Do you often feel as if you’re struggling? Do you worry that you’ll never live a fulfilling life? Are you trapped in your mind or circumstances and can’t see a way out?
Don’t fret. It’s normal to feel a little lost sometimes, and it’s not the end of the world! Here are 5 ways to stop struggling and suffering and 4 ways to live a fulfilling life.
5 Ways To Stop Struggling And Suffering In Life
Often, people try to downplay their emotions or talk themselves up by insisting they’re not struggling. On the one hand, this can come from a place of genuine desire to promote positive thinking. On the other, it’s not getting rid of those feelings – it’s just repressing them.
Studies indicate that those who bottle up their emotions and try to repress their struggles suffer from it, while those who express their problems feel more positive afterward. Acknowledging that the problem exists allows your brain to confront it, lets you express those complex feelings, and validates what you experience.
Here are some ways to acknowledge that you’re struggling:
- Simply say that you are struggling or what your problem is out loud; “I am struggling” or “I am upset because I lost that promotion” are some examples.
- Write down everything you feel and all the struggles you face in a private journal; don’t filter yourself and write absolutely everything that comes to mind, no matter how silly it sounds.
- Talk to someone you trust and who cares about you regarding your struggles, or seek a counselor who can listen.
2. Take Responsibility for Creating a Fulfilling Life
It’s easy to blame all sorts of things for the problems you face. It’s tough to hold yourself accountable, especially for things like your own suffering or struggling. You may blame:
- Your family
- Childhood factors
- Your situation
- Environmental influences
- Your friends
- Those who have wronged you
- Your disorders
- Your disabilities
While it’s fair and even necessary to acknowledge how all these factors have influenced the person you are today, that doesn’t mean you should continue to blame them forever. At some point, your life falls entirely into your hands.
You are the person at the sails of your life. You have the ability to heal, to do the most with what you have, and to choose the way you outwardly respond to different events and the people around you.
This is not to say that all your problems, including those initially caused by things outside of your control, will go away as soon as you hold yourself accountable. But it does mean that it’s time for you to get your positive thinking going and accept that you are the only one with the ability to sculpt your future and your attitude towards your struggles!
3. Remember The Goodness In You
There are many things in your life you may wish you’d done better on. You may wonder if you’re truly a good person or if the people around you even like you. When this happens, you can empower yourself by remembering the goodness that naturally lies in your soul.
Shambhala Buddhist beliefs involve the concept of “basic goodness,” which refers to the tradition of belief in inherent basic goodness within everyone and the universe, no matter how negative or chaotic the world or life seems. No matter what your religion is, it’s important not to lose sight of the knowledge that good exists in the world.
Despite everything you’ve been through, there are things about you that are good, and there are things in the world that are good. With the internet, you can easily find charities, acts of kindness caught on camera, and even simply adorable, loving animals that can remind you of the positive things the world holds. Keeping positive thinking by maintaining this belief can help reduce feelings of suffering or struggle.
4. Grow Accustomed To Change
Change is a common part of life, but it’s part of why many people feel like they’re struggling. Some people lament change and hate the fact that their life has been altered. But listen closely: your life is in a constant state of change! No matter what you’re doing, it’s changing because change is constant and unstoppable.
Being uncomfortable with change can hurt you in the long run, as it often means you’re uncomfortable with life. It can also make you:
- Spend too long dwelling on the past instead of focusing your energy on moving forward
- Wallow in regrets and lost opportunities instead of learning from mistakes
- Hold onto things for too long instead of realizing it may be time to let go and move on.
Change is inevitable, and it’s happening every second of the day. This means that bad times will change to good and good to bad, and that’s just how it is. Learn to embrace and encourage change instead of resisting it, and you’ll be much better at riding life’s waves.
