Feeling down? Me too, buddy. The keyword here is ‘feeling’. Feelings are weird, if you ask me. Emotions make life complicated. It ruins relationships, families and even careers. It makes you feel like shit and like hitting your head against the wall. But that’s not completely true, is it?
Not all emotions pull you down. After all, who would we be if we didn’t feel anything? Emotions make us who we are and it adds meaning to our lives. The secret lies in identifying which negative emotions make you feel like shit and knowing how to deal with them.
Dear negative feelings, thanks for making me feel like shit
Yes, I know we should experience the whole spectrum of human emotions to truly experience the depth of what it means to be alive. Emotions add color to our lives, some bright, some dark. It makes life fascinating and interesting and all the jazz. Blah. blah. Blah. I get it. But I hate feeling like shit and feeling down all the time. All these stupid feelings just take up so much space in my mind and heart and it feels like I am breaking apart and I have no idea what to do about it. Ok, I am rambling now. But that’s what certain intense, negative emotions often make us feel like. As if we are losing control over ourselves and our lives. It is painful and confusing. And worst of all it ruins our relationships. One moment everything seems to be fine and perfect, and the very next moment everything starts going downhill and you start feeling like shit.
But what are these negative feelings and what can we do to stop feeling down every time they rear their ugly heads? Let’s dive in and find out what negative emotions actually are and which specific feelings make us feel like shit the most.
What are negative feelings?
To put it simply, negative emotions are feelings that make us feel sad, miserable and distressed. These are uncomfortable, disruptive and unpleasant feelings that –
- Affect our mental and emotional wellbeing
- Impair daily functioning
- Interfere with our ability to develop positive relationships
These emotions make you hate yourself, affect your self-confidence, lower your self-esteem, cause negative self-talk and make you feel dissatisfied with life. So if you are feeling down for some reason, you can thank negative emotions. Right?
Mmmm… not really. The problem doesn’t really lie with the emotions, but how we react to such emotions. Negative emotions arise naturally, just like positive ones. It’s not really in our control. But how we manage and regulate our emotions can determine how we feel about them – whether we feel more in control of our life or just feel like shit one more time. In fact, studies reveal that impulsive actions and behaviors are often born out of negative emotions.
5 Feelings that make you feel like shit
So what are these negative emotions that make us feel like crap? While there can be a vast array of complex emotions at play when you are feeling down, it can be boiled down to a handful of negative feelings that make us feel like shit most of the time. If you are feeling down and not sure why, then here is a list of emotions that are behind it –
This shit… this shit right here ruins lives. All of us are insecure about something or the other. But some of us (including me), are haunted by our insecurities. It makes us feel crippled and paralyzed and it can be so intense at times that we self-sabotage ourselves. We run away from opportunities, we pull our own selves down, we hide from people who reach out for help and worst of all, we hurt people we love… people who love us. And that is what makes us feel like shit. Our insecurities screw with our thoughts and how we feel about ourselves. It destroys perfectly good moments and shoves us down in the muddy dark pit of feeling down and shitty.
Insecurity, a self-conscious emotion, is perhaps the most dangerous shitty feeling on this list. It makes us feel inadequate, uncertain and anxious about our abilities, worth, and value as an individual. It impairs our ability to deal with challenges, goals, relationships and reach our full potential. It wreaks havoc on our mental, emotional and physical health and so it’s no wonder that it leaves us feeling down and pathetic. It makes us feel like we are not good enough to pursue the education, career or relationship that we actually want to. This is one of the main reasons you feel like shit.
We have one of my favorites here. Oh sweet, sweet anger. It takes over you and your thoughts, it makes you feel like the most powerful being in the entire universe and then suddenly, it pushes you down to fall flat on your face on the concrete floor of regret. But the worst part is the guilt and shame that takes over you as you start falling down from your anger-driven peak. Oh, the fun this sick and twisted anger has playing with us – it’s incomparable.
However, anger is a normal reaction to toxicity and injustice. We become angry when we feel trapped, exploited, threatened, deceived or unable to protect ourselves. But the issue begins when we choose to act out of our anger. That’s when we become harmful to others and to ourselves. When we shout, scream, destroy things, abuse or insult others or even physically assault someone all due to the rage we feel inside us. But as the old saying goes, your anger hurts you more than it hurts others.
Once we have reacted aggressively, the anger passes naturally and is replaced by shame and guilt. And then WHAM! That’s when it hits you like a truck – that shitty feeling which makes you miserable and terrible. And just when you are feeling down, you regret your actions but by that time, it’s already too late. There is no doubt that anger makes us feel like shit.
