Sometimes it can seem impossible to keep from feeling overwhelmed by all the negativity around us. Between the state of the world and our personal demons, it can feel as though there is nothing to look forward to in the years ahead. Additionally, the prospect of aging and decline can make us feel scared and depressed. It is completely normal to feel like we have no control over the present or the future.
To combat staying in this defeated state, it helps to notice what is going well and not falling apart. What you value may be relationships with people you care about that perhaps you may have taken for granted or not thought about recently. It can be as something as simple as noticing the rose that’s just starting to bloom, a toddler toddling to an expectant parent or paying attention to how good a meal tastes. The important part is to stop and notice. There is undoubtedly something that still seems enjoyable, something that connects you to what makes you happy. It may seem insignificant and that merely paying attention couldn’t possible make a difference. However, it is the first step to shifting your perspective and breaking the negative cycle.
The next step is taking some kind of action. Get yourself to do something you’ve been avoiding, or reach out to someone who will be happy to hear from you. If you have a way to get outside yourself and help someone else it can have incredibly positive ramifications. We tend to be self-centered when we’re feeling down, and putting someone else’s well-being in our sights can be an excellent distraction. If nothing else, you get to give yourself points for accomplishing something.
Only you can shift your attitude and only you can force yourself to break out of the negative box you are stuck in. At this point in your life you’re probably well aware of this, however it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself that it is within your power to reframe your thinking. Focus on whatever you’re looking forward to and make plans to ensure there is something you want to actually happen.
Above all, be patient with yourself. External circumstances affect our moods, which can pass even if we do nothing. However, taking action will give you back some feeling of control, which in turn can combat that feeling of hopelessness. You can gently get yourself to a more positive place, paying attention to what works best to achieve it. And then keep doing it.