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Written By: DiveThru Team

Reviewed By: Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW


Feeling Discouraged: A Guide To Your Emotions

PUBLISHED Dec 23rd, 2020 & UPDATED ON Jan 17th, 2023

It’s hard facing the world every day and trying your hardest, only to be met with results that crush your poor little heart. Eventually, after trying and trying for so long, you start feeling discouraged and begin to question yourself. Sometimes you think “Wow, is it even worth trying?” These negative thoughts keep running around and around… and around in your mind. 

When we feel discouraged, it’s hard not to think that certain situations are hopeless and that we’re stuck in our lives with no way to move forward. Maybe you’ve been passed over for the jobs that you’ve applied for, or maybe the last few people you went on a date with didn’t work out. It’s also hard not to feel discouraged when it comes to your mental health. We can go to therapy, take medication, do self care, and still struggle with our mental wellbeing. Whatever you might be facing, know that it’s totally ok to feel discouraged about it!

If you think that you’re alone in feeling this way, you are definitely not! We all feel discouraged about what’s going on in our lives–big or small! We can’t all be positive about everything ALLLLL the time, you know? That’s just unhealthy. So give yourself a big hug and be nice to yourself. We’re gonna help you through this, don’t worry. 

A Deeper Look at Feeling Discouraged

When we feel discouraged, it can sometimes feel like we’re lost. We’re roaming through life without a compass. You see people you grew up with accomplishing amazing things, and you feel like you aren’t where you “should be” at this point in your life. This way of thinking can introduce a little nugget of self doubt that becomes bigger and bigger the more we think about it. All of a sudden, this self doubt has changed from a little nugget to a whole 10 pack of chicken nuggets!

With every rejection, every milestone we haven’t yet reached, every task we have to redo, we can start to feel lesser than and damage our sense of self-worth and self-esteem. We can also feel really discouraged when we feel that we don’t have a support system to fall back on. It’s like we’re forced to navigate uncharted territory on our own. 

We then start to feel more and more that life is just too hard. It’s like every single day, we’re forced to get up and push a boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll back down to the bottom of that mountain at the end of each day. Then, in the morning, we have to start pushing that same boulder up that same mountain all over again. 

We can end up dwelling on our past, dwelling on our mistakes, and reliving those same feelings day in and day out. Eventually, we just become resigned to the idea that life is really hard and the pessimism takes over. 

But even though it feels like there is so much working against you at the moment, it is totally possible to overcome this feeling of discouragement!

How Feeling Discouraged Shows Up Mentally 

The feeling of discouragement is totally and completely valid! We’re faced every day with challenges that can become overwhelming and too much for one person to handle on their own. It can bring up a looooot of other feelings that go along with it, not just the one emotion of discouragement. It likes to bring along its group of nasty little emotion friends with it, and personally, we just find that to be RUDE: 

  • Low self-esteem 
  • Low sense of self worth 
  • Victimization 
  • Sensitive to criticism 
  • Feelings of rejection 
  • Unable to make strategic decisions

All of these things can exacerbate the feeling of discouragement. It’s like a shitty cycle that you can’t seem to get out of. So, give yourself a little break because you deserve some kindness and love from yourself. You’re going THROUGH it! 

How Feeling Discouraged Shows Up Physically

It’s hard not to want to scream into a pillow when we’re frustrated as hell. If you feel like you need to do that too, we won’t stop you! Sometimes it’s super wonderful and cathartic to just scream. You’ve been trying so hard over and over, but still, get knocked back each time. If you didn’t think that your actions were common, think again! Here are some of the ways that frustration can manifest itself physically: 

  • Crying 
  • Screams of frustration 
  • Needing a vent session 

Sometimes seeing a list like this helps us feel like we aren’t alone. We hope that it’s helped you a little bit because you definitely aren’t alone in feeling like this. Want us to prove it? Well, you’ve got us here with you, so BAM! Facts!

How to Cope With Feeling Discouraged  

It’s hard to feel like we’re worthy, confident, and capable people when what we do isn’t valued or appreciated. But, don’t fret! We have a lovely little list of things that you can try to help you move through this feeling of discouragement. Unfortunately, overcoming discouragement can take time and work, but with the help of these tips, we know that you can do it: 

1. Reach out for support

If you feel like you can’t dive thru what you’re going through on your own, reach out to someone who can help! Our loved ones are there for a reason! We bet that they’ll be more than happy to lend an ear and give you their advice. If you don’t think that you can tackle your problems on your own, ask if they can help you! Sometimes, having a second brain, extra set of hands, and an open heart is all you need to come out the other side. 

2. Comfort yourself as you would a friend or family member

Be gentle with yourself. You’re trying your hardest and facing the hard shit every. single. day. We applaud you for that! Give yourself a round of applause too. You deserve a little bit of love from yourself. 

3. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing can be a wonderful way to calm down a nervous system that’s working overtime. Try and find a breathing technique that works for you! One of our favourites is called belly breathing. Put your hand on your stomach and inhale a deeeeeeep breath. Feel your stomach push your hand away from your body. Hold it for a second, and then exhale and use your hand as you gently push the air out of your stomach. Keep doing this as many times as you need to ground yourself. 

4. Journal 

Sometimes all we need to do is see our fears and frustrations on a piece of paper. Once we see them in front of us, it’s almost easier to figure out what our next steps will be. We might feel discouraged because we have these negative thoughts rolling around in our heads allll the time! So take a minute to journal and take away their power by putting them on a physical space and taking them out of your sweet little head. 

5. Give yourself a pep talk 

Sometimes all we need to do is hype ourselves up! Think about what you would say to your best friend if they were feeling the way that you do in this moment! Give yourself the pep talk of a lifetime and go crush your goals! 

We know that feeling discouraged is a heavy emotion to carry around. It can feel like it weighs a ton sometimes! But we know that you are one tough cookie who is going to come out stronger than ever before. We hope that this article helped you feel a little less alone and a little more encouraged that you did before. WE LOVE YOU!

Read More: Online Therapy 101, How to Get the Most Value From Your Therapy Appointments,