When you are feeling down, the most obvious feeling is sadness. It is something none of us can run away from no matter how optimistic and enthusiastic we may be. Anything can make us sad – from being ignored by your crush to losing your job. When the light of hope in our heart is crushed, we are pushed into the darkness of sadness. And with sadness comes a sudden wave of other complex negative feelings like –
- low moods
- Self-loathing and many more
It can even lead to depression, if the feeling of sadness persists for a long time. Sadness breaks you. It not only makes you feel like shit, it makes you feel like you are dead. It breaks your mind, heart and spirit. It makes you want to give up and hide from everyone else. But the good thing is that sadness forces us to change. It shows that we have a heart and we are capable of loving something or someone passionately. Otherwise why would you feel sad to begin with?
Aren’t we all afraid of something? Don’t we all want to hide ourselves under the blanket when fear runs wild inside our crumbled hearts? While this fear can be evolutionary, like your fear of spiders or of unknown things that go bump in the dark, the most crippling fear is about our future. About our career, our family, our relationships, and of ourselves. Fear, along with its equally crippling cousin anxiety, can really screw with our mind and make us sabotage our own life. Although fear is meant for self-preservation, fear of repeating our past mistakes, childhood traumas, toxic relationship patterns, divorce, betrayal, unemployment and failure makes us shiver more than any spiders or ghosts can.
Fear is a survival mechanism that helps us navigate through probable threats and dangers. But what happens when you doubt that your loved ones can hurt you? That’s when you feel like shit because you know you love them and have handed them power over you. So the next time you are feeling down, it just might be due to unidentified fear hiding in your heart.
Feeling down due to guilt? It’s an intense negative emotion that makes you feel like… you guessed it…shit! There is no doubt that guilt is a difficult and powerful emotion that can torment you for a long, long time. Guilt can eat away your self-esteem and sense of self making you feel like you are not worthy of good things, love or happiness. But why do we feel this intense emotion that can completely alter our personality and behavior? Researchers have found that it is an unpleasant and “uncomfortable feeling” that arises from behaviors and/or actions that contradict our internalized standards of conduct. The only way to stop feeling this shitty is to repair the damage or harm done to another person due our actions.
Unfortunately, guilt is very closely tied to its mutated clone shame, which is a result of “self’s negative evaluation of the self.” Shame makes us want to hide from everyone else and completely isolate ourselves from others, which in turn can lead to loneliness. And guess what? Loneliness can further add to our feeling of being a shitty human being. Guilt and shame are a dangerous combination that can take us down a spiral and leave us there in the abyss of loneliness.
Sadly, this can seriously affect our mental health, if it is not addressed properly. However, being honest and accountable and regretting our actions can help us overcome this negative emotion and develop a more positive outlook.
Reasons for feeling like shit
Wait up. We are not done yet. Apart from the most damaging negative emotions mentioned above there are many more complex human emotions that can make you feel terrible about yourself. If you are feeling down for some reason, and not sure why, then it can be due to these dastardly feelings –
- Irritability and annoyance
- Anxiety and compulsivity
- Mood shifts
- Apathy and despair
- Disgust, hate and contempt
- Jealousy and frustration
- Helplessness and inadequacy
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Unmet needs
- Lack of coping skills
These are just some of the things that make you feel like shit. Another good reason why you may be feeling down all the time is poor self-esteem. Low self-esteem makes you look down on yourself and makes you unable to hold yourself in high regard. Anxiety and shyness engulfs you when you are in a social setting and makes you think that you are incapable of getting respect from others. What’s truly worse is that you start criticizing yourself too harshly. You start bullying yourself, find faults in everything you do and treat yourself poorly. So it’s obvious that you feel like shit most of the time.
Your negative inner dialogue lacks compassion, love and respect for your own self, which breaks your confidence. It makes you feel ignored, unloved, unworthy, inadequate, incompetent and crappy. In fact, studies show that low self-esteem is closely associated with anxiety, depression, stress, suicidal ideation and poor quality of life.
How to stop feeling like shit
So now that we have figured out why you keep feeling down and crappy, let’s understand what you can do to not feel like shit. While there may be some unhealthy coping skills that can help you stop feeling like shit for the time being, like boozing yourself silly, these strategies can pull you down even further in the long run. This is why our focus is on healthy coping skills that can actually help you overcome your emotional turmoil and help you better manage difficult emotions. Sounds good? Let’s dive in then.
