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Life will sometimes deal out a difficult hand for you to play. And it’s normal to sometimes think, “the world is against me,” when it seems like nothing is going right.
After all, it certainly doesn’t seem like all of these other people are having the same problems that I’m having!
Well, here’s the thing. “The world is against me” isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of what a person is trying to communicate. Instead, it’s an expression of frustration, anger, sadness, and the negative feelings of being dealt a difficult hand to play.
Many people feel alone when they are faced with these difficult, painful situations. Maybe it’s a relationship ending, a diagnosis of serious illness, losing a job, or anything powerful enough to cause dramatic disruption in your life. It’s easy to feel isolated in a world full of people.
The good news is you’re not alone. Others have navigated similar struggles, not to take anything away from yours. Instead, it’s so you know that there are tools and strategies that you can use to break this mindset and push forward through your adversity.
1. Focus on the positives in your life.
A big problem with facing adversity is that we often focus solely on that adversity. It’s this big, overwhelming thing you’re just standing under, waiting for it to crash.
You may find yourself flooded with fear, anger, anxiety, and sadness as you wait and wait for the crash to come. But, you can avoid some of that by focusing on gratitude for the things that you do have.
You may interpret this to mean that you should ignore the problem, run from it, or try to turn it into something positive. That’s not what we’re suggesting.
Instead, consider a cancer diagnosis. Your doctor may find cancer, then you get referred for testing and treatment. That process can take anywhere from weeks to months.
The time is going to pass one way or another. And if you just sit and stew on the bad news, the difficulties, and the fear of it all, you’ll drive yourself further into that isolated mindset.
Instead, it may help to look for other things you can be grateful for. For example, maybe you’re surrounded by loved ones who will support you in your treatment.
Try to shift your perception to something more positive when focusing on the negative.
2. Don’t let yourself dwell in resentment.
Resentment is a poison for your happiness and well-being. So why are we concerned with happiness and well-being when we’re experiencing hardship in our life? Well, because that’s the time that you’ll need it most.
It’s easy to look around at people who aren’t having your problems and be jealous of them. They have it so easy! What do they know about what I’m going through!? How can they be happy! It’s not fair! The world isn’t fair!
And you’re right. It’s not fair. There’s a common belief floating around that certain negative things just don’t happen to “good” people. You often see this in the context of religion, where some believe that hardship in life is a punishment from God for their lack of faithfulness. And, if they just get right with the Lord, their problem will be alleviated.
This, of course, is untrue. Life is completely indifferent. Not one of us is so special that we will avoid terrible things that happen in life. It might be trauma, illness, or major life changes; it doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, everyone experiences hardship. That’s just life. You don’t get the highs without the lows on this rollercoaster.
The good news is that you aren’t alone. Some people are going through similar things…if you can interpret that as good news. That means you may be able to find comfort and understanding in support groups, books about your problem, videos, podcasts, or social media channels related to your problem.
3. This too shall pass.
These four words form a powerful phrase that has comforted and directed people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. “This too shall pass” is a reminder, a statement that no matter what you are going through, it won’t last forever.
Everything ends sooner or later. That will mean different things to different people. It can be a source of comfort when you’re going through a hardship that can be worked through. You lost your job, which is terrible and scary but temporary. You can find another job, get back to work, and pay that rent.
On the other hand, it may not be so comforting to someone facing a terminal illness. It will pass, but the ending may not be what you want. That’s hard to deal with and may not be comforting at all, depending on how you’re looking at it. For some, though, the end is a welcome reprieve from the suffering of whatever illness and treatment they are going through.
Still, this mantra is incredibly helpful when you feel overwhelmed, and like you’re drowning. It will pass – one way or another, for good or ill. Life promises you this.
4. Get active.
A big part of feeling like the world is against you is that you may spend too much time thinking about it.
Granted, you may not have a choice. Maybe the problem that you’re facing is something that is depriving you of your mobility or ability to get yourself out there. But if it’s not, getting active can provide many benefits other than just not stewing on the problem.
Exercise and sunshine are both great for mental and physical health. The body is a machine that needs to be run to keep it in good condition. In addition, sunshine provides vitamins that can help combat depression and boost your mood.
Exercise gets those endorphins flowing, which can also improve your mood. It also helps you sleep more consistently because you’re burning off energy. In addition, you may want to consider joining up with a gym, exercise center, or group sport so you can meet and interact with other people.
