognize that it affects us because nowadays living even as an enemy of nature is culturally accepted.

Nevertheless, if you are having some trouble, or simply feel overwhelmed with dissatisfaction, step out. Try surrounding yourself with silence interrupted just by the sounds of nature – birds, insects, and maybe children’s voices somewhere in the distance. If anything, lie down on the grass, close your eyes and sunbathe – it might make you forget about whatever is going on for at least a while.

Find a quiet park, take a walk to the woods, or, if you are particularly brave and adventurous, go hiking. Just spending a weekend in the mountains will make tremendous changes to your physical and mental wellbeing. And remember – no excuses! Take the warmest clothes you own, borrow a tent if you don’t own one, pack a sleeping bag and hit the road!

7. LET GO OF THE THINGS THAT DON’T SERVE YOU

Another basic tendency that everyone has experienced at some point is clinging to the past. But, if not controlled, this tendency can turn into a problem of the present.

As we already mentioned, everything changes and there will always be things that seem as inseparable parts of our days, but sometimes it is just time to say goodbye.

This goes for habits like smoking, but maybe even more importantly (and sometimes even more unimaginable) for people and relationships.

Hoarding is a phenomenon that is a good illustration of abusing the tendency to cling to things. It is an exaggerated behavior that is by definition what all of us do more or less and therefore naturally feeling trapped to some degree – a hoarder is simply someone who does not throw away anything.

Have this in mind, realize the importance of throwing away everything that doesn’t have a purpose in your life anymore. Bad feelings more than often come from the overwhelming weight of all the things that have happened to us.

The weight of experience through the course of life can itself sometimes be unbearable. Because of this, never get out of sight of the importance of maintaining emotional and mental hygiene.

Do not carry all memorabilia, do not dwell upon the past and never cease to ask yourself if you are sacrificing your present for something that belongs to the past. Try to see the past as a dreamlike shadow of reality.

If you live your whole life in the past, you will find that your life appears not much more than a shadowlike existence.

Hoarding things is pretty unhealthy, but maybe the most unhealthy hoarder behavior will be found in implementing this pattern on a relationship with people.

One of the most happiness-draining possible scenarios is being in a toxic relationship. The main question here is: why do people stay in bad relationships?

The answer is not simple – if it was, the solution would be simple and the problem would not exist in the first place. A New York study made a research on why people stay in unhappy relationships. The final conclusion was that most of the people actually don’t initiate break-up if they sense that their partner doesn’t want the same.

This is one reason worth thinking about, and the other major reason has to do with the aforementioned letting go of the comfort zone. All factors should be excluded from the final decision except for the crucial one – is this improving or harming your life?

This key question applies to everything you want to change in your life, especially for relationships. And this doesn’t mean only romantic relationships, but also friends, colleagues, bosses, and even parents.

You have to find the strength and courage to let go and it can be the best and most important decision of your life.

Usually, it is easier to stay no matter how tough the present situation is treating you, but once you make the hard step of leaving, the greatest burden will come down from your back and everything will become easier.

The pattern of staying in harmful environments usually applies to relationships, but it can also be a workplace, a rented apartment or even just clinging on to the memories of the past.

We all find ourselves in dead ends without an idea of a real solution. In these situations, a fair option to consider is seeking professional help.

8. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Professional help exists because the truth is no one can manage every problem that comes their way by themselves. A couple of sessions with a therapist can provide you with, if nothing, some helpful advice that might at least spark some new ideas of a possible solution.

Seeking out help in hard times, even just from a friend, is progress by itself because it means that you are actually trying – you are doing something that can possibly lead to a solution. And if you keep trying, the solution will inevitably run upon you even before you’d thought you would find it.

Acting when you are experiencing plain dissatisfaction with your life is on its own a tough request. But we all have to take a reality check from time to time – if we are not satisfied, it won’t change if we don’t stimulate that change. This is because everyone is in control of their life.

Being aware of this is a double-edged sword – on one hand, it is a promise of freedom; but, on the other hand, it is also a promise of responsibility for your decisions and the direction and form that your life will take.

Nevertheless, only realizing this deeply will give you the ability to find strength for overcoming all kinds of obstacles that come your way. Happiness can’t last forever, but neither can discontent. Because of the aforementioned law of change, any feeling or state can’t be permanent.

But this fact should not be the card of consolation used to sit back and wait.

Getting therapy does not necessarily mean you are ill. There are many different kinds of psychotherapies and most of them rely on talk instead of medication.

Think of it as psychological counseling that ought to change the way you think about things. That’s all.

However, before you decide to seek help, be sure that you’re ready to accept it and let go of all the toxic patterns of thought and behavior that are detrimental to your well-being.

If you’re not ready to change, you can’t expect your life to change either.

CONCLUSION

Experiment – start visiting new places, listen to new music and surround yourself with new people. These things will create a new reality that will become your life. If you are not satisfied with your life in any way, you might as well try anything that will make some kind of difference.

After all – the truth is you have nothing to lose. The things that make your life good will stay with you. The people who love you and make you a better person will support you anyway. If they don’t, the right thing is to let go of them too.

Nurture yourself in any possible way, take the courage to take harder paths and make some hard decisions. The payoff will come in the form of gratitude that you will feel toward yourself for acknowledging that you are in control of your life.

Never forget that, no matter what, no one else but you is in control of your life. You are responsible for everything you become. You are an artist that creates the picture of the life you are living, and you are the one who can change it at any time, no matter what.

I Hate My Life: Actions to Take When You HATE Your Life

Share your thoughts and experience

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.