How to Overcome the Feeling of Hopelessness

Hope is a powerful thing; without it, we are lost.

Have you ever felt yourself wanting to give up? Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t get ahead or improve your relationships. Maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight for years and are ready to throw in the towel.

This is the perfect time to remind yourself that your fight isn’t over.

Here’s the thing about hope: It’s always available. Regardless of where you’ve been or where you want to go, it’s possible to regain a feeling of hope.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to shake the feeling of hopelessness.

  1. You haven’t tried everything.

This is a hard pill to swallow for some who have spent a lot of time and energy on their goals. You may have tried a lot, but you haven’t tried everything. Admitting this is the first step to shedding hopelessness. Where there are options, there is hope.

Try spending some quiet time thinking about your problem. Think of it from an outsider’s perspective to try to come up with creative solutions. If your problem is weight loss, maybe you try a drastically different diet plan that you ever have before. Do some research to support your new plan. Find studies or success stories that prove that it works for some people, and you’ll be more likely to believe it can work for you.

  1. Plant a seed of doubt.

You may have landed in this hopeless place because of doubt. Maybe someone else doubted your abilities or maybe you doubt your own. Doubt can be nearly as powerful as hope, so you can use one to cancel out the other.

Plant the seed of doubt about whether you’re truly in a hopeless situation. Is there really nothing you can do?

The more you doubt your hopelessness, the easier it will be to find a way out.

  1. Focus on what you have.

If you’re feeling hopeless about one area of your life, focus on another.

Hope breeds more hope in the way that despair breeds more despair. Focus on things that make you feel hopeful about the future, and you may be able to squeeze out those feelings of hopelessness before they seep into other areas of your life.

  1. Take a leap.

If you can’t find hope no matter how hard you try, just jump in anyway.

Do something different, whether you believe it will help or not. Ask friends for suggestions or do something that has worked for someone else. It’s better if you believe, but doing something is still more productive than doing nothing. Whatever you try may work or it may not. Just keep trying until you find something that works.

  1. Shift your focus.

Sometimes, we trick ourselves into thinking things are more important than they are. For example, when a relationship ends, you may have trouble learning to live without the other person. This isn’t because you can’t live without them. It’s because you’ve focused so hard on the difficulties of living without them that you cannot see anything else.

Try convincing yourself that the thing you’re feeling hopeless about, whether it’s a relationship or a job, doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s trivial in the grand scheme of things. Feeling hopeless about this job or relationship would be like giving up on eating for the rest of your life because you dropped a plate of food.

This may not work for every problem, but you’ll be surprised at how many problems a shift in focus can solve.

  1. Live in the moment.

The practice of meditation tasks people with focusing on the present and letting go of the past and future. You don’t have to meditate, although you certainly can, but you should focus on your life right now.

Look at your surroundings and allow yourself to experience all that is happening in the moment. Where are your problems?

Unless you’re dealing with a health issue, your problems are likely in your head. This doesn’t mean they are imagined. It simply means that your thoughts are controlling your feelings.

This is a problem we all have, and it takes practice to correct.

Try consciously thinking about the present moment and all that is happening here. Do this whenever you begin feeling hopeless.

  1. Ask for help.

When we get lost in our thoughts, it’s difficult to see any other way. Ask someone else what they would do in your situation.

People generally feel good about helping others, so whoever you ask is likely to give you a thoughtful answer. Think of it as a second opinion on the issue that’s making you feel down.

With fresh, new ideas on how to address your issue, you should begin to feel a glimmer of hope. The ideas may or may not work, but the important thing to remember is that there’s always another way.

If this way doesn’t work, ask someone else. Find another way.

We all feel hopeless from time to time, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about. However, if you’re feeling like hopelessness is overcoming your life, it’s time to get help. Talk to a counselor about how to overcome severe feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Trevor is a recovering addict & alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. He currently works as a content writer for Coastal Detox. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

Photo credit: hiva sharifi


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.