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How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself and Start to Feel Happy


Why do we Feel Sorry for Ourselves?

Feelings of depression and, even worse, chronic depression are huge issues that many individuals in our society deal with on a daily basis. Medication costs to help with depression and its symptoms number in the billions every year. Needless to say, it's a huge problem. But why are so many people depressed? There are what seem to be the obvious reasons many people feel sorry for themselves such as not having enough money, not being loved, loss of a loved one or treasured object, and the list goes on. However, individuals of all races, ages, religions, and social classes can become depressed or feel sorry for themselves.

Some events are uncontrollable in our lives and many of them can lead to depression or feelings related to depression. As well, some individuals have biological problems that lead to their depression. Some biological problems are alleviated with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other form of treatment.

Many individuals do not suffer from biological problems that lead to depression and do not require medication or professional treatment for their symptoms.

There are things that cause a lot of average people to become sad or depressed, many of which include the reasons listed above such as lack of money, feelings of inadequacy, and so forth. The majority of people who feel sorry for themselves can change these feelings on their own, without any help.

Important Note: Depression can be a serious illness and may need to be treated professionally. The advice given in this article contains tips to help the average person that feels sorry for themselves feel better. If you believe you have a serious problem, please seek professional assistance.

Stop Dwelling on the Past.

We have to feel something for the mistakes we made, some kind of remorse or guilt, because it helps us to prevent ourselves from committing the same mistakes in the future. However, it can be very unhealthy, time consuming, and damaging to future relationships and opportunities if you dwell on past mistakes and heartaches.

You should do what you can to find the positive in everything that's happened in your past. Always try to remember the good in every past event. For the events in our lives in which we can't possibly see anything good in, such as the death or loss of a loved one or possession, try to learn from it in some way and make the lesson positive. We are lucky to have even had an item or person that we cared so much for, as many people do not have anything to lose.

Dwelling on past events may also make you fearful to try new things or explore new opportunities. We cannot help but to compare possible future outcomes to real ones that have happened to us. It makes sense for us to learn from the past. Just try to learn and reflect on the past in a positive way.

You may have to work at it but try to find the positive in everything. Remember though, life is not always perfect and we all hurt at some time or another. The less we can hurt, however, the better we will feel and everyone around us will feel.

Change Yourself for the Better.

If there are things in your life that are bothering you, it is likely that many of them can be fixed by you without any outside help. Try to find the root of your problems. Make a list if you like of everything that bothers you or makes you unhappy. Next to each thing, write possibilities that would make the situation better. Come up with as many options as you can. Then ask yourself if you can do any of these changes on your own and decide what it would take to make those changes. You will feel proud and empowered by anything you fix on your own, especially if you thought you couldn't.

You might not have control over all of your problems but you will see that you probably have more control than you thought.

Am I Right to Feel Sorry for Myself?

Everyone feels sad or sorry for themselves at some point in time. Even the people you think might have the perfect lives. Everybody has problems - problems that they can fix, and problems they have no control over. Everyone DOES have a right to feel sorry for themselves. It is a natural emotion that is supposed to help us to learn and ultimately become stronger.

Granted everybody has some problems some of the time. However, in some case you might think of other people's problems as pitiful compared to your own. Sometimes, you could only dream of trading your problems for someone else's just because yours are so much worse. Remember that, when you have these thoughts, someone else may think that same way about your problems or whatever it is that your feeling sorry about. There are always people out there that have it much, much worse than you.

Comparing yourself to others can be both beneficial and helpful, depending on whom you choose to compare yourself to. If you focus on other people having less problems than you, you're going to feel sorry quite often. If you compare yourself to individuals with much larger problems, you may learn to see that yours are not that big.

Try asking yourself if your problem is really that serious and warrants you feeling sorry for yourself. Ask yourself, could things be worse?

Make Your Unpleasant Situations Better.

Try to think about the situations that make you feel upset or depressed. If they are situations that you are able to avoid, try to avoid them until you can come up with alternatives or ways to make them more enjoyable. If they are unavoidable situations, try to find ways to make them more enjoyable. For instance, you can think of an activity you can do afterwards that will give you something to look forward to. Having a goal can keep us focused and motivated, even if it's a very small goal.

We cannot ignore responsibilities and sometimes we need to deal with certain situations and have no way of avoiding them. This is normal, we can't be happy all of the time. However, we can make unpleasant situations a bit more bearable.


Make Someone Else Happy.

A lot of scholars, professionals, and even regular people will agree that the best way to make ourselves feel better is to make someone else feel better.

