What makes you hopeless now
Hopelessness: How It Can Become a New Beginning
The job, the relationships, the health, the personal advancement - sometimes we experience low points in one or more areas of our life. If these lows persist, we may ask ourselves: will this never get better? If, over time, we come to the conclusion: No, it won't - then sometimes hopelessness spreads. Although it feels uncomfortable at first, hopelessness has good and even helpful sides that we want to bring you closer to in the next few sections. So even if you're feeling hopeless right now - it's worth reading on!
How does hopelessness come about?
As humans, we have a strong urge to feel good, both physically and mentally. That is good and right and we can do something for our daily happiness, for example through self-care.
But sometimes problems arise that depress our mood for a long time. In a natural attempt to counteract this, we can switch to a kind of combat mode. In this battle mode, we do everything possible to feel better: reading problem-solving plans, conversations, books, and blog articles on a specific topic. But maybe at some point we will resort to harmful distraction such as alcohol, overeating, or excessive exercise.
Of course, the first-mentioned strategies can be quite useful, help us advance and hopelessness does not even arise. Sometimes, however, occur in combat mode more unpleasant thoughts and feelings and with that the hopelessness is not long in coming: Because we have tried everything and nothing helps.
Chances are you've never heard of the strange term "creative hopelessness". It comes from acceptance and commitment therapy, the effectiveness of which has been proven in many studies. Even if the term doesn't mean anything to you, you've definitely experienced the creative hopelessness.
Creative hopelessness is the state in which suddenly something else and often something beneficial happens when we really understand that our fighting mode cannot do anything about our low mood and usually even intensifies it.
Perhaps you have already thought sentences like these in this context:
"Then that's the way it is now."
"I've really tried everything, but it's obviously out of my hands."
"I'll just leave that now."
"Then it's not possible."
These sentences reflect the inner attitude: The fight mode is over. But be careful: This does not mean accepting one's fate and basically not wanting to change anything. It's more about exhaling first and then using our strength to do what is actually moving leaves.
Acceptance - the positive counterpart to hopelessness
Perhaps you associate acceptance with a feeling of defeat.
But acceptance is more the positive realization: Oh, so I can't change that, then I can save my strength. And then - this point is important - you actually invest it in something else that is important to you.
For example, this can be something that corresponds to your inner values. In other words: whether the company you work for goes bankrupt, your partner leaves you or you get a medical diagnosis that makes you hopeless - it is always worth doing your best to actively make your future positive to design. If, however, hopelessness sets in, that is a sign that you can accept and thereby most certainly bring about a change - just maybe in another place.
How is acceptance easier?
The more you are used to fighting, the harder it may be for you to make friends with creative hopelessness and acceptance. That is absolutely understandable. Acceptance can be easier if you make friends with the topic as a whole, that is, even in times of no acute hopelessness.
If you give yourself just a minute a day, it can already have positive effects. Do you feel like?
This is an exercise that you can do in your everyday life. Preferably in the morning before you really start the day and, for example, start work. Set your cell phone timer, stove, or egg timer to one minute. Sit down and close your eyes. Now watch your breath. After a few breaths, begin to combine short sentences or words with your inhalation and exhalation. Examples for this are:
Exhale: let go
Inhale: wish nothing
Exhale: fear nothing
Inhale: let what comes
Exhale: let go of what works
Now think of two words that can help you accept your situation. You can of course also come up with sentences. Whatever you choose, try to connect with the content of the words and relax as you practice. It's not about telling yourself something, it's about letting go. Because that's exactly what acceptance is all about.
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