Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself – 7 Effective Ways To Stop Self-Pity
When life gets stressful and things get out of control, it’s normal to experience self-pity or feel sorry for yourself. It’s a normal reaction to stressful situations, especially when you’re already ruminating on your problems.
Did you know that self-pity can be a secondary symptom of depression and is often confused with the disorder? If you are struggling with depression, then you may feel sorry for yourself. Often followed by symptoms of despair, hopelessness, emptiness, and disinterest, self-pity can hold you back from being present in the moment and moving on.
Although, you don’t have to be depressed to feel self-pity or sorry for yourself. Anyone can experience self-pity, anytime. When your relationship with your longtime partner ends, when you don’t ace an interview, or even when your car dies in the middle of the road. Many things and instances in life can make us pity ourselves.
However, what many people fail to realize is that it’s OK to feel down once or twice. The problem arises when you let yourself get stuck in a self-pity party. When self-pity becomes your first reaction to a stressful situation.
Why Avoid Self-Pity?
It’s the little things that bring us joy and make our life worth enjoying. When you’re stuck in a self-pity party, it can cause you to miss out on the little things in life and being present in the moment.
When you don’t get what you desire or when you don’t feel validated or appreciated for your efforts, it’s common to wallow in self-pity. Self-pity can cause you to feel that nothing goes right and there’s nothing for you to try anymore. And the worst part is that self-pity is not a state that a few supportive words or a day out with your loved ones can solve. When self-pity continues and turns chronic then it can give birth to stress.
Self-pity is another form of external validation that tells us that something unfavorable has occurred and that the outcome is out of our control. But, how do you know you’re engaging in self-pity?
The symptoms of self-pity can include:
- Ruminating over your problems
- Feeling angry at your circumstances
- Tying to outmatch others’ struggles
- Feeling hopeless about your situation
Self-pity is a fairly normal reaction to stressful situations and fortunately, you can get rid of self-pity when it eventually arises. Self-pity can even be considered a self-soothing technique that can help you change your current situation from unfavorable to favorable.
Here are some helpful tips to stop self-pity.
How To Stop Self-Pity?
1. Self-Compassion Is Must
When things don’t go your way, don’t hide your pain. Instead, let yourself be emotional. Emotions make us human and while staying positive in a stressful situation may sound good, it can be toxic positivity that holds you back from experiencing your emotions. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, even if they are painful. Self-compassion is important here. Make sure you stay kind to yourself as you would to a loved one.
2. Understand The Pain Of Self-Pity
Before you feel self-pity, you feel hurt and a significant amount of sadness. Recognize these signs and stop them before they turn into self-pity. Feeling sorry for yourself is a way to create pain for yourself and your loved ones. If you constantly feel self-pity, others won’t like being around you. So the next best step is to understand the pain of self-pity and stop it before it escalates.
3. Refuse To Give In
When you feel self-pity, it’s very common to give in and blame yourself for whatever your situation is. This vicious cycle can make you feel good because as a victim, you wish for someone else to come and sort out your problems for you. Being a victim can also make you feel important. However, this can be addictive and can ruin your relationships. Instead of giving in to self-pity, stand up and take responsibility for your actions.
4. Change Your Perspective
When you feel self-pity, you often ask yourself “Why?” For example: “Why did it happen?” “Why did this happen to me?” When you ask these kinds of questions, our brain (unhelpfully) replies with, “Because you’re not worth it.” “Because you’re not enough”. Changing your perspective can help you get unstuck from self-pity. Instead ask, “How?” or “What?” For example: “How can I move on from this?” or “What can I change about this?”
5. Try Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about letting your thoughts and feelings come and go, without letting them stay. Self-pity can make you ruminate on thoughts and make you get stuck in a loop of negativity. When you incorporate mindfulness into your routine, it can help acknowledge the thoughts of self-pity but not let them dwell or get stuck. Mindfulness also lets you stay in the present moment and allows you to enjoy the little things.
6. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a great tool when it comes to increasing your self-compassion and getting rid of self-pity. When you feel self-pity, you can do the opposite of what self-pity would make you want to do. Focus on the small things that bring you joy. Savor the meal you’re eating and be grateful for that experience. Being grateful can help you more than staying positive. It can also help increase your overall well-being.
7. Form Supportive Connections
Self-pity can make you want to self-isolate and push others who want to help you away. Moreover, external validation when you’re feeling sorry for yourself can also make you spiral downwards in a negative way. You may keep telling yourself that you deserve this and push your loved ones away.
It’s OK to find supportive connections on whom you can lean on and vent productively. They can help you make sense of your situation and help you recognize the source of your stress while helping you focus on the solution instead of the problem.
Self-pity isn’t necessarily negative, however, when you let yourself get stuck in self-pity, and then it can be harmful to your well-being. It’s OK to face problems and unwanted circumstances but remember, you can turn the situation around and create a better outcome for yourself than self-pity.
Find supportive relationships, stay kind to yourself, and be grateful for the learning opportunities you’re presented with. Always remember that self-pity doesn’t last forever. You just need to find out what works and move from self-pity to self-compassion.
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