Thought Catalog

‘Everybody Hurts Sometimes,’ 16 Men And Women Share The Inspriring Ways They Beat Sadness And Get Happy Again

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hakimihaslan / www.twenty20.com/photos/dfd01338-e17c-4c3a-b371-dbcce013f068
hakimihaslan / www.twenty20.com/photos/dfd01338-e17c-4c3a-b371-dbcce013f068

Sadness is sometimes circumstantial, sometimes crushing, and sometimes it’s just time to be sad but below are 16 true stories from people who didn’t it let it control their lives and used it to enrich themselves. 

1. Little Goals

Get outside and take a walk for an hour. Exercise even a little bit. Does wonders for your mind.

Listen to upbeat music.

Make small little goals and do them. You’ll feel better about yourself and be more motivated to do more things. Like, clean the dishes, vacuum, rearrange books, laundry.

2. One Thing A Day

I’m undergoing therapy right now and have been suggested the little goals thing, it’s pretty legit. First thing I’d do waking up is to write down a little task on my cell phone, then at the end of the day I’d have done that little, very specific task (“one hour of cleaning” doesn’t work) and go to bed with a renewed feeling that I wasn’t a completely worthless slob.

Surely there are many ways to feel demoralized and it doesn’t work for all these ways, but I wanted to reiterate that it can be a great idea.

3. Real Quiet Time

Going for long walks has helped me immensely – I’ve also found that leaving my phone at home while going for a walk helps a huge amount. No need to constantly check FB/Twitter/whatever, just enjoy the walk for what it is and be alone with your thoughts. I’ve come to some seemingly obvious but important realizations that way.

4. Throw Yourself Into Something You’ve Always Wanted To Try

I recently got out of a relationship and most of my friends have moved in the past year. Ive felt incredibly lonely the past month. It has made me realize though that I’ve been relying too much on others for my happiness and I won’t be truly happy until I’m okay with being by myself. So instead of looking for others to combat the loneliness, I’ve decided to embrace it. Ive decided to quit drinking for a bit, I’ve been working out, I’ve picked up golf again (my favorite hobby), and I’ve started talking to a therapist. All of these things have changed my routine completely, I focus on so many other things that I barely think about being alone and the exercise is giving me a lot more energy. And by day’s end, I’m happy to be alone watching Netflix and reading Reddit to just relax.

5. Love The Loved Ones That Depend On You

My cat greatly helped me when I was depressed. It felt like he knew and was super cuddly and affectionate all the time.

6. Fight The Tiny Voice That Says “Not Now”

Just do something. Fuck that. Do lots of things. You’re gonna hate the idea of it. You’re gonna try to talk yourself out of following through with plans. I know, I’m often there, too.

Do I regret some stuff? Sure. Were some things worse than doing nothing? Absolutely.

But way more stuff has been fulfilling. Probably 80% of the time, I’m glad I picked my lazy ass up and went to the concert, or took the road trip, or read the book, or went to the gathering. And you know what? Even fully remembering these good times, the next time an opportunity comes up, I dread it and try to talk myself out of doing it all over again.

It’s important to do a lot of stuff you don’t want to. What, you think your fucked up brain won’t lead you astray? Mine will, so I often have to betray it. I’m normally glad I did.

7. Take Inventory Of All The Things You’re Thankful For Every Day

I went through a period of depression last year where my brain just went into lizard mode. I was in fight or flight mode all the time, has adrenaline keeping me constantly nervous, sweated a lot, slept poorly, and couldn’t get my mind straight.

I ended up doing three things that helped (as well as eventually quitting my job which was causing the stress): 1. Each night before I went to sleep, I gave thanks for all the good things in my life. Having a place to live, my husband, my dog, my mum, my friends, even right down to things like tea and toast that gave me pleasure to consume. 2. Reached out for help to people who could support me with different aspects of my problems. A psychologist for the stress and anxiety, my mum for general comfort and emotional support, a former colleague for ideas for my work situation. This helped me identify pathways to a better future. 3. Yoga. For me, it calmed me and supported me to get better at it. Experiencing success in something helped restore my confidence. Each class, I’d hold a pose longer or stretch further or have better balance. I could see progress and felt good about my achievement. In a time when I felt like I was failing at my job, getting better at something and being praised by the teacher felt really good.

8. Ask What You’re Holding On To

Life gets overwhelming. Feel it, and when you can’t feel it anymore, just watch it. The thing is your getting to experience it in one way or the other. There are very very few instances where that isn’t a positive, even if it doesn’t seem like it. God isn’t real to me, but the 7 sins are in a metaphorical sense. If things aren’t enjoyable and life isn’t sweet then chances are you’re clinging to one of em. For me personally it’s sloth, gluttony, and vanity. They affect my feelings, and my relationships with people; in a toxic way. Like they say knowing is half the battle, so maybe find out which “evil” is affecting you, and if you already have then you’re on a process of recovery. I feel like I’m rambling.

9. Intentional Listening Refocuses You

I listen to music in a particular way.

