If you’re telling yourself “my life sucks”, you might be in a bad place right now, a place where your life feels small, chaotic, and out of control.
We all have these periods where our life feels like it has spiraled out of our grasp, and the only thing we want to do is retreat and let it eat us alive.
But eventually, you have to stand up again and face your demons.
You need to get away from the distractions and instant gratification and deal with your problems head-on, until you stop feeling like a failure.
So if you think that your life sucks, here are 16 ways you can make your life better today:
1. Create Your Safe Space
One of the reasons why we freak out and cower within ourselves is because we feel that too many things around us have gotten out of control.
We are afraid of the reality that we can’t control even the smallest parts of our life, and we have no idea what or where we will be tomorrow, next week, or in the next year.
So the solution is simple: create a safe space that you can control. Carve out a portion of your mind and dedicate it to yourself—your thoughts, your needs, your emotions.
The first step to stopping the storm raging around you is to grab a piece of it and make it stand still. From there you can start to move forward.
2. Ask Yourself: “Where Do I Go Now?”
While it’s always great to shoot for the stars and aim high, the problem with that advice is that it makes us look so far that we forget what we have to do right now.
Here’s the hard truth you need to swallow: you are nowhere near the place you want to be, and that’s one of the reasons as to why you are so hard on yourself.
No one is going to go from Level 1 to Level 100 with a single step. There are 99 other steps you have to take before you get to where you want to be.
So get your head out of the clouds, look at your situation, calm down, and ask yourself: where do I go from here? Then take that step, and ask yourself again.
3. Ask Yourself Another Question: “What Am I Learning Now?”
Sometimes we feel that our life has stalled. That we’ve spent way too much time doing the same thing, and that our personal growth has not only halted, but has begun to regress.
There are times when we need to be patient and see it out to the end, and times when we need to pack our things and move on.
But how do you know which is which? Simple: ask yourself, “What am I learning now?” If you are learning anything significant at all, then it’s time to calm down and be patient.
If you can’t find yourself learning anything of value, then it’s time to take your next step.
4. Your Limits Are Your Own Creations
You can do whatever you want to do, but in many cases, you don’t let yourself “want” the things you really want to achieve.
And that’s because you do everything to believe that you can’t do it. Maybe your parents or teachers or peers have told you that your dreams aren’t realistic; maybe you’ve been told to take it slow, keep it easy.
But it’s your choice to listen to them. No one has control over your actions except you.
5. Stop Shifting the Blame
When things don’t work out, the easiest option is to find something or someone to blame it on.
It’s your partner’s fault you didn’t go to college; your parents’ fault you didn’t branch out more; your friend’s fault for not believing in you and pushing you to keep going.
No matter what other people do, your actions are yours and yours alone. And blame will get you nowhere; it’s just a waste of time and energy.
If you know the problem, great: start working on the solution instead of blaming someone for it.
6. Cut Your Losses When the Time Comes
There are times when no matter how hard you try or how much you work, some things just won’t work out.
These are the hardest lessons of them all—life sometimes just doesn’t play in your favor, no matter how much you will it to.
It is in these moments when you need to show the greatest strength, in accepting your own defeat.
Cut your losses, let the defeat happen, surrender, and move on. The sooner you let the past be the past, the sooner you can move towards tomorrow.
7. Take a Part of the Day and Just Enjoy It
Life shouldn’t always be about staying on schedule, getting to your next meeting, and checking off your next task.
That’s what burns you out and makes you fall off the productivity wagon. It’s important that you give yourself the allowance to spend a few minutes or hours every day just enjoying life.
Look for those little moments—the sunsets, the laughs, the smiles, the random calls—and really soak them in.
That’s what you’re living for: the opportunities to remember why it’s great to be alive.
8. Let Go of the Anger
You have anger. We all do. To someone, somewhere—maybe an old friend, an annoying relative, or maybe even to your partner. Listen: it’s not worth it.
Resentment and anger take up so much mental energy that they hinder your growth and development. Let go of it—forgive and move on.
9. Stay on the Lookout for Negativity
Negativity can seep into your head like the wind. One moment you can be happy with your day, and the next you can start to feel jealousy, self-pity, and resentment.
As soon as you feel those negative thoughts sliding in, learn to step back and ask yourself if you really need them in your life. The answer is almost always no.
10. You Don’t Need That Attitude
You know what kind of “attitude” we’re talking about. The toxic kind that pushes people away, with its needless negativity and carefree insults.
Drop the attitude and learn to be a bit less cynical. Not only will people like you more, but you’ll be happier just doing it.
11. Make Today Start Last Night
When you’re waking up, groggy and tired and shaking off the sleep, the last thing you want to do is make a mental list of all the things you need to do today.
So you end up wasting your entire morning because you don’t have the right mindset straight out of bed (and who does?).
But if you prepare your to-do list the night before, all your morning brain has to do is follow that list.
12. Love Who You Are
There are many times when we need to be something or someone else to get ahead in life.
But pretending to be something you do not weigh heavily on your soul, and keeping that mask on long-term can even make you forget who you are.
And if you don’t know who you are, then how can you love yourself?
Discover the real you, and hold onto it. It might not always be the best look, but compromising on your true values is never the right choice.
13. Make a Routine
We need our routines. The most productive people out there have routines that guide them from the moment they wake up to the moment they go back to bed.
The more you control your time, the more you can get done; the more you get done, the happier you will be. Control over your life is always great for stability and mental health.
14. Don’t Bury Your Emotions, But Don’t Prioritize Them Either
You need to respect your emotions—if you’re sad, let yourself cry; if you’re upset, let yourself shout.
But remember that your emotions can often time cloud your judgment and confuse what you believe to be fact and fiction.
Just because you feel something doesn’t necessarily mean that feeling is correct.
15. Grow Up
As a kid, we have our parents to step in and say “No more ice cream” or “No more TV”. But as an adult, we have to learn to say those things to ourselves.
If we don’t grow up and give ourselves rules that we need to follow, our life will fall to pieces.
16. Appreciate Everything
And finally, it’s important to stop the clock every now and then, take a step back and look at your life and just say, “Thank you.”
Appreciate everything and everyone you have in your life, and then you can get back to working on achieving more.
Life is furthest thing from being easy. We all suffer. Some suffer more than others, but we need to take responsibility for our lives no matter how hard it is.
By accepting what is and facing up to our demons, we’ll give ourselves the best shot at making the most of life, no matter how dire it seems.
And when you only get life once, that’s the only option.
This story originally appeared in HackSpirit. Image courtesy of PeopleImages/Getty Images.