In this guide we will discuss the possible reasons why you might feel like your life is depressing along with taking a closer look at what you can do to cope with life dissatisfaction.
My life is depressed, how do I cope with life dissatisfaction?
Life satisfaction according to positive psychology is an important part of subjective well-being.
Lowered sense of life dissatisfaction has been found to be related to higher rates of depression and other mental health problems along with physical health issues.
Here are a few things you can do and steps you can take to help you cope if you think your life is depressing:
- Practice mindfulness
- Conquer your inner critic
- Find yourself a family of choice
- Get intouch with your personal power
- Seek professional help and support
Life dis-satisfaction and depression
It is common for people to feel dissatisfied with life at one point and even more common to think to themselves “I hate my life”.
A huge number of people struggle with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The WHO estimates that close to 3.8 percent of the world’s population is depressed. And much of this depression is related to life dissatisfaction caused by social factors– such as our relationships, our jobs- and unhealthy lifestyles.
Research has found that life satisfaction is not directly linked to social economic factors; however, having stable finances can improve your lifestyle, your diet, and opportunities can bring about better life satisfaction outcomes.
If you find yourself depressed or that your life is depressing- it could be because you are dissatisfied with your life and the experience itself can be stressful and stress inducing.
Life dissatisfaction defined by Toronto Psychologists define it as,
“Life dissatisfaction can be described as a feeling of restlessness, yearning, or wishing for something, even when we may not know what this “something” is.”
Life dissatisfaction is often found to be related to the way we see ourselves and how we define happiness and success. If you are one of them, the experience you face right now does not doom you to an unhappy future. You can take control and turn your life around.
To be able to exact change, you must first understand the reality of your life and what is causing this deep dissociation regarding your life to the point of you hating it.
Causes of life satisfaction
Let us take a closer look at the various factors that could be causing this dissatisfaction and unhappiness in you at present:
One of the reasons you might be feeling like you hate your life could be because you are not living the life that you believe in, you are not allowing yourself to live your truth based on your own values.
You might be working in a certain job that does ot allow you to live your truths which intern does not allow you to meet your understanding of happiness and success. Or, you might be struggling with a relationship that does not allow you to be who you are.
The present situation you live in could be reflective of how far you might be from living an authentic life with values that you truly believe in and have not been internalised from the world outside.
In order to live the life we say we want, it takes the effort of separating ourselves from the values you have been holding on to for so long and identifying whether they are based on negative influences from our past, from people around us or from society at large or they are really based on our wants, goals, and desires.
Dysfunctional beliefs and negative perspectives
The second probable cause is our negative evaluations we make of ourselves, others, and the world. It is often the case that we tend to be extremely critical of our own experiences and our own reality as we compare what we have with what we don’t.
Our critical inner voice can be a difficult part of us to fight with, it is often determined to undermine our own efforts and sabotage our relationship with ourselves and others, and our goals.
Our critical perspectives are often based on core beliefs we have internalised over our lifetime and the negative experiences we might have lived through such as abusive parenting, trauma, loss, etc.
These events, if not coped with effectively, can result in maladaptive beliefs being built over time which eventually becomes extremely difficult to overcome and get rid of. It takes moments of deep self compassion to be able to acknowledge the critique inside you and eventually work towards restoring optimistic and positive beliefs about yourself and the world.
Lack of resilience
Lack of an optimistic mindset and resilience can be another reason why you are struggling with this deep dissatisfaction with your life. Not having the ability to remain resilient can keep you stuck at the same place for years due to fears of failure, obstacles, and the fear of the unknown.
Being resilient means being able to face adversity, trauma, challenges by adapting to it. Your ability to adapt is based on how you see yourself, the world, and others. It is also reliant on your awareness of your strengths and abilities and the support you have around you.
If you find yourself struggling to take the steps that will lead to greater life satisfaction by making major changes, it could be because you find yourself uncomfortable with vulnerability and see yourself as incapable of dealing with the challenges that come with change.
Things you can do to bring changes in your life
You cannot change your family, your friends, your boss, or the fact that you have piling deadlines nor can you change the world at large (at least not instantly).
However, the factors that we have discussed above are things that are in your control, things about yourself that you can change.
Some of the things you can do to cope with this dissatisfaction and your perceived hatred about your life include:
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present, taking notice of your thoughts, your emotions, and your beliefs.
