Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality. – John W. Gardner
In my last article I explored the psychology of self-pity. In this article, we’ll delve into 13 of the best ways to nip your moping in the bud.
Just to recap, self-pity is defined by:
- An inability to accept a situation or circumstance in your life.
- Cogitating over your issues and troubles constantly.
- Dejectedness, gloominess and depression.
- The feeling that you’re a victim of something or someone (e.g. the “persecution complex”).
- The unexpressed thirst for the sympathy and affection of others.
13 Essential Ways of Overcoming Self-Pity
Discovering that we chronically self-pity, and taking steps to overcome this issue is part of the Involutionary process of Self-Transformation which stems from an understanding and acceptance of ourselves.
So if you suspect that you constantly self-pity, don’t fight it. Don’t hide from it in shame or embarrassment, rather, face it, accept it as a fact of your life. Embrace the fact that you are flawed and infallible … just like everyone else. Only then can you hope to make long-lasting changes within yourself.
Below you will find an eclectic variety of useful ways to overcome self-pity.
1) Keep a journal. Write in it for 10 minutes every day.
Keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down a list of things that you’re thankful for each day, is one effective way of re-programming your thought patterns. Nothing too small is irrelevant to write down, e.g. something like “I’m thankful that this cup of tea is warm and soothing” or “I appreciate the softness of my pillow”, shouldn’t be ignored. Whatever you are thankful for write down. Do this with patience and deliberation (remember, it’s not a race).
2) Grow a plant. Raise some herbs. Garden.
According to a survey conducted in 2013, 80 percent of gardeners reported that they were “happy” and “satisfied” with their lives, compared to the 67% of non-gardeners surveyed. Not only does gardening remove the attention and energy you place on yourself to something other than yourself, but it also instills you with a sense of accomplishment.
3) Sit in the sun.
According to the Vitamin D Council, vitamin D (which you gain from the sun), actually helps to improve your mood and energy levels, whilst decreasing depression. Ensuring that you get enough sun exposure each day is a good way to fight self-pity.
4) Watch funny videos, clips and pictures.
This is an excellent way of breaking yourself out of the self-pity cycle. Good websites to checkout include:
5) Get a pet animal.
Dog, cat, bunny, guinea pig, lobster … whatever floats your boat. Studies show that caring for a pet helps to reduce depression, thus helping you to overcome your pity parties.
6) Read this infographic.
Powerful and eye-opening.
7) Take regular long walks.
Exercise has been proven to boost the levels of endorphins in your brain, which are responsible for elevating your mood (plus a million other benefits). You may also like to consider joining a gym, or investing in your own sports equipment if you prefer privacy.
Meditation is a miracle cure for many mental ills, however, it does require patience, persistence and self-discipline. By meditating for 10 minutes a day, you increase your ability to become self-aware, and thus your ability to catch yourself in the act of fulfilling self-pitying thoughts.
9) Inner work
Inner work is an all-encompassing life practice that involves working with your soul. This means that we consciously decide to go on a journey to reconnect with our inner needs, wounds and destiny. Part of inner work involves becoming aware of the various mental illnesses you currently entertain, you can read more about mental traps here. Whether indirectly or directly, our whole website is dedicated to helping you embark on your own inner work.
10) Help those less fortunate than you.
Volunteering really helps you to put your life into perspective, and helps you to appreciate what you have more. Volunteering also boosts self-esteem, confidence and compassion.
11) Try to minimalize your environment.
Cluttered, messy environments contribute to paranoia, hoarding tendencies, anxiety and depression. By simplifying your environment, you may find that your psychological and emotional welfare is significantly increased.
12) Read inspirational quotes each day.
Quotes. We see them everywhere online: Facebook, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and pretty much every social network, blog and microblog known to man. Why? Because we love them. We are deeply affected by them. And sometimes we find a quote that speaks to the deepest parts of our beings, a quote that changes us, revolutionizes us. So give it a try. Here is a list of more than 20,000 inspirational quotes. You may also like to checkout LonerWolf’s Facebook page and Twitter streams for inspirational, thought-provoking quotes and messages posted each day.
13) Watch this video.
A reality check from the Optimal Living Academy. Well said.
Have anything else to add to this article? Please let us all know below!