When All Seems Hopeless: Ask the Therapist



Why do I feel hopeless?
Everything that you normally counted on has been changed. People like predictability, things they can count on. Each change requires us to cope and adapt. When things are constantly changing it set us off balance. Oftentimes there are too many adjustments that require immediate attention causing us to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

Can I just think good thoughts?
Good thoughts are a positive response that will help you cope, but you still have to deal with the reality. The best action is to both find ways to adapt to the changes and accept the challenges associated with the situation at hand.

Can I be helped?
The answer is yes! We don’t control a lot in this life, but we try to remember the good circumstances that came out of bad or difficult times from our past. This tool can be pretty powerful in helping us deal with the present. You may have had a past job that was overwhelming at the time, which now serves as proof that you are stronger today as a result of that past challenge.

What are things I can do to curb hopeless feelings?
One of my first assignments for clients is to think on things you are grateful for, and write them down. Another is to call a friend for coffee or a walk. A change of environment helps us to re-frame. We’ve been cooped up so long that we’ve forgotten the benefit of being out and breathing fresh air. It allows us to come back into a situation with a new perspective.

What should I not be doing when I feel hopeless?
Don’t make rash decisions regarding what is probably a temporary situation. Give things time to play out. Don’t isolate, even if that means sitting out in a park or taking the dog on a walk.

What is the cure?
Perspective is everything. Having an orderly view on what I call the eternal perspective. “Hope” is to endure the difficulty, knowing that there are good things coming, because that is exactly what God promises. Things on this side of eternity often don’t make sense, but be encouraged, our Lord is still at work.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.

Psalm 62:5


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