Have you ever had the sudden, despairing realization that you are tired? Have you had constant thoughts along the borders of “I hate my life?”
Have you found yourself thinking that way for a long time, and you’re not sure what comes next? Do you wish things were different for you – that you had a better job, lived in a nicer place, or had more friends around?
If you hate your life, if you’re dissatisfied and unfulfilled, you’re not alone.
In 2019, the World Happiness Report revealed that people have been feeling increasingly worse over the years. There are more self-reported feelings of negativity and despair and a widening gap in happiness levels globally. The happy are getting happier, and the unhappy are becoming unhappier.
It’s normal to be a little dissatisfied with your life from time to time. Life itself is a wonderful blessing. But it can be hard to remember such blessing when you’re stuck in traffic at 7 am on your way to work, or when someone close to you has moved on, or when you feel sad and you’re not sure why.
It can be difficult to stay motivated and excited about life when we’re constantly fed the highs and lows of world news, with juxtaposing emotions on our screen second-to-second.
Seeing the wonder of life can be challenging when your relationships haven’t been working out, you lost another job, or you simply feel down a lot.
When are feeling hopeless, it’s nice to have somewhere we can turn to, such as a partner, a trusted friend or family member, or even a pet. Still, not everyone feels like they have a place they can go when they feel like they hate their lives, as though we’re obliged to love it and to express hatred for it seems ungrateful.
So, if you hate your life lately and you’re not sure what you can do about it, but you know that you don’t want to keep feeling that way, read on.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why people hate their lives, allowing you to reflect on the reasons behind your self hatred.
We’ll also offer some helpful tips to help you make those changes in your life that will bring you some happiness and fulfillment.
Start small. Acknowledging that you need help is the first step.
Before we get started…
Remember that while the advice below should help, it is not a substitute for professional or medical advice.
If you’re feeling deeply depressed and hopeless or have been having thoughts of suicide or self-harm or are needing substance abuse treatment, please reach out to a doctor or mental health professional.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to mental health conditions such as clinical depression. So don’t be afraid to talk to a licensed clinical psychologist when you need it.
Speaking with a therapist can be beneficial in helping you process your thoughts and emotions and help you on the path to loving yourself.
If you need immediate help because you pose a danger to yourself or you find yourself in a dangerous situation with another person, try Crisis Text Line. Have a look online for local resources on mental health treatment if you’d rather seek professional support in person.
Why do I hate my life?
There are several reasons why one may hate their life, ranging from issues with low self-esteem and a low sense of self-worth to stressful life events and emotional distress to upsetting and negative thoughts that cloud the mind.
1. Life circumstances
If there has been an upsetting or distressing event in your life such as recent grief and loss, deterioration of your mental health or physical health, or anything else that makes you feel upset and overwhelmed; understand that a common symptom of the above is feeling bad about your life in general.
Such situations that can affect your physical health or mental health.
Know that all feelings, no matter how painful or confusing, do eventually pass.
It may take time but eventually, you can look forward to the future and the wonderful things it holds for you.
2. A lack of self-compassion
Often, hatred of one’s life stems from a lack of self-compassion. Other people may not treat us very well, but what will make you feel worse is when you don’t treat yourself well. If you constantly criticize yourself, focus on your flaws, and blame yourself for everything, you’re bound to experience self-loathing.
Is there something wrong with me?
There’s nothing wrong with you if you feel like you hate yourself. Your feelings are entirely valid, but it’s important to understand that they may not be completely your own.
We can absorb values and beliefs from other people, such as other family members when we’re children or people we hang out with when we’re older.
We can take on negative feelings and other difficult emotions that were not originally ours as a means of finding a way to fit in or make sense of the world.
How to stop hating your life
Start with small steps to bring yourself out from hating life to loving every minute of it.
1. Identify exactly what you hate about your life
Do you really hate your entire life, or are you stuck in a situation that makes you miserable? Do you feel unfulfilled at your work? Do you hate school because you’re not studying something you’re passionate about?
Do you feel like your neighborhood or town has nothing to offer you? Do you dislike the way you look?
