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9 Positive Actions You Can Do When Life Sucks

by Nicole Yormark
9 Positive Actions You Can Do When Life Sucks

We have all been there before – life doesn’t seem to be going your way with setback after setback. Soon, you find yourself muttering phrases like “my life sucks” and asking yourself (and others) why the world sucks becomes the norm for you. Negative self-talk can be damaging to your life in so many ways.

Some things in life just can’t be avoided and sometimes you simply have to ride out the storm and wait for the sun to shine again.

If you feel as if your life sucks a lot, the good news is that you can do something about it and improve things (at least a little bit) for yourself.

You know the old phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” You might not want to hear this when you are down, but it’s a great mantra to pull yourself out of your funk, when you think life sucks.

What to do when life sucks
Sad upside down smiley hand drawn symbol on wet glass background.

1. Help others by practicing compassion

Feeling depressed and down is a normal part of life but the key is not to let it consume you. Instead of focusing on your problems and how bad your life is, why not try and help someone else who is actually worse off than you are?

While this can help your self-image goals in life, research shows that it’s a mixed bag of actually helping your depression or self-esteem in the long-term. Most people receive a boost to their ego and self-image or self-worth but it’s not a long-term effect.

Instead focusing on compassion for others in everyday life might make a bigger difference for depression and overall self-worth. What’s the difference you might ask?

Compassionate goals, as defined by this study, were about “striving to help others and avoiding selfish behavior”—for example, “making a positive difference in someone else’s life.”

While helping others that are disadvantaged by helping a charity is a worthwhile cause, for overall improvement of depression and anxiety, compassionate goals in everyday life might be more beneficial for a happier and more positive outlook on life.

2. Start a gratitude journal

A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to help you feel better about things. Buy yourself an empty notebook and write down one thing every day that you are thankful for.

Gratitude is incredibly important to positive mental health and well-being. Gratitude is associated with greater happiness in positive psychology research. Gratitude helps to increase positive emotions, improves overall health, improves interpersonal relationships and helps overcome adversity.

In one research study, there were three groups – one group wrote about experiences that they were grateful for, the second group wrote about annoyances of life (when life sucks), and the final group wrote about experiences without being prompted about positive or negative experiences.

“After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”

Reliving positive experiences by journaling helps to recreate the positivity of the events and makes you realize that life really doesn’t suck.

Want to learn how to start bullet journaling? Bullet Journaling Guide Here.

3. Set some achievable goals

Down in the dumps because you think your life isn’t going anywhere? Why not set some achievable goals for yourself to lift your spirits?

Life coaches recommend starting small by setting goals you know are easy to achieve and then gradually setting more difficult ones. Once you see yourself achieving milestones, you will feel more self-confident and much more positive about yourself.

Try by first setting one simple, small goal or even an objective. Make sure the goals or objectives are measurable and easy to attain. Even making your bed every morning or doing 20 jumping jacks before drinking coffee can help you feel accomplished for the day.

Not sure how to set goals? We have a number of articles to help your get started on your goal-setting journey:

4. Do one thing you love every day

As lame as it may sound, do one thing you love every day! This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult, but simply an activity that you enjoy.

For example, if you enjoy reading, make a point of taking half an hour out of your day to read a new book. Love a particular TV series? Be sure to watch an episode of it whenever you can. Even hanging out with your best friend can bring you a few moments of uncomplicated joy.

Introducing things you love into your life can help to convince your sub-conscious mind that you are happy and can make a huge difference.

Life doesn't have to suck

5. Hang out with people who are positive and lift you up

The saying “like attracts like” is very true, especially when it comes to people who think that their life sucks!

If you think life sucks, chances are you are hanging out with friends who have a negative mindset and who are bringing you down instead of lifting you up.

As long as you hang around with negative people, you will be doing nothing to improve your situation and could even be making it worse.

Studies have concluded that:

“…when you are happy, you tend to surround yourself with other happy people. Your positive mood presumably insulates you from the potentially negative effects of social comparison, and you focus on enjoying the company of happy friends. “

Psychology Today

Find some friends who see the glass half full and who motivate you to be better and be more positive! You would be amazed at the difference it makes!

6. Work on yourself

Many times in life, we are stuck in a rut and it is due to the fact that we need to take action to improve ourselves.

Unhappy in your dead end job? Maybe you need to take a course (or even go back to college) to improve your skills and get yourself out of the situation.

Working on yourself is very important if you want to have a happier life. If you believe that the world sucks, think about ways in which you can improve things for yourself.

Even just introducing a workout routine to your daily life can make a huge impact, as can a set of nice new clothes.

Every person has something that they can improve upon in their lives and if you are continuously looking for ways to better yourself, you will become a happier person and change your negative mindset.

7. Eat better

Eating better and exercising regularly can improve almost everything about your health including mental and physical well-being. Eating a diet high in plants, olive oil and high antioxidants has continously been proven in research to help fight depression and lessen anxiety.

Ready to eat better? Here are some resources:

Harvard Medical School analysis concluded:

“A dietary pattern characterized by a high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy and antioxidants and low intakes of animal foods was apparently associated with a decreased risk of depression. A dietary pattern characterized by a high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression.”

Harvard Medical School

8. Stop the Negative Self Talk

We get it- life is hard and it doesn’t always go your way. Sometimes, you just have to say, “it is what it is” and move on.

Instead of constantly complaining, just accept that things are the way they are. By stopping the negative self talk and going into the mindset of acceptance, you will make a lot of progress.

Here’s how to stop negative self-talk:

Once you stop complaining and start taking action, the next part of your life can begin.

9. Life Doesn’t Have to Suck. Choose to be happy

Finally, if all else fails, make a serious decision to be a happier person. Everything in life is a choice- you can choose to be happy or you can choose to believe that your life sucks. It is entirely up to you.

Happy people achieve more, live longer and enjoy the little things in life much more. If you can’t find it in you to be completely happy, start small and be happy about the small things, like drinking a great cup of coffee or having a good laugh with your best friend.

Here are some resources on how to be happy in life, so your life does not suck!

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