You may also want to try adopting a healthy diet if you don’t already have one. Avoid junk food and over-processed prepackaged food. Now would be a great time to learn how to cook a few things if that’s within your ability. It’ll give you something else to think about and look forward to.
Just jump on YouTube and search “learn to cook.” You’ll get many videos on the basics and fundamentals of cooking.
5. Avoid making assumptions.
You know that saying, “Assuming makes an ass out of u and me”? It’s derogatory and an easy way to dismiss someone’s concerns or feelings.
Assumptions are a way of thinking that often comes from repeated experiences. So, for example, if you’ve experienced a lot of hardships where things didn’t work out well, it’s pretty easy to assume that whatever you’re going through now will end badly.
That is a problem. You’re not a seer of the future. You can’t possibly know how your situation will actually end. Granted, there may be some strong indicators. For example, you may have an illness that doesn’t have a great prognosis or have been through a car accident that left you with lasting injuries. In those situations, it’s reasonable for a person to make assumptions without being an ass.
Still, it is best to avoid assumptions because most of the time, those assumptions aren’t going to be positive. That can actually worsen your own mindset and make it all harder.
Now, that’s not to be confused with toxic positivity, where you just ignore anything bad and la-de-da your way through life.
It’s more a matter of how you approach problems. You aren’t going to make the same kind of effort toward a bad situation if you are hopeless about it. Because why bother if it’s just going to end badly, anyway? Except you don’t know it’s going to end badly. That’s an assumption based on your interpretation of your information and wherever you may be filling in the blanks yourself.
Avoid assuming. Don’t try to predict the future. Instead, focus on the work that will get you through what you’re going through. Divorcing? Get yourself an attorney, take care of yourself, and get active. Sick? Get treatment if you can, comply, and do what you can to improve your health? Lose your job? Rough break, my friend; get to applying for jobs and get your feet back under you.
You may not be able to predict or assume an outcome, but you can try to steer the ship toward a better outcome.
6. Find things to inspire you.
Hardship is hardship. It’s not fun or pleasant. But you can sometimes ease the heavy load of your hardship by looking for outside inspiration. People out there have gone through similar things and overcome them. There are books, videos, podcasts, and social media channels that focus on providing positive vibes and inspiration to people who really need it.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be inspiration specific to the situation you’re going through. It may just be things that make you feel happy and good. Artist social media accounts are often a great place to find different kinds of inspiration.
7. Try to give back where you can.
There is an old saying that service to others is healing for yourself – and it’s the truth. There are few things more gratifying than knowing you helped to improve someone else’s life. People need each other, and there are undoubtedly people who need what you have to contribute to the world.
Maybe it’s getting involved with others who are facing similar struggles. You may be able to find comfort in being around those folks and also contribute to easing their fear and anxiety. It’s also helpful to be around other folks going through tough times because it expands the whole information network. Like, they may be able to point you to resources that you weren’t aware of and vice versa.
Try to get active, get involved. Try to find a way to give back that makes sense for you. There’s probably a community out there for whatever hardship you’re facing that would welcome you with open arms. And if there’s not, you may even want to consider starting a support group if you feel that’s right for you.
8. Talk to a mental health professional.
So far, we’ve mostly addressed the feelings of isolation that come with hardship in life. That can definitely make you feel as though the world is against you. However, your mental health may also be playing a role.
When you think, “the world is against me,” are you afraid of a conspiracy about you? Do you feel like your friends and family are out to get you or trying to harm you? Are you unable to trust anyone? Does it feel like things are being orchestrated from a higher level specifically to target you?
These kinds of feelings are often associated with paranoia which points toward a mental health issue that needs to be addressed by a mental health professional. Paranoia is often a symptom of more serious mental illnesses that must be addressed sooner rather than later. The longer they go untreated or unaddressed, the worse they will typically get until you can’t ignore them or explain them any longer.
If you’re feeling persistent anxiety, paranoia, or like the world is out to get you – it would be best to speak to a mental health professional about how you’re feeling.
Heck, you will likely benefit from speaking to a therapist even if you’re confident you’re not experiencing any mental health problems. They can help you work through your thoughts and feelings regarding a situation and even advise on the situation itself in some circumstances.
A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
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