Life is a fascinating and complex journey, with peaks of exhilarating joy, valleys of deep sorrow, and all the intricate moments in between.
Inevitably, there are times when the skies seem cloudy, you feel down, and it’s tough to glimpse the sunlight beyond.
When you’re in one of those valleys, remember that it’s okay to feel the way you do. It’s also okay to seek comfort and hope.
So, here are 12 compassionate things to tell yourself when you’re feeling down:
1) “I’m allowed to feel this way.”
When I think back to the times when I’ve felt really down, telling myself (or being told) to “lighten up” or “look at the positives” didn’t help my mood at all.
That’s why it’s important that you acknowledge your feelings and validate the fact that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.
Once you stop battling your emotions and allow them to pass through you, it naturally becomes easier to work through them. So, next time you’re down in the dumps, remember:
It’s okay to feel this way. You’re allowed to be sad if life is tough right now – you’re a human and it’s normal to feel this way.
2) “I’ve faced and overcome challenges before.”
But if you’d rather not dwell on the sadness, you could give yourself a motivational boost by remembering all the times you’ve overcome adversity before!
The truth is, drawing upon past experiences is a great way to give yourself hope. A reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Even if you’ve not been in the exact same situation before, you’ll no doubt have picked up valuable skills such as resilience and perseverance from facing other issues in the past.
Dig deep and find those skills once again. Remind yourself of how badass you can be and you’ll tackle your problems with a renewed sense of energy and strength.
3) “I won’t feel this way forever.”
This is one of my personal favorite affirmations when I’m feeling sad.
I just love the reminder that our emotions aren’t permanent and that no matter how crap I feel today, tomorrow is a fresh start.
So, when you’re feeling down, I suggest telling yourself that you won’t feel that way forever.
Just like the weather, when it’s been raining for a week, it’s good to remind yourself that sunnier days are coming!
4) “I’m enough, just as I am.”
Sometimes we feel down because of external factors, and other times because we’re feeling inadequate about ourselves.
If you’re sad because you don’t feel like you fit in, or you’ve not got a “hot” Instagram-worthy figure, or your partner left you, remind yourself that you are enough.
With all your flaws and imperfections, you are still magnificent. How do I know that without meeting you?
Because within us all resides a touch of magic, and it’s this distinctiveness that makes every single one of us remarkable in our own special way!
5) “I’m a work in progress.”
When you’ve had a tough day at work or an argument with your family, it’s easy to blame yourself for missing a deadline or overreacting to a touchy comment.
But rather than beat yourself up over it, recognize that you’re constantly evolving.
You’re going to make mistakes. But you’re also going to learn from them.
And by reminding yourself that you’re a work in progress, it gets easier to forgive the slip-ups and mistakes of everyday life.
6) “This too shall pass.”
Quite similarly to point 3, this next phrase is great for when you’re in the middle of the storm and it seems like it’ll never end.
I promise you, it will. It might not be tomorrow, it might not even be next week.
But at some point, this bad patch in your life will become a distant memory.
Just thinking that from time to time can help you look towards the future and feel reassured that you’re not stuck in this situation forever.
7) “I can ask for help.”
Now, another important thing to tell yourself when you’re feeling down is that it’s okay to lean on others.
You don’t have to go through whatever you’re experiencing alone. As the old saying goes:
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Let yourself know that in your most vulnerable moments, it’s okay to ask for help. You’ll feel less alone and talking to a good friend or family member could do wonders in lifting your mood.
8) “I’m in control of my reactions.”
Recently, my boyfriend has been having a tough time with his family. They’re pushing all the right buttons and it’s been incredibly upsetting for him.
But, as his therapist reminded him, only he is in control of his reactions. He could react to every little thing they say, or he could learn to walk away and put his well-being first.
So, when you’re feeling down about a crappy situation, make the active choice to rise above it and focus on yourself more than the people around you.
In other words, don’t feed into misery. By taking back control of yourself, you can also improve your mood.
9) “My mistakes don’t define me.”
Here’s the thing – it’s normal to feel upset when you mess up. We all do. Unless you’re a sociopath.
And you’re clearly not otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article!
So, when you feel down because you made a bad decision, just remember, your mistakes don’t make you, you.
Neither do your emotions.
You’re so much more than that. Try to see your mistakes as learning blocks and reflect on them, but don’t let them drag you down.
10) “Every setback is a setup for a comeback.”
Following on from that point, here’s another phrase I like to use when feeling down.
Every time you mess up an interview or screw up a relationship, it’s just an opportunity to bounce back stronger, having learned from your errors.
And put it this way, people in successful jobs or relationships have had their fair share of setbacks. If they stopped there, they wouldn’t be where they are now.
Instead, they choose to build upon each hurdle until they’re resilient enough to face anything.
And you can do that too.
Allow yourself to feel down (it’s normal, after all) but then pick yourself back up and keep going – that’s all any of us can do in life.
11) “I have the power to change my situation.”
Sometimes when we’re feeling down it’s easy to also feel hopeless.
You can’t find a way out of the funk you’re in. That’s okay, I’ve been there too.
But one thing that really helps me is to remember that I CAN change my situation, no matter how hard it seems.
And even if I can’t physically do something about it, I can change my attitude and reaction to it. Or take myself out for the day. Or reach out to a friend for help.
Ultimately, when you start focusing on solutions rather than the issues keeping you miserable, you start to realize that there are many steps you can take to make small improvements in your life.
12) “I’m stronger than I think.”
And finally, remember how strong you are.
A bad mood or a tough patch in life can leave you thinking that you’re weak, unable to change or improve.
But that’s not true. That’s the doubt and fear speaking.
You absolutely are stronger than you think, and you can get through these feelings of sadness.
But above all, focussing on your strengths can be a brilliant way to boost your mood.
So, we’ve covered 12 things to tell yourself when you’re feeling down. Keep this list handy whenever you might need it.
And remember, be kind to yourself. We all go through ups and downs but that’s the beautiful thing about life – nothing is forever, and better times are always ahead!