Have you ever felt at your lowest point? Life is moving, and you are left behind trying to keep up but whatever you do feels like it is not enough. You feel alone, tired, worried, and don’t know your way out. At some point, you start to lose hope or faith. The story might differ from one person to another, but the pattern is the same. You might be dealing with a divorce, infertility, job search/career path struggle, or economical struggle… life is full of cases. We all become consumed by our emotions which drive us to a sad place. This article will utilize Emotional Intelligence to understand those emotions and provide some tips to navigate through them to overcome hard times.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your and others’ emotions. People with high emotional intelligence have higher empathy toward others and are able to communicate effectively. They understand the reason behind their emotions and know how to manage and regulate them to reach positive outcomes. EQ requires a high level of self-awareness. Those people know how to assess their beliefs, limitations, emotions and strength and have the ability to motivate others and themselves.
Life is not easy, it can hit us hard at times and reward us at others. This article is for anyone suffering for a long time. Anyone who feels alone and stuck in a dark zone with no clear way out. Anyone who endured disappointment every time they felt a glimpse of hope. The roller coaster of emotions makes them tired. The only thing that they really want is to feel happy and alive again. That phase might last for years. As time goes by, it becomes harder and harder to motivate themselves. They go deeper into sadness thinking that life is working against them and that they are destined for failure. The good thing in life is that it is not constant, and everything comes to an end even suffering.
Loss of Faith/Hope
Feeling: As much as you endured disappointments, failure becomes the default outcome in your subconscious. You adopt the victim mentality thinking that life is working against you.
- Nothing stays forever! Spirituality or religion comes in handy during those times. Believing that life is full of opportunities and that ours will come at the right time is a great shift in the victim mentality. Sharing your worries with the universe/God/Gods, visualizing your goals, and trusting the process make you feel supported and give you hope.
- Focus on the positive side: Nothing is 100% dark! Keep something to look forward to. Keep your plans open so that if one door closes, others are still pending.
Loss of Motivation
Feeling: Motivation is directly linked to hope. When you lose hope, there is no need to make any effort. “Why to? Nothing will work! Why am I even trying? I am destined for failure!” You start feeling tired and with no power to do anything. You start procrastinating all the time and want to stay in bed.
- Dream Board/Journal: In our heads, our goals seem like intentions or concepts. Creating a Dream Board/Journal helps in describing those intentions and visualising them which gives more clarity. With more clarity, goals become achievable as a roadmap could be designed. While visualizing or writing, don’t only concentrate on the end result but on the process with all its ups and downs.
- Accountability Partner: I learned that concept in a breakthrough challenge for Tony Robbins. An accountability partner is a person with whom you share your goals. In addition, you are supposed to follow up with each other to ensure that both of you are pursuing your plan in fulfilling those goals. Seeing your partner go through their personal struggles and having a person to check up on your progress will make you feel supported. With my accountability partner, I feel committed to my action plan as I don’t want to show up to our follow-up meeting with nothing to say but excuses!
- Motivational Speech: As you are not the only person who went through hard times, listening to other people’s achievements and success stories will give you the strength to fight back. IF THEY COULD DO IT, WHY CAN’T YOU? Also stating some affirmations would be nice too!
Feeling: With no hope and no motivation, it won’t take long until you start feeling that you haven’t had a genuine smile for ages. Even when you are outside and supposed to have fun, your mind is constantly worried and unable to enjoy the moment. You start feeling trapped and something fundamental is missing.
- Elevate your State of Mind. Starting the day with high positive vibration is essential as it will push you through the day. Whenever you feel down, make sure to pump, yourself back up. How? Through physical activity! Let oxygen and endorphin flow in your body. For example, in the morning, you might go for a run, do some recorded exercises or walk in the park.
Feeling: Experiencing sadness, people might prefer to stay alone. With social media, you will start comparing yourself to others which will make you feel more like a failure. At the beginning of the problem, your friends will strongly show their support, but as time goes by, your friends start to avoid you because no one likes negative vibes and people tend to look for positivity.
- Everyone is Struggling: Commonly, people don’t speak or post their problems in public! You never know what’s going on behind the scenes. If you are comparing based on social media or even discussions, most probably you are comparing yourself to an ideal impression of their lives, which doesn’t seem to be a fair comparison!
- Build Social Connections: I know that’s the opposite of your feeling, but connections are a fundamental element of happiness. In addition, people are made to help each other. Therefore, surrounding yourself with people and opening up to new connections might open doors for you.
- Spread Positivity around Your Close Friends: Don’t nag every time your close friend visits you! I know that we like to share our burdens and speaking will make us feel good, but everything comes in balance.
Loss of Direction
Feeling: “What now? What can I do more? I don’t know where to go from here. What are my options?” When we are struggling for a long time, those questions come often to our mind, especially after a disappointment. We feel that we are back to square zero with no clear direction moving forward.
- Take a Step Back to Reflect: A failure/disappointment frequently comes with a lesson. At this point, taking time to reflect and brainstorm your possibilities is a great way to reorganize yourself. I personally find writing a great reflection method as it helps me detach from my emotions and evaluate the situation objectively.
- Ask People’s Opinion: If you are stuck, why not ask for help? You can ask people you trust, experts or even post a general question on social media platforms to anyone who experienced a similar situation.
- Messy Massive Action: When our back is against the wall, sometimes a messy massive action is the way to go. Plant a seed in all directions and see which will develop.
Loss of Self-Confidence
Feeling: After a series of disappointments, people might start questioning their abilities. “It is because of me! There is something wrong with me! I am screwing things up” You lose your self-confidence and you start desperately relying on whatever you are told to do. You lose your sense of judgement taking people’s advice word by word: the books said, my friend said, the influencer said. I remember in my job search, I reached the point of not being able to send a simple email or a message without asking my friend to check it first because I was afraid to say anything that might affect my application.
- People’s Recommendations are Just Opinions: Each person is unique and nobody knows your vision better than you. Whatever worked with them might not work with you. Therefore, you need to keep faith in yourself and your judgement. Life will make you grow and mature along the way.
- Target Small Achievements: Some of us seek proof to regain self-confidence. Therefore, working on small goals and achieving small victories will reenergize and work as self-affirmation.
- Remember Past Achievements: You were not born yesterday! You endured a lot in your life and went through many things. Definitely, you have accomplished many good things in your life. Write and remember them, as they are real proof of your strength.
All of us go through hard times due to several reasons. Those hard times might affect us negatively and lead us to dark places. Utilizing and nurturing our emotional intelligence to navigate and manage our emotions is our winning ticket. Understanding the reason behind every emotion will allow us to develop an effective positive pattern that will push us forward in Life.
NB: As fears are potential threats that can hold us back and keep us from taking action toward fulfilling our dreams, here are some previous posts that discuss this topic: “How to Control Fear” and “Fear Outcomes: Bad or Good?“
Disclaimer: Please note, that this post is not written by a psychologist nor a person with medical background! It shares the writer’s experience and observation based on a personal journey. IF YOU ARE A PSYCHOLOGIST OR WITH MEDICALE BACKGROUND please reach out in the comment below or contact us because we would love to collaborate on this topic! The recession and the economical situation will affect many young people emotionally! A professional perspective might help many positively during their hard times and would be appreciated!
If you are going through hard times, you are not alone and good days are near keep on pushing. Please, seek professional help if needed 🙂