If you want to be happy and successful, “I hate my life” is a feeling you can’t allow to persist.
Like me and many others, you’ve likely experienced moments of extreme pain, frustration or anger that made you hate yourself.
Perhaps this feeling of hopelessness still persists, and you’ve all but given up hope for a happier life.
As cliche as it may sound, life is hard. From growing up and working to paying bills, having and raising kids, and dealing with relationship issues, no one goes through it unscathed.
Oprah, Robert Downey Jr., and Jim Carrey all spent a better part of their early lives broke, depressed, and overwhelmed by a myriad of personal challenges until they made a commitment to lift themselves out of their misery and create the success they enjoy today.
You too will endure. No matter your circumstances, there are techniques and methods you can cultivate to get through life’s ebbs and flows with grace, dignity, and stability.
This guide teaches you those techniques so that you will rarely, if ever, utter the words “I hate my life” in earnest.
17 Ways To Overcome Your “I Hate My Life” Phase
The following science-backed tips will bring more happiness and joy into your life, but they are not something you practice once and then forget.
To truly transform your life, you must live by them like you breathe air. Make the commitment right now to lift yourself out of your misery, and promise that you will not waste another second wallowing in self-pity, self loathing, or any other negative emotion.
1. Whose Life Are You Really Living?
If you find yourself saying “I hate my life” frequently, it could be because you’re not following your own path. You’ve probably been living a life someone else set for you, be it your parents, significant other, or society.
According to Dr. Robert Firestone, author of The Self Under Siege, in order to have the life you want, you have to ‘differentiate’ your real wants, goals and desires from undesirable outside influences.
He outlines four important steps:
- Break with destructive thoughts and attitudes toward yourself that you internalized based on painful early life experiences.
- Recognize and change negative personality traits resulting from the negative traits of your parents, caregivers, or other influential figures.
- Identify and address the psychological defenses you developed to cope with the pain and distress you experienced growing up.
- Instead of automatically accepting the beliefs you grew up with, develop your own values, ideals, and beliefs.
How to stop hating your life? Free yourself from destructive social and familial programming you might have received in childhood. Find your real goals and desires, and pursue them.
2. What Are You Saying to Yourself?
It’s not just our life circumstances that determine our happiness and success. The things you tell yourself about those circumstances play an even bigger role.
Don’t underestimate your thoughts and words in shaping your reality. If left unchecked, your critical inner voice will undermine and sabotage every good thing you have going for you.
Don’t let your merciless inner critic bully you. Fight back!
Making a conscious effort to identify and challenge it will give you more mental clarity and confidence to find a solution to your problems and help rid you of worry, anxiety or depression.
How to stop hating your life? Be nice to yourself. If you find your self-talk running along negative lines, exercise your power to change the subject and think along more positive and constructive lines.
3. Are You Getting Good Sleep?
Although lack of sleep affects people in different ways and to different degrees, lower energy, poorer cognitive function, and less optimal cardiovascular health are symptoms that are universal to everyone.
Sleep also has a significant impact on mood, with many people feeling irritable, short tempered, and more easily stressed when they don’t get enough of it.
Increased episodes of anxiety, sadness, and depression are also common, and you are likely to feel more suicidal if you have a propensity for suicidal ideation.
Basically, sleep deprivation affects every area of your life in a profoundly negative way, which is why you need to make good quality sleep your top priority.
You may even want to get a medical check up to see if your sleep problem is the result of an underlying medical issue.
How to stop hating your life? Get enough quality sleep: See how much sleep you normally get, and take steps to go to bed earlier and sleep for longer.
4. Are You Eating Healthy?
Our brain and gut are connected. In fact, about 95% of our serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, inhibit pain, and mediate mood — is produced in our gut.
Your stomach and intestines — more specifically, the good bacteria that protect them and break down food — literally guide your emotions, and they don’t like ultra-processed foods.
Studies comparing traditional diets like the Mediterranean diet to a typical “Western” diet show that those who eat a traditional diet have a 25% to 35% lower risk of depression.
So the next time you find yourself screaming “I hate my life” at the top of your lungs, it’s probably your gut telling you to drop the bag of chips and eat something healthier.
How to stop hating your life? Mind your gut. Adopting a healthy diet consisting of whole foods can drastically improve your mood and your attitude towards life.
5. How Often Do You Exercise?
Exercise, good sleep, and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand. All three essential for a holistically healthy life.
Exercise is such a powerful mood booster that it can be as good as drugs and medication in treating depression.
In a famous study conducted by Duke University, researchers found that physical exercise alone had an almost 90% recovery rate for people with depression.
By comparison, the control groups, which were either on medication alone or a combination of medication and exercise, had a recovery rate of only 50%-60%.
The good news is that you don’t have to join a fancy gym to get quality exercise. There are many great at-home workouts for you to do, and simply going for a long walk or running around the block can oftentimes do the trick.
How to stop hating your life? Emotion is energy in motion, so get moving! Some exercise is better than no exercise, but the more you do, the better.
6. Do You Practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing, thinking and feeling at the moment without distraction or judgment. It teaches us how to let go of negative thoughts.
As a type of meditation (mental exercise), mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, fight depression and anxiety, improve insomnia, and alleviate physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
There are many different types of mindfulness exercises, and some are as simple as focusing on your breathing or going for a long slow walk where you focus on the experience of walking.