To be able to identify and differentiate your authentic values and goals from those which have been hammered into you requires you to take notice of them. Mindfulness can be a tool for you to do exactly that.
You can practice mindfulness in the way you set up your schedule by taking a look at how much of your day is spent working as opposed to resting or having fun.
You can be mindful of the thoughts you have about yourself, the things you tell yourself- how realistic they are and how closely they fit your values.
Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, fight depression and lead to overall benefits in health and well-being.
Conquer your critical inner voice
Conquering your critical inner voice does not have to be a huge struggle. You can start by acknowledging them with the deepest self-compassion and kindness you can manage.
It starts with treating yourself the way you want others to treat you- with kindness and care, not with judgement and criticism.
When you find yourself being especially critical about how you feel or what you have done- take a moment to breathe, pause, reflect, and understand that this mean voice does not have control over you. You have control over it. So pause, breathe to relax, engage in something that brings you joy, apologize to yourself if you can and try again.
When you engage in something that brings you joy, in spite of you making a mistake or being under a stressful situation- positive emotions can broaden your ability to explore new options and come up with better solutions to problem solving. So instead of being critical, pat yourself on the back for trying, and try again.
Family of choice
We are obligated to remain loyal to the family we have been born into but old dysfunctional dynamics can cause “family time” to be times of pain or stress.
There is nothing stopping you from creating a family of your choice- it can be friends, or other family members that support and love you, it can also include the old couple next door.
What’s most important is choosing to be around people who support you and the things that bring you joy.
As much as it might seem that we have no control over our lives, that is simply not true. You have the personal power in you to make changes.
These changes need not be big but you can start small. You have the power to regulate your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. You also have the power to choose what you do with your resting time and during your off days.
One of the best ways to get intouch with your personal power is to understand what your personal strengths are and back them up with instances when you used your strengths for a positive reason.
By acknowledging your strengths and how it has been applied to real life situations can help you develop resilience and optimism in the way you see yourself and your life. By cultivating these strengths and resilience, you can tap into your personal power to make choices that bring change in your own life.
Seeking professional help does not have to be limited to people who have diagnosable disorders, you can take it as part of you exercising your personal power to reach out to a therapist, counsellor, or life coach to help you change things in your life.
These professionals can help identify maladaptive patterns in your life that are making you feel dissatisfied and depressed. They can also help you identify your personal values and strengths that are authentic to yourself.
You have to understand that it might take time for you to find a counsellor or therapist that is a good fit for you. Take the courage to trust the process and persist until you find someone you find yourself comfortable with.
In this guide we have discussed why you might be finding your life depressing or why you might be dissatisfied with life. We have also discussed what are some of the things you can do to turn things around and for the better,
Frequently asked questions related to “My life is depressing (How to cope with life dissatisfaction)”
What does it mean when someone says I hate my life?
“I hate my life” often signals a person’s distress related to feeling alone and hopeless.it could be because of various reasons- stress, relationship problem, job dissatisfaction, and family tension.
Why is life so hard?
Life often seems hard because most of us are not equipped to deal with the psychosocial challenges we come across as we live our lives. We experience stressors that involve our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours and if we do not have the skills to deal with them in healthy and adaptive ways- we find it hard to cope.
What do you do when you hate life?
A few things you can do immediately when you feel like you hate your life are:
- Talk to someone you love who loves you in return.
- Do something you enjoy- paint, draw, read, watch a movie, go for a walk.
- Seek professional help
- Look at things in your life that you can control and change, once you identify them- change things around (This includes how you handle your emotions and your thoughts)
- Seek out experiences that bring you joy- help someone in need, list out things you are grateful for, dance around in your room, watch your favorite movie etc.
Why do you feel so lonely?
The most straightforward answer to this question is that you are dissatisfied with your relationships. The reason you feel lonely is because you feel misunderstood by the people around you since they are unable to meet your emotional needs.
To build a satisfying relationship- you must be able to communicate your needs to the ones around you, set up healthy boundaries based on these needs, and respect them.
What actually causes depression?
Research suggests that depression is caused by a mix of various factors such as genetic vulnerability, neurobiology, life events, stressors, and lifestyle choices. It does not rely on only one factor by can be a result of the interplay between these factors.