5. Do Things Differently for a More Fulfilling Life
As you get used to accepting change, you’ll also discover that so much power lies within you. If something is causing you to struggle, you can simply decide to do things differently. You can change things about your life! Here are some examples of things to do differently to stop your struggles:
When a negative emotion comes, it is always good to acknowledge it. But then, instead of stewing in it, you can assess it. Is this emotion reasonable? Is the situation warranting it? How else can you react to the situation more positively? Changing how you feel about things takes practice, but you’ll soon find that you naturally have more positive thinking about the world.
Life is full of routine, and some of them may unknowingly be contributing to your suffering. Furious at everyday traffic? Take a different route or leave at a different time. Sick of feeling like you have nothing to do at night? Take up a new hobby or add a nightly activity to your routine. Tired of waking up feeling exhausted? Set an earlier bedtime. There are so many possibilities!
Your perspective is one of many. If your perspective focuses on your suffering and your life’s negative aspects, you can choose to find new ways to look at the world. Appreciate the things around you and find silver linings in even the darkest clouds. Ask or listen to others who have different perspectives on life. It’s incredibly empowering to realize how much a paradigm shift can change your life!
4 Ways To Live A Fulfilling Life
Being kind to others allows you to shift the focus away from yourself and onto others. While you need to prioritize yourself, when you have the time to spare, using it to devote yourself to helping others is a wonderful way to feel fulfilled.
Research has found that positive social behavior can decrease feelings of stress while improving mood, strengthening relationships, and even leading to better physical health! Here are some ways to perform acts of kindness:
- Be a shoulder for someone to cry on
- Volunteer with or donate to a cause you believe in
- Do a favor for someone else.
- Give a gift to someone you care about
- Give a massage to a significant other
2. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Remaining in a bubble where you only ever feel safe and secure sounds nice, but it can stifle you and prevent you from reaching your full potential or fulfillment. It’s always nice to have order in your life, but you could do with a challenge, too!
Research has found that people who leave their comfort zone enjoy more positive progress in their personal learning journeys. It gives you:
- New experiences
- Tough lessons
- Additional insight
- More options in life
- Chances to find passions
So every day, do something that puts you a little outside of your comfort zone. Learn to challenge yourself and get comfortable with discomfort. You will always learn more and be happier by doing more than doing less, and no one feels fulfilled from being bored.
3. Prioritize Your Health
A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. It sounds “lame” to have to be physically healthy to be mentally healthy, but health allows you to live longer and enjoy more things without suffering from them. Here are some ways you should prioritize your health:
It would help if you were exercising regularly. 150 minutes of elevated heart rate per week is all you need, so get started on scheduling some physical activity. You don’t need to hit a gym, either – dance your heart out, play sports, do some gardening, or even go for a brisk walk!
· Eat Well
You don’t need to have a perfect diet, but eating balanced meals and making mindful food choices will allow you to feel better. Limit your unhealthy treats, so they truly feel like rare rewards, don’t skip meals, and eat good, reasonable servings.
· Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep makes you feel terrible, and it’s hard to feel fulfilled when you feel awful! Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and if you’re still tired after that, see a doctor find ways to help!
4. Go For Your Dreams
You only get one life, and if there’s something you’re passionate about or something you’re dreaming of, you should go for it! While your passions and accomplishments can’t solve all your problems, they can certainly contribute to feelings of success and fulfillment.
Of course, achieving goals is easier said than done, and it’s easy to go about it the wrong way. Here are some tips for achieving your dreams:
- Create measurable, reasonable, and deadlined short-term and long-term goals
- Surround yourself with people who support you and your dreams
- Join communities of people who have similar dreams
- Learn to take calculated and reasonable risks with healthy backup plans
- Don’t let anyone ridicule your dreams.
- Remember that progress isn’t linear, and it’s okay to have both bad and good days as long as you keep learning and don’t stop moving forward.
- Let yourself rest now and then, and don’t overwork your efforts to the point of burnout.
- Keep your expectations challenging but reasonable.
There are many ways to overcome your struggles and create a fulfilling life. Your unique life journey can lead you there if you put effort into it. The power always lies within you!