Feeling hopeless

Many of us experience hopelessness from time to time. It’s a false feeling that tells us that the future looks bleak and there’s no way past the hurt we’re experiencing.

The good news is we can break the negative cycle of hopelessness and regain our sense of optimism, even if it doesn’t feel like that right now.

Breathe

Hopelessness can make our proverbial glass seem more than just half empty.

So let’s start filling it back up with optimism, hope, and a restorative deep breath.

Reflect

When we’re having a tough time, we tend to find reasons to support the false perception that there’s no way out. The following questions can help us shift focus and feel better.

Most of us have had moments or situations in our past where we’ve felt hopeless, stuck or trapped. Think about one of those times when you really felt like there was no solution or way past the pain. Remember that you figured out a way to get through it before and tell yourself, you can do it again.

We’ve all faced rejection. Maybe from a job opportunity that seemed so perfect but fell through, or a first date that left you feeling ecstatic but never texted you back. Suddenly we’re convinced that we’ll never land that dream job or ever fall in love, but there’s no real truth to that negative thinking. And so often in life, rejection and failure is part of the journey to success. Don’t just accept the lies told to you by that negative voice inside your head—challenge them.

It’s not always easy to focus on solutions when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but try to think of one thing you could do to feel better or improve things. Hopelessness is a place that we move out of one step at a time. Just remember, there’s always a next step to take.

Gratitude can help combat feelings of hopelessness. So grab a pen and paper and write down at least three things you appreciate in your life. The simple act of switching focus from all of the things that are wrong to the things we are grateful for can help shift our perspective.

Learn

One of the most powerful ways to see past our own feelings of hopelessness is to hear stories from people who have been hopeless and found a way to cope and move forward.

Act

When we’re feeling down or hopeless, it can be hard to get motivated to do anything. Feeling the pressure to fix everything at once only weighs us down more.

  • Move

    The simple act of getting up, going outside and taking a walk can help shift perspectives.

  • Talk about it

    Lots of us have experienced hopeless feelings, and it helps to talk about them with someone you trust.

  • Practice self-care

    Instead of judging yourself for feeling down or hopeless, be empathetic and take care of yourself.

  • Help someone else

    Volunteering or helping someone else boosts our mental health and helps us find hope.

Connect

Hopelessness can be a sign of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety disorders. Working with a mental health professional on a treatment plan can prevent a lot of suffering.

When contacting a resource below, any information you provide will be collected and used by that resource, subject to its end user terms and conditions and privacy policy. Please contact the applicable resource if you would like more information.
Resource Type Contact
Crisis Text Line Text Line Text ACTION to 741-741
Lifeline Call Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Trans Lifeline Call Line 877-565-8860
The Trevor Project Website Visit website
ADAA Therapist Search Website Visit website
BetterHelp Website Visit website
Talkspace Website Visit website

Need help now?

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call 911 or one of the following support lines below immediately.