If you can identify the negative triggers or what other aspects of your life make you feel all of this hatred, then it’s a lot easier to find a solution.
2. Keep a journal
It’s great to have people to talk to about negative feelings, but some of us don’t have people whom we can trust or who we feel will understand where we’re coming from.
If that describes your experience, try writing down how you feel. It sounds too simple to be effective, but research proves that journaling about our feelings and experiences has a profound positive impact on our well-being.
Try to incorporate journaling in your daily routine. You can write in the morning, upon waking up when your mind is fresh from a good night’s sleep.
Alternatively, you can express your gratitude at the end of the day. Journaling about the positive things in your life can change your perspective.
3. Mind your health
If you want to have a happy and fulfilling life, it’s important to take care of your physical health.
We often consider physical and mental health conditions as separate entities, but they are inextricably linked.
For example, stressful thoughts impacts the body and vice versa. Our bodies are designed to handle stress for short periods, but we face an increased risk of inflammation and chronic pain when it persists.
The power of a healthy diet and exercise
Research has found that people who engage in regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day – have a significantly decreased risk of illness and disease compared to people who don’t exercise as much.
Part of self love is cultivating and maintaining good physical health. Doing so helps you manage stress and helps you feel more positive and life-affirming emotions.
Further research shows that the food we eat has a strong influence on our mental and emotional well-being. They report that up to 95 percent of serotonin – one of the body’s four feel-good chemicals – is produced in the gut microbiome.
The food we choose to eat determines in (large) part the health of our gut microbiome. Eating nutritious food promote positive gut health, while unhealthy foods such as complex carbohydrates and fast food have the opposite effect.
The way you treat your body has a direct impact on how you feel. Eating healthily and getting sufficient physical activity especially where you can also get fresh air are both doable steps to getting on the road to wellness.
Of course, your feelings are valid no matter what, but it’s important to consider how much your physical health may impact how you feel about your life.
A common reason why people feel like they hate their lives is that they feel lonely and isolated.
Those who feel this way have had the extra struggle over the past couple of years. One of the contradicting problems of loneliness and isolation is that it makes you want to isolate yourself further, which only makes you feel worse.
Find ways to spend time with people whose company you enjoy and who have your best interests at heart. Understand that labels and ‘given’ people in your life, such as family members, coworkers, or classmates, may not always have your back
Many people struggle with their own issues to the point that they don’t have the capacity to keep your feelings in mind. Just because you’re close to someone circumstantially, that doesn’t mean you have to rely on them for closeness and connection.
The important part about connecting is to put yourself out there and meet kind, compassionate, and like-minded people. But remember to set boundaries to prevent being taken advantage of.
5. Let go of unrealistic standards and expectations of yourself
If there’s one surefire way to self hate, it’s to set unrealistic standards and expectations for yourself. Doing so only makes you feel worse – it paves the way for frequent disappointment and, over time, will wear away at your self-esteem.
Once your self-esteem is compromised, then space has been created for self-loathing and harsh self-criticism. Eventually, it leads to feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness to a more serious major depressive disorder.
Recognize that there’s only so much we can do and that nobody’s perfect. Beating up yourself only drains your energy. You may as well move on to a different path where you’ll be happier.
Why do I have unrealistic self-expectations?
If you do have high self-expectations, think about where they have come from.
Did your parents set high standards for you as a child and held back on love and affection when you didn’t meet them? Did you have a parent or even an ex-partner who always compared to your high-achieving siblings or ex-partner?
Understanding where our unrealistic expectations come from helps us finally let them go and live life by our own standards. At the same time, realize that it’s healthy to set ambitions for yourself. Just don’t set them so unrealistically high that you set yourself up for failure.
We all experience negative feelings towards ourselves from time to time, but when these feelings are frequent and lean towards self-loathing, it’s essential to do something about it.
Make a point to check in with yourself today and every day, be honest about how you feel about yourself and be brave enough to reach out for the help and support you want and need.
You deserve to be able to live a happy and fulfilling life!