I find somewhere soft to lie down, put my best headphones in, find some music and visualize it. Visualization involves things like creating scenes for the music, picking out instruments and imagining the atmosphere surrounding them, creating movement colors/patterns for the way the pieces of the music interconnects, and attempting to feel the feelings expressed by the composers of the music. Really, there’s lots of ways to see and feel the sounds of music. It always calms me down. For me, it’s an escape from paranoia, from stress, from fatigue and loneliness. I can just fall into a daydream-world of music and avoid the real world, revel in the seconds I could have been hating only a short time earlier. That does the trick for me.

10. Keep Moving!

Fix your diet, get some one a day vitamins, walk for 30 minutes a day. Pref outside (go play some pokeman go!)

This is the most basic solution to this problem that everyone faces at one point or another.

Getting a hobby that introduces you to new people is also a great thing.

The more stationary you are, the harder life is to deal with. Gotta keep moving.

11. Do Little Things That Make You Happy, Tend To Relationships

-Indulge your nostalgia until you’re sick of those things so that you may better appreciate your present

-Go on Netflix or whatever and just watch the first thing you see with a really good or really bad rating. You’re sure to be entertained and distracted either way!

-Go for a jog, and end it full sprint. When my mind is idle it slips into a very dark place, but when you’re full of adrenaline, I guarantee you won’t have that problem

-99% of people have at least one friend whether they realize it or not. If you truly don’t, don’t beat yourself up, but desperate times call for desperate measures; put yourself out there; think of something you love doing or have always wanted to do and find a community of others with those interests. Have faith in people, and don’t give up.

-Work out if you don’t already. Allow yourself to have shallow goals in addition to the others you have. Wanna look good? Do something about it, whether that’s work out or go clothes shopping

-Find something therapeutic/cathartic that you can do nonstop for a long time without getting sick of it like writing a story or drawing something.

-Never let friends or loved ones just slip away. If they make a calculated decision to leave you, it’s best to just let go, but don’t sit idly by as you drift apart

-There is someone out there for everyone. There are 7 billion God damn people in the world, 3.5 billion of your preferred gender, the whole 7 if you swing both ways, between 400 to 150 million (give or take) in your age group (0-7 or so years gap) and probably around at least 5%ish are conceivably compatible with you. That’s at least 7.5 million people (I just pulled that number out of my ass, but the point is that’s a lot of fucking people); you don’t have to be alone. Don’t give up hope and keep trying.

12. Pay Attention To Your Faith

Here’s an unpopular answer, but I don’t care what people think. I’m a Christian. I firmly believe that there’s a better future for me, but sometimes I can’t see it. People get ticked off by my optimism and attack me. I ignore them. This is the worst it will ever get for me.

It’s cool if you disagree with me. I’m not trying to convert anyone, just sharing my opinion.

13. Take Merlin’s Advice And Learn Something

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn. T.H. White – The Once and Future King.

Also exercise, a good routine that you stick to will do wonders for the psyche. – Sound of body, sound of mind.

14. Advice From Underground (Literally)

I feel I am a prime candidate to answer this question. I work underground and alone for most of my days. Also because of the type of job, sometimes I am down there for 3 days at a time (I have a couch and can sleep when needed). Often times as I am working i feel very alone. I dropped out of college after a year and a half and just turned 21 a few weeks ago. I see my friends traveling the world, hanging out at clubs and bars, playing games together and it hurts a lot sometimes to not be able to join in.

For me, I use my work to feel better. I work as a data center engineer and have built the entire site from the “underground” up (wow that’s a bad joke). I knew when I dropped out of college I was going to have to work twice as hard to get where I wanted (couldn’t afford tuition), and it took me a year but I got there. From before I went to college I always wanted to play with advanced hardware and use it to build something else that is magical. So whenever I feel alone I take a step back from working and look at what I have already accomplished. That always gives me a good push to keep on working.

You have to find something that you love unconditionally and focus on that. Just for a few moments, but it can bring your spirits back up to keep on working. And if you haven’t gotten there yet, continue working! Slowing down or moping around will not get you closer to your goals. For me it is my work, I love it beyond a doubt. I get overwhelmed quite a lot when I look at how much isn’t completed yet, but I will get there. I average 95 hours a week and most days I get a thought of why I love it so much but it is only a brief moment, then I get back to work :)

Thanks for reading the words of a mole person. Hopefully they will reach someone who is struggling.

15. The “10 Seconds” Worldview

This is kind of silly, but it works for me. I heard it in an episode of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

Kimmy says “a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you’ve got to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.”

This actually really worked for me. I’m a really lazy person. I hate to clean, hate to exercise, you know standard stuff. But I find if just start doing something, even for 10 seconds, I get pretty motivated to follow through and finish it. Starting is the hardest part.

16. Turn It Into A Positive

Sometimes it’s hard, but I pick something and I focus on it. You’d be surprised. Last time was a few weeks ago, I picked cooking. Made some lasagna one day, then some chicken fried rice, salmon, and I watched people make deserts on youtube. As I watched them I thought “that looks so good, and I think I can do that”. It’s that feeling of believing that you can succeed that helps you to keep going, even if the success is tiny.

The time before, I hit the gym. The time before that I picked up my guitar and learned a couple of new songs. I can go on and on and on. Every time it happens, find something you wanted to do at some point in your life, and do it, focus on it. TC mark

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