It’s hard to keep your chin up when you feel like the world is coming down around you. Whether it’s something really serious or just a funk, we all experience times when it feels like a dark cloud is hanging over our heads.

Although these feelings are natural, lingering there too long can lead to other issues. Left unchecked, prolonged sadness can lead to depression, withdrawal, or even thoughts of suicide.

When it starts to feel like everything sucks, the sooner you take steps to turn your life around, the better off you’ll be. The following six steps will help you take an honest look at what’s really going on in your life and address it with positive coping methods.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Ignoring the way you feel isn’t going to make anything better. The first step to turning around your mood is acknowledging it in the first place. Although avoiding your negative feelings may help you feel better in the short-term, they rarely go away on their own. Fail to address them, and they will come back with a vengeance.

Instead of suppressing your emotions, go someplace where you can be alone and let them all pour out. Give yourself permission to be angry, frustrated, sad, or enraged. Experience these feelings to their fullest. Yell, cry, or hit a pillow if you need to. Spend hours journaling until you’ve exhausted yourself. Only after you’ve gone through the emotions can you step back with a clear head and really see the deeper issues.

2. Give Up the Victim Role

You may not always have the power to control what’s happening around you, but you can control how you react to it. Stop thinking about how life happens to you, and instead, think how it happens for you.

Ask yourself if there’s any way you can control the situation. If not, how can you reframe it? Are there any life lessons you can take from the experience? How can you use it to grow and become a better person?

3. Decide If It’s Really Your Problem

Ask yourself whether what is bothering you is truly worthy of the emotions it’s creating. Is it possible that you’re overthinking or over-reacting?

Many times, we take to heart situations that don’t need to have a direct impact on our lives. You weren’t meant to carry the world’s problems on your shoulders, and trying to do so will almost always leave you feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Take an objective look at the problem and decide if it’s really yours. If it’s not, then let it go.

4. Refuse to Settle

If you’re in a situation that’s making you feel depressed, you don’t have to stay there. It’s true that making a change will probably be scary. In fact, might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It may take you a long time to turn your life around, but you do have the power to take action, one day at a time.

Don’t accept a lifetime of dealing with a situation that’s making you unhappy. Refuse to settle and you’ll be surprised at how your life starts to change. Believe there’s an answer out there, and, eventually, it will come for you.

5. Trust in Yourself

Shut down that annoying voice in your head that tries to tell you life is over, things will never get better, or this is just how things go for you. This constant stream of negative inner dialogue is your worst enemy. When you start to think this way, ask yourself if you would say the same things to a friend or loved one going through a similar situation. If the answer is no, then stop doing it to yourself.

Once you’ve silenced the negative voice in your head, enjoy the peace and quiet. This creates space for a new voice to emerge. Soon, you’ll be able to hear the one that was quietly whispering all along, trying to tell you that you’re stronger than you think.

6. Create an Action Plan to Turn Your Life Around

Once you’ve examined the source of your negative feelings, it’s time to figure out what you can do to make it better. Sometimes, the answer is painfully obvious. Other times, it can take weeks, months, or even years of soul-searching before you start to see the light. Life-shifting changes rarely happen overnight.

Brainstorm ideas until you come up with a plan to turn your life around. Write it down and beak it into baby steps. Sometimes just going through this process is enough to make you feel better. If you can, go one step further by taking action on the very first baby step. Embracing your power and making things happen is the best way to start climbing your way out of a funk and turning your life around for good.

Did you enjoy this post? There’s lots more where this came from! Follow me on Facebook so you never miss a thing!

Originally published at