Thought Catalog
April 7, 2017

It’s Okay To Feel Down But Bad Times Don’t Define You

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Martin Kníže

Sometimes I wake up and all I want to do is go back to sleep. Not because I’m exhausted, not because I didn’t sleep well… Just because I don’t want to exist in reality and the healthiest way to escape it is to stay in bed.

I know how it feels. You are not alone. Believe me.

I know what it feels like when every single thing you dreamed of is now nothing to you. The feeling of being useless and lost. I know that feeling better than you think.

I know that there isn’t one day when you don’t question yourself “Ok, so what do I do now to be more productive?” and right after you watch useless TV shows and ignore your responsibilities just because you want to get lost in something that isn’t your reality.

You want to talk to people, share with friends, go to parties, but at the same time you want to stay home, keep quiet, and shut down the rest of the world.

Whenever you think about something valuable, special, and meaningful to you, a second later your twisted mind makes you believe that what you treasure is complete trash. It keeps repeating: “This is useless! You are worthless! Life has no meaning!” and there you go again – isolating yourself from everyone and everything by being brainwashed through your thoughts.

I’m sorry. I can’t make you feel better. I wish I could tell you there’s a cure out there that will prevent the future symptoms. But there is no guarantee that this will not happen again.

Remember – what you’re feeling (or more precisely – not feeling) is just a phase. It is anxiety. It is depression. It is your mind’s reaction to all the bad things that happened to you throughout the year. It is you going through crisis.

Remember – this phase does not DEFINE you! You are not a lazy person. You are not worthless or stupid. You’re not selfish. You’re just going through a hard time. You’ll end up fine.

I want to tell you a secret. And I want you to always consider it.

It is only in our power to solve all types of mental crisis. “Mental” means it’s all in your head. By trying to think otherwise, changing attitude and worldview you can change everything.

I can’t speak for everyone. But I can tell what works for me:

1. Think Positively

I know this is cliché. I know that you’ve tried it a thousand times and failed. But trust me, if you put the effort in noticing the good things in life and the good outcomes of challenges, you will live happier. By positive I don’t mean you have to wake up every day and smile, or keep telling yourself ‘Life is good’. What I mean is, appreciate the small things. You’re alive, you have friends, family, job/education. Some people don’t even have that, and they are even more
positive than you.

2. Believe in yourself

You cannot achieve anything if you don’t believe in your abilities. You have self-esteem issues? Fine! Sit down. Think about certain things that you wish you could change in you. You’re lacking sense of humor? You’re not confident enough? Everyone seems better than you?

Don’t underestimate yourself so quickly. Everyone is unique and so are you. Just because you’re going through a rough time doesn’t mean that you really don’t represent anything of yourself. State your opinions, know that you can do anything. It’s the only way.

3. Have Hope

This is where it got complicated for me. See, I’m a very skeptical person. A lot cynical too. I don’t believe in anything – not fate, nor God… nothing. But I understand that every person has issues and therefore needs a source for hope. For most people it’s their religion. For others it’s the belief in their abilities and positivity. Find your source of hope. Commit to it. Live with it. And don’t ever forget about it.

4. Set goals

I know you don’t feel like doing anything, and the thought of ‘dreams’ and ‘goals’ in life are so meaningless to you right now. But you have to try and find that one thing (or things) you enjoy doing the most. We all have to find our mission in life. Once you find it and start working on it, you’ll realize that there is something to live for.

5. Embrace, don’t reject

Do not ignore your family and friends. You can take some time and be alone, sure. But you also should remember that we are nothing without other people. I know you don’t feel like talking to anyone. I know you feel guilty cause it makes you selfish. But you have to try! Talk about anything, doesn’t matter if it’s stupid and serious. Just talk. And be honest while talking. Make effort into maintaining your relationships and connection with people, otherwise you’ll end up all alone. TC mark

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