The feeling of hopelessness is most often a reaction to the fact that you are not doing well, in combination with not seeing a solution or way ahead. It is the experience that you are stuck in something that is painful and difficult, and it feels like giving up.
In hopelessness, there is often an underlying painful feeling. For example, one can feel hopelessness if one loses someone important. In that case hopelessness can be understood as a response to the unbearable emotional pain that comes when imagining that the loss is unbearable. Or you may feel hopelessness because you have recurring experiences of not being good enough in the eyes of others.
We propose to work with hopelessness by connecting with an underlying emotional pain. When you reach the underlying pain, you can start working with it in the other exercises on this website or by seeking help from someone.
Exercise: from hopelessness to hurt
1. Get in touch with the hopelessness
What does the hopelessness feel like? What experience do you have in your body and what thoughts relate to it? Write it down.
2. Try to put words on the underlying emotional pain
Hopelessness is often about a bad feeling you can’t get rid of. See if one of these statements can help you find it:
- I feel outside/bullied/plagued.
- I feel criticized and like nobody likes me
- I feel overlooked.
- I feel alone/abandoned.
- I feel like I have no control.
- I feel like I’m not important.
- I feel unjustly treated.
- I feel unsafe
- I feel dependent and scared.
- I feel like I’m drowning in grief.
3. What is the emotional pain about?
- Can you identify the origin of this pain? If it is difficult, see if the exercise Exploring emotional memories can help you clarify.
- If you can identify the origin of the condition, then write it down. Once you know why you feel hopeless there are maybe other exercises that are useful to you? To find a new exercise, you can click here to get help finding exercise and click here to get to the exercise library..
4. What do you need right now?
When you now find yourself in this state, what do you need to happen to get out of it? What do you want from yourself in this state? What do you need from others?