Life includes a certain amount of suffering. Some of the sufferings include rejection, failure, loss and trauma.  When we are going through a difficult time, it can be hard to see the light. When we are depressed or sad, we can only remember the depressed or sad times.  It can be challenging to feel motivated to carry on when we feel like things will never get better.  Here are some thought exercises to get you through the dark times.

Practice self-compassion

Self-compassion means that you speak kindly to yourself. You acknowledge your feelings and take the time to learn from them.  If you grew up in a toxic family or later found yourself in relationships that were devaluing, self-compassion can feel forced.  Recognise your inner monologue and change it to one that is supportive of yourself.  Abusing yourself is unhelpful and speaking kindly to yourself makes you a more compassionate person to yourself and to others.

The hero’s journey

Throughout time, stories and legends have told about heroes who have had to go through the darkness to conquer demons. When they overcome these inner and outer demons, they emerge as heroes.  Consider what your journey is.  What is the dark, what are your demons? What can you learn from this experience?

Do something for yourself daily

If you are feeling anxious, do something every day that makes you feel calm. Things that are calming are silence, nature, meditation, music, and art.  If you are depressed, find something to energise you, like dancing or another exercise.

Understand your needs

Some people put their needs behind the needs of others because they don’t understand their own worth.  Some people have set their needs aside for so long that they don’t know what they need. Take this time to understand yourself better.  See it as an exciting journey into self-discovery.

Social network

Reach out to friends and family who are compassionate.  Isolating yourself will only lead to more profound loneliness.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Most people will need some guidance or support in their life.


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Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

Although I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology, I am not a licensed psychologist or any other type of licensed therapist in the United States. The information I am providing here is educational and informational. This social media page does not provide professional advice, nor does it create a professional-client relationship or any other type of relationship between us. You should always consult your own licensed mental health professional before making any changes regarding your mental health. My goal is to educate, guide, consult, and empower you regarding your mental health journey. Always consult your licensed mental healthcare provider(s) and never disregard or delay medical advice based on information posted on this page or post.