How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself (7 Effective Steps)

This article will explore why feeling sorry for yourself can actually be detrimental to your physical and psychological health while it will also shed light on 7 ways to stop engaging in this behavior of self pity. For a deeper understanding, the article will also describe how someone actually feels sorry for themself and what behaviours, emotions or thoughts it entails!

How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself?

You can stop feeling sorry for yourself by:

  • Exercising Regularly
  • Avoiding Social Media
  • Taking Up Small Activities
  • Reading
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Surrounding Yourself With Healthy People
  • Looking At Others In Difficult Situations

Before we explore each of the above to figure out how exactly we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves, the article will explain what it means to feel sorry for oneself and also highlight reasons as to why it is not a healthy activity!

What Is Self Pity?

Self pity can be described as excessive, self absorbed unhappiness over one’s failures or troubles. It is also described as an emotion which is directed at others with the aim of gaining attention, help or empathy however some people do not express the self pity they experience and hence the second definition may not apply to them.

It can become an addictive habit where one repeatedly engages in self pity; they feel sorry for how they have been wronged over the years, how they had good intentions but people just snatched away their dreams and the seeds they sowed that had taken much effort and time. Furthermore, they may experience self pity because of the state they are in due to their own mistakes; they may have hurt themself in an accident, engaged in excessive drugs or alcohol that ruined their health or they cheated on their spouse and are now alone. The reasons can be many but the end outcome is one where they obsess over what they did rather than learn from what they did. 

It is a vicious cycle because the individual may actually feel some sort of pleasure from pitying themselves. It may also lead to episodes of crying that also help relieve some of the stress the person goes through. It may win over other’s attention or empathy or even help and hence there is a good reason as to why someone may engage in this behaviour.

Why Is Self Pity Destructive?

One needs to be careful. Life is all about balance and there will be times when you feel bad for yourself and that is natural. It is way better than being hard on yourself and not trying to connect with your inner self and learn how you can give your mind and body a break!

However, self pity becomes a problem when it is excessive. A person may end up putting much time into this behaviour to the extent that they only think – remember, we did say this can become an addictive trait – they keep reliving the moments when they got hurt and how it made them feel and hence they end up in a cycle of negative thoughts that consumes their time.

These thoughts also consume one’s positive energy and replace it with negative energy where the person feels like they can no longer take the initiatives they used to. They won’t be able to engage in the productive routines they previously had or take part in activities they loved and helped them and their community grow. 

Engaging in continuous self pity can make one destructive; they can experience deep and dark thoughts that may lead them to the verge of self harm because they not only feel sorry for themself but they may convince their own self that it is their fault they end up in the problems they are currently experiencing. They may no longer be able to think clearly and hence they will end up blaming themselves for others intentions or actions or life’s tests.

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How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself?

In this section, we will help the readers explore 7 steps on how a person can stop feeling sorry for themself! 

Exercise Regularly

Exercise can do wonders and not only does it do great good to the body but the mind as well. Exercising on a regular basis means you are not only taking care of your body but can invest in it which can give you a sense of ownership and raise your self esteem as you actually have control over something. 

Scientifically, exercising causes the release of endorphins which are chemicals that have a positive effect on your mind and body. Not only do they bind with receptors in your brain to reduce the perception of pain you experience but they also cause you to experience a positive feeling in your body similar to that of morphine.

Hence, when you exercise, you actually feel good and once you feel good it is difficult for our body to pull itself back in so easily to those destructive thoughts. With willpower and regular exercise, you can pull out of the vicious cycle of self pity.

Avoiding Social Media 

Trust us. When it comes to social media, the lesser you use it the better! One of the reasons why someone may experience so much self pity is because they keep comparing themselves to other people who seem to be better off. 

Social media is full of deception – why? Well because most of the people want you to see them happy and enjoying their lives and hence you follow  and obsess over them. However, this is usually not the case because every person is going through problems. Some choose not to show while others may conceal it. Nonetheless, social media is a source of jealousy, regret, self pity, anger and what not especially if you do not have what others do! This is not to say we should not be happy for what others have. It is just that what people show on social media does not usually reflect the true reality of their lives and we fall into this deception. The perfect camera angle, the lighting, the music and the beautiful corner view of that one room usually does the trick. 

So, if you want to feel content, happy and satisfied with your own life, stop focusing on what others have or have achieved and look at yourself and what you actually want to do. It is important to have big goals in life but not to put yourself down by looking at others – everyone has their own time right?

Taking Up Small Activities

This is a healthy habit that can pull you out of self pity. It is important to raise your self esteem if you experience excessive self pity. You can do this by engaging in new activities on a daily basis and this will not only boost your productivity but make you feel as if you are doing something new everyday – you are learning more things. One reason why people may feel self pity is because they feel useless and bad at things. However, if you build on your skills you will soon develop good ones and this will make you feel competent and capable.


Reading does wonders! Either fiction or nonfiction, reading books can take you into an alternate reality where you live a new life or watch the lives of characters from a very close point. It helps you stay distracted from the thoughts you experience and focus your attention elsewhere. This is an important habit to get out of the cycle of self pity.

Breathing Exercises

This is another method to focus your attention elsewhere. You can start meditation or engage in prayer to help yourself escape from the mantra of negative thoughts.

Surrounding Yourself With Healthy People

Ever feel you spend most of your time with toxic people? The people who point out the misfortunes in your life and tell you that you are not doing enough. They constantly point fingers at the loopholes in your plans instead of providing good feedback with some advice. Ditch them and find people who make you feel good in life and actually help you attain more.

Looking At Others In Difficult Situations

Stop looking at others in better places – they may serve as a source of motivation but if overdone it can certainly lead to negative thoughts that consume you. You are not the only one going through a bad day. Look at others who are suffering – there are countless examples. This may not only help you think more positively but also it might encourage you to finally start giving back to others and the society.


This article highlighted 7 ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself and also described what self pity is. Furthermore, it explained to the audience the negative effects of engaging in self pity and how it can harm you mentall and physically.


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