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If you've been through a traumatic or sad experience or are still going through one, you can try to assist someone dealing with the same thing. Especially now with the Internet, it is fairly easy to find support groups, forums, or discussion boards with individuals dealing with an array of problems. Try discussing your problems with other people and offer your advice on their situations.

You can also just find small, everyday things to help people out or make people feel good in some way. You can help someone who is lost, open doors for people, volunteer your time, and the list goes on. Even lending someone a smile as you pass by them can brighten their day.

Get Your Mind Off Things.

Sometimes we just need to refocus our thoughts on something pleasant. If you are able to, meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress and overall feel better. Simply taking deep breaths for a couple of minutes can work wonders.

Exercising, including walking, helps to increase the level of natural feel good chemicals in the brain which help to naturally make us feel better. This is why many people become addicted to exercising, it makes them feel happy. Doing some exercises will help to take your mind off of things and make you feel better overall.

If you are not the meditating or exercising type, just find something to read or watch, or an activity to do such as cooking or drawing.


Write Down Your Problems.

One of the best ways to think about, reflect on, and handle your problems is to write them down. Writing can be therapeutic on its own. You might feel a lot better by just writing out your situation and your feelings about it.

Reading over what you have written afterwards can give you a completely different perspective on what your previous thoughts were. This is particularly true if you wait some time to read it over, once the initial feelings have passed some.

Writing can be very effective and it costs very little, just a pen and some paper. Be careful to keep your writings private if you do not want them read by anyone.

Be Grateful for What you Have.

No matter how big your problem or problems are, there is always somebody out there that is or has been in a worse situation. Not that this is a good thing, of course, but it helps to understand that things could be worse. This, in turn, helps to see that there is some good in most bad situations you might find yourself in, regardless of how little.

Being grateful for the things we have and recognizing the good in our bad situations will help us to live much happier lives.

Make a list of everything good in your life!

It's easy to forget the simple things, especially when we're just so used to certain things in our lives.

The ability to walk, see, write a letter, smell a flower, feel the sun or the wind on our skin, breathe the air. All of these things are wonderful and we often take them for granted. I'm sure you could add many things to this list. Do this occasionally and feel blessed for these abilities you have.

There is always someone that wishes they had something you do. Do those people a favor and appreciate what you have.

To finish off:

If you've tried everything to make yourself feel better and you're still depressed or feeling down, reach out to someone. Not everyone might understand or sympathize with you but you can find groups, forums, and websites where you can chat with people in similar circumstances. No matter how bad you feel it can be turned around. No matter what situation you find yourself in, there can be a positive that comes out of it.

If you're mourning or there is a life changing situation that you're facing, there is nothing wrong at all with taking scars with you. Some things cut so deep they never truly heal but, with time, a positive can come out of it. Hang in there and keep fighting.

Poll: How Happy Are You?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Megan on December 16, 2017:

I feel sorry for myself. my mom says I have a good life but I want more of the worldy things.

JA on December 11, 2017:

Very encouraging, just need to apply.

Finn from Barstow on July 04, 2017:

an inspirational article.

thank you

Charles Dawson from Bartow, FL on February 11, 2014:

This a hub that I really needed to read today ... actually, this decade. Thank you for sharing your insight to provide a valuable lesson. Voted up!

Lisa from Northeast U.S. on June 30, 2012:

Very nice hub on a very difficult topic. I know many people who suffer from this illness and it is extremely difficult to work your way out of depression. You give some solid advice in this hub, especially for people who just may need that extra boost to get over a period in their life that may have caused a setback. Voting up and useful. Thank you!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on June 27, 2012:

You have made some very good points here! There are many reason for depression, but not all of them need to be treated with medication. Sometimes we can take control of how we feel. I recently wrote a hub on improving your attitude, we had many similar views. This is a well written and informative hub. Great job! Voted up and useful. I am going to include the link to this hub in mine. Have a wonderful day! :)

Nira Perkins (author) on June 23, 2012:

Thank you for the kind words. I think that the more these issues are talked about and the more perspectives that are available the better.

Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on June 23, 2012:

Dear NMdonders

Thank you for a well written article on an important issue

kind regards peter

Michelle Keiper on June 12, 2012:

(Just FYI) It has been my experience with a 1-10 poll that you should of x-ed out the 5. I Loved the way you showed the whole view of depression and it's resolve. and the question. Although I really am only a 6. My front is an eight to ten. I choose to be happy.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on June 12, 2012:

Great hub and so true. I've always been someone who enjoys making others feel better or making them laugh, and I am an advocate for writing things down. This not only helps to put the issue in its rightful place of importance, surprising creative moments can derive as well. This site has a wealth of evidence for that.

wonderful and I'm voting up.

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