Why Do I Feel So Bad About Myself
In our culture today, it’s common to find yourself focusing constantly on your problems and complaining about them. If you do this often enough, you’ll start to feel pretty depressed about everything that goes wrong. You might even feel like a victim of some sort. And when you feel so down, you may have no interest in doing anything positive. You’ve become paralyzed by negative emotions and feelings.
You can’t stop thinking about these things because they keep coming up. It seems as if there are more problems than solutions. Your mind is always consumed with thoughts of what’s missing, not what’s present. This is called ruminating – dwelling on one thing over and over again without moving forward. Rumination has been linked to depression, anxiety disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When you focus entirely on your problems, you’re engaging in self-pity. Self-pity is an unhealthy form of pitying oneself. It’s a way of feeling sorry for ourselves. When you indulge in self-pity, you’re allowing yourself to be overcome by negative emotions and feelings. Instead of looking at your situation from all angles, you’re only concerned with how awful things seem to you. You don’t think about what could be done about these problems.
Self-pity isn’t productive. The problem is that when you’re filled with self-pity, you won’t take action. You will stay stuck in your misery. You’ll never move past your problems, but rather wallow in them. When you get angry, it feels good to express those feelings. But when you’re filled with self-pity, you don’t want to release any anger. You just want to dwell on how awful things feel.
The key to overcoming self-pity is to see your problems differently. Don’t focus solely on what’s going wrong. Look for ways around your challenges. Focus on what you can change, rather than being overwhelmed by what you can’t control. What would happen if you stopped focusing on your problems? How would your life improve?
Here are three reasons why focusing on your problems makes you feel worse:
1) Focusing on your problems consumes your time and energy. When you focus on your problems, you’re spending a lot of time on what’s making you unhappy. That means less time available to pursue other goals.
2) When you’re focused exclusively on your problems, you lose perspective. You miss out on seeing the big picture. By concentrating on your problems, you narrow your view.
3) A major reason why focusing on your problems makes you feel badly is because you’re ignoring what’s right with your life. You’re neglecting the positives. As author Robert Anthony said, “Everything that happens in your life is either serving you or holding you back.” You must look beyond the negativity of your circumstances to find what’s best.
How does self-pity affect others? People who engage in self-pity tend to treat people poorly. They’re typically selfish and narcissistic. They also avoid intimacy and connection with others. They’re not open to assistance or advice from anyone else. In short, they isolate themselves from others.
What can you do instead? Try reframing your problems. Think outside of the box. Find new opportunities. Stop blaming everyone else for your problems. See your issues through different eyes. Be proactive instead of passive. Take responsibility for your actions and behaviors. Most importantly, realize that life is bigger than your problems. Change your mindset so that you can see beyond your limitations.
For example, let’s say your car breaks down. Rather than obsessing over how much money you spent on the repair, consider asking friends to help fix the vehicle temporarily until it’s fixed. Then ask someone to pick you up. Or perhaps you need help moving furniture into your new home. Ask a friend to assist you. If you really want to feel better, try calling a plumber and telling him exactly where the leak is coming from. He could come straightaway and save you money.
Rather than worrying about your problems, use your time and energy to make improvements. Learn something new. Read a book. Start exercising. Go shopping. Volunteer somewhere. Call a close friend and tell him how much you appreciate his support. Get involved in meaningful activities. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and then set aside time every day to work towards achieving them.
By taking charge of your life, you’ll be able to break free from the grip of self-pity. You’ll begin looking at your problems from multiple perspectives, and you’ll see that you have many strengths and abilities. You’ll develop a sense of optimism and hope. Life will appear brighter and more hopeful to you.
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