Dear Angelo,

The world seems to be in chaos, not to mention I'm in a bit of a personal crisis myself. How can I feel good again instead of hopeless?,

Signed, Lost Lad

Dear Angelo,

The world seems to be in chaos, not to mention I'm in a bit of a personal crisis myself. How can I feel good again instead of hopeless?

Signed, Lost Lad


Dear Lost Lad,

Even life's darkest moments can be faced with an attitude of gratitude, if not for the crisis itself, for the growth it evokes. No matter what's going on in your life right now you can be thankful you're alive; that you can walk, see, and hear; that you have a roof over your head; clothes on your back. These are often viewed as small things we take for granted, yet they are big miracles to be grateful for. For some people are dead, ill, disabled, or homeless.

Rather than fight the impossible, you can choose to surrender. Surrender doesn't mean submission. It means you stop trying to change what is. Carl Jung said, what you resist persists. And research has backed up that avoidance of emotional pain is related to more psychological complaints. In other words, pushing something away only gets you more of it. So move towards the problem.

Accept the fact of your situation. Acceptance doesn't mean you have to like or settle for things as they are. But wallowing in a negative mindset won't change the situation. If there's any action to take, take it. But after you've done all you can do, let it go. Give it up. Turn it over.

Then you can embrace the truth of where you are, trusting it will get better. Farmers face droughts every so often, but very good years follow with bountiful harvests. You must believe things can get better. This means having, in a word, hope. Serenity isn't absence from the storm. It's keeping your sense of peace amid the storm.

Meanwhile, you can focus on doing something good for yourself; something nurturing for your body, mind, or spirit. You may be powerless to alter your situation, but you're not helpless. Rather than worry, having already done all you can do, do something to treat yourself well. Maybe go for a walk, exercise, listen to music, visit with a friend, get a hug, massage, eat, rest, take a bubble bath, read, meditate, or pray. When you take good care of yourself, you're more able to deal with life's challenges.

Yes, you can cultivate feeling good, even amid crisis.

All The Best, Angelo. http://www.askangelo.com