How to stop hating your life? Be mindful of your experiences. Mindfulness meditation can help you acknowledge negative thoughts and feelings as momentary states that will pass like the night turns into day.
7. Do You Talk To People?
An 80-year long Harvard study that looked at the health and well-being of 268 students over the course of their lives found that having strong relationships greatly helps protect against mental and physical decline.
In fact, the researchers concluded that close social relationships, especially strong friendships, are a better predictor of a person’s happiness than social class, IQ, genes, or money, and strengthen the brain in the same way that exercise strengthens the body.
Talking about your problems with others can be therapeutic. If you don’t have a strong social network, consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group.
How to stop hating your life? Too much alone time can be unhealthy. Spending time with people is paramount to a happy, healthier life.
8. Remove Negative People From Your Life
Although it’s important to spend time with others, you have to make sure you’re dealing with quality people..
Oftentimes, we feel obligated to interact with the family we’re born into, longtime friends, and romantic partners, but these individuals can sometimes be more toxic and dangerous to our self-esteem than our inner critic.
They criticize, “tell it as it is”, remind us why we’re always wrong and why they are right, and, god forbid, act two-faced. How can such behavior not make anyone want to scream “I hate my life”?
Just like how you must challenge and silence your inner critic, you must get these negative people out of your life, lest you want your health, happiness, and fulfillment to suffer.
How to stop hating your life? Choose to be around people who appreciate and support you. Completely cut out the toxic ones, or at the very least, minimize your contact with them.
9. Reward Yourself For Small Victories
Hating your life can literally be exhausting. It drains the energy out of you until you’re nothing more than an lazy and aimless vegetable who binges Netflix TV shows for days on end.
A good way to raise your spirits can be to treat yourself once in a while, especially for your accomplishments — any accomplishment!
Most people take success to mean a massive achievement such as selling a company for a million dollars. But what they fail to realize is that every big success is composed of a long sequence of smaller victories and successes.
Learning the first few words of a new foreign language is a success, as is baking your first-ever cake or teaching yourself an interesting new skill for your career or business.
Life is too short to deny yourself some fun and enjoyment. Visit that country you’ve always wanted to, grab a nice meal with your friends once in a while, and get that massage, because god knows you deserve it.
How to stop hating your life? Whatever goal you have set for yourself, don’t deny yourself the small wins. Only noticing the failures will not allow you to see and take joy in the progress you’ve made.
10. Are You Grateful For What You Have?
“How can I be grateful for anything in my life when I hate my life,” you ask? I’ll tell you how.
Rather than looking at your life as one indistinguishable whole, break it down into its constituent parts. Doing this makes it easier to identify and love some parts, while hating other parts.
Broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Be grateful that you can once again do the things you couldn’t when you were together. Hate your job? Be thankful that it pays the rent or is a stepping stone to bigger and better things, whether or not you know what those things are.
No matter how absurd, trivial or even funny it may seem, finding one thing — anything! — that you can be grateful for about your current situation can greatly help improve your mood and outlook on life.
How to stop hating your life? Practice gratitude. Look at the different constituents of your life with a more objective lens to see what you really have going for you.
11. Do You Pay It Forward And Help Others?
The life-enhancing benefits of volunteering and helping others is multifold.
First, when you help someone in need, it takes the focus away from your challenges, allowing you to look at life from a different, possibly more sobering perspective.
Second, the social contact aspect of helping and working with others helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety, and combat depression.
Remember, nothing makes a person happier than meaningful connections with other people.
Third, being helpful to others and your community can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment that increases your self-confidence and possibly help you find new meaning and direction in your life.
Finally, volunteering helps you stay physically active and healthy. People who volunteer tend to have lower mortality than those who do not.
How to stop hating your life? Make it a hobby to help others. Not only can it be a source of immense pleasure, but it will also make you more resilient by improving your mental and physical health.
12. Do You Realize Your Personal Power?
Self-agency, or “personal agency”, is the sense of feeling in control of your actions and the consequences they have on your life. You can’t pursue self-actualization or become a completely self-actualized person without it.
Whether or not you believe in free will, there is no denying that you have some control over your decisions, actions and, therefore, life circumstances. Having a victim mentality will only make your suffering worse.
No one is responsible for your happiness, so assume responsibility for it. Developing greater agency can help you make important life decisions and feel less overwhelmed, stuck, and hopeless.
How to stop hating your life? By realizing the many ways you have power over your life, you gain more strength, resilience, and inner stability to face and overcome any challenge.
Why ‘I Hate My Life’ Isn’t a Permanent Feeling
So there you have — 12 helpful, science-backed tips to help you stop hating your life.
If you often find yourself hating your life, chances are you’re going through some trying times that make it seem as if the odds are stacked against you and nothing you do can change that.
But however difficult your situation, there is always hope. Just don’t give up!
By realizing that you have the power to change your circumstances and taking action, whatever you’re going through will pass.
The catalyst for change can be one of many things or a combination of several, but you must take action to realize the happier, more prosperous and fulfilling life you deserve.
Applying these tips on a regular and consistent basis can improve your life so dramatically that you will seldom, if ever, say to yourself “I hate my life.”