What has been going well?
If this is a tough question to answer, you might sometimes be questioning, “why bother?”.
As the case may often be, life is challenging. Some days and weeks, perhaps even months are stressful and overwhelming. Perhaps the job is not going well. Perhaps someone you believe to be a slacker just got a promotion. Perhaps someone else in your life just got diagnosed with an illness or passed away. Perhaps your medications still aren’t helping. Perhaps your relationship continues to be strained or lacking conversation or connection.
With all of these stressors we might start asking, why continue to try? Why bother anymore? What’s the point?
If you are struggling with feeling depressed and have little to no energy, then you are probably also struggling to answer the, “Why bother?” question.
When we are not giving ourselves a reason to get up or try, we keep ourselves stuck. When we tell ourselves there is no point, we stay stuck.
I don’t believe anyone really wants to stay stuck and feel depressed or miserable. When we do, it can be so overwhelmingly difficult to bother trying to change. We will often feel and believe that we can’t change. We may believe that any change won’t last, so there is no point to trying.
Where do such thoughts and beliefs leave us?
They leave us stuck. They leave us feeling depressed, miserable, anxious and unhappy. If that is not your goal, then what are the options? We know that continuing to think and believe such things keeps us where we don’t want to be. We know that waiting and hoping and even trying to change others or anything outside of our control typically leads to frustration or disappointment. So what are we left with?
We are left with what is, was and always will be in our control. That is our thoughts and behaviors. How we perceive a situation, how we interpret someone’s actions or lack of actions and what we believe about ourselves directly impacts and influences our behavior and feelings.
If your goal is to change something about how you are feeling, then you need to focus on what is within your control. Start noticing your thoughts and interpretation of your self and situation. Start to ask yourself, “Is this interpretation or view point helping me?” It is not a question of whether you are right or wrong! The person you believe should not have gotten a promotion might very well be a slacker and undeserving. Having to see that person every damn day and know that you should have gotten the promotion might very well be true. Unfortunately, the reality is you didn’t. That sucks AND what do you want to do about it? What are the options? I can stew about it. I can complain about it. I can protest it and refuse to do any more work. I can quit. I can look for another job. I can see if there is another position somewhere else in the company. I can shift my focus from work to other things in my life. If there is little I can do about a certain situation, I can look to other aspects of my life. If I only have work in my life, I am very unbalanced. If I am unbalanced it is difficult to walk without falling. If that is true, then I can pursue ways to create more balance in my life. I can spend more time doing things I enjoy. I can pursue or re-engage in a hobby. I can start taking walks, meditating, exercising, writing, reading, doing puzzles, reaching out to friends, reconnect with friends or family.
What option or options will bring me closer to my goal of feeling better?
If you bother, you matter. If you matter, you feel better.
Let’s start feeling better today!
~ Dr. Lou