1. Pause and reflect
Whenever you feel too overwhelmed by uncontrollable emotions, step back for a moment and allow yourself some time off. Breathe and pause for a few seconds. Instead of immediately reacting out of your emotions, take a deep breath and think about the situation – practice self-reflection and try to understand the root cause of such feelings.
2. Identify and acknowledge your shitty feelings
Feeling down? Then ask yourself what exactly is making you feel this way? Is it anger, sadness, jealousy, low self-esteem or are you just lonely? Were your feelings hurt by a loved one? Are you angry at them? No matter what you are feeling, recognize and accept that emotion instead of trying to ignore or suppress it. Tell yourself that it is absolutely okay to feel whatever you are feeling. It is only when you acknowledge your genuine feelings, you will be better able to manage them.
3. Think about the “Why?”
Ok so you have paused for a moment and acknowledged that you feel like shit. Great! Now ask yourself – “Why am I feeling down?” Think about what is the source of your negative emotions – what triggered you to feel so shitty? Is it due to some toxic people in your life? Is it your own anxiety? Or is it due to unmet needs? Find out the source of your difficult emotions and then figure out a way around it. There must be some good reason why you are feeling like shit, right? When you don’t ignore your emotions, you can skillfully read the information it carries. Knowing what makes you tick is the first step to overcoming it.
4. Take charge of your own emotions
While external factors can trigger negative emotions, internal factors determine how well we are able to control them. Instead of blaming others or situations that you can’t control, hold yourself accountable for how you feel and behave. When you are feeling down, shift your focus to yourself and observe how you are reacting to it. Instead of letting your emotions steer you, transform your mindset. Challenge negative thoughts, be careful about what you tell yourself and keep your focus on reaching a positive outcome.
Oh, it won’t be easy… no doubt about that. It will take a lot of effort, practice and discipline, but in the end you will stop feeling shitty for stupid, miniscule reasons all the time.
When you are feeling down, do THIS :36 Tips
Here are some other things you can try to stop feeling like shit and feel like a million dollars instead –
- 1. Treat yourself and talk to yourself nicely and with respect
- 2. Stay the hell away from the toxicity of social media for sometime
- 3. Smile
- 4. Take your medications on time, if you are taking any
- 5. Rest, relax and reset yourself in your happy place
- 6. Forgive yourself for feeling shitty and show yourself some love
- 7. Instead of being overly-focused on yourself, do something nice for others – your loved ones or complete strangers
- 8. Note down your feelings in a journal and be grateful for what you have
- 9. Whenever you’re feeling down or low, meditate. Learn to be more mindful in your daily life
- 10. Read a good book – an interesting fiction book with some good twists
- 11. Step outside and enjoy nature for some time. Stay away from that screen
- 12. Go to the gym and exercise your frustrations out. Hit the punching bag
- 13. Listen to some good music. Have you listened to any LoFi tracks? You should.
- 14. Spend some time with your family and friends. Hug a loved one
- 15. Meaninglessly stare at the stars in the middle of the night and appreciate the beauty f the universe
- 16. Go on a hike and take in the sights and sounds of nature. But be careful. Don’t land up as another example in the next Missing 411 book
- 17. Do what you enjoy even when you are feeling down
- 18. Consult a mental health professional and seek therapy
- 19. Eat some good nutritious food. Stop being lazy – cook. No junk food allowed
- 20. Have patience and trust the universe. Good times are on their way
Want more? You want more tips on what to do when feeling down, don’t you? I knew it. And I am glad you asked. Here’s more –
- 21. Watch some videos or memes on the internet
- 22. Play with your pet. It just feels amazing
- 23. Redecorate your room
- 24. Get some good sleep. You know you need it
- 25. Stay hydrated. Drink enough water
- 26. Allow yourself to cry your heart out
- 27. When feeling down, vent to a friend
- 28. Find probable solutions to the problems at hand
- 29. Cut toxic people out of your life
- 30. Volunteer – donate your time or money
- 31. Pursue your hobbies and passions
- 32. Create something – story, art, music, whatever
- 33. Start gardening
- 34. Breathe deeply through your abdomen
- 35. Take up yoga
- 36. Talk to a trusted loved one
Stop feeling down, be decidedly happy instead
Emotions are a natural part of human life. We can’t run away from negative emotions just because they make us feel shitty. But what we can do though is change how we react to these negative emotions. Shitty feelings, experiences, situations and days will happen. We can’t control that. But we can surely control ourselves.
Whether you like it or not, you will feel like shit at times. But when you know the triggers and the specific emotions behind such feelings, you can better manage your mood and turn that frown upside down. So make the best use of the tips I shared above and bring in some sunshine into your dull, gray day.