The Reality of Losing Yourself in Life
Having a sense of purpose is imperative for mental stability and finding meaning in life.
We are living in an age of uncertainty, globalization, and rapid technological advancements. These forces impact our lives more than ever before.
We are losing our grip on the world around us, and in some cases, on ourselves.
The phrase “finding oneself” typically refers to the process of discovering one’s true identity or purpose in life.
This is not easy when it feels like the world has become too big for one person to understand.
Yet, in today’s ever-changing world, we can still find peace and balance. And if you are feeling lost, you can learn to rediscover yourself by using the following 20 tips. Nonetheless, feeling lost and confused is a difficult place to be in.
Remember you are not alone and many people are feeling the same way. Yet, by taking action, you can change your mindset and perspective and move toward a feeling of wholehearted living.
20 Best Tips for When You are Feeling Lost:
#1 Go for a Walk Alone
One of the best things to do when you are having negative feelings is to get outside. Going for a walk can clear your head and help you feel more upbeat and happy.
Set a timer and walk for 15 minutes each day, specifically if you are feeling down. Make it a daily habit and add more time as you build up stamina.
#2 Write down thoughts and ideas
If you are having negative feelings, it is best to process your feelings and release them. You can do this by journaling your thoughts and keeping track of your moods.
Start to learn what makes you feel happy and what causes feelings of stress and/or loneliness. Use your journal as a self-reflection guide to help you determine what you need more of in your life and what you need to cut back on.
Processing your feelings will help you let go of anger, anxiety, and resentment and restore peace and balance in your mind.
#3 Personal creative time
What creative activities do you enjoy? Can you make more time for them? According to a recent Neilson study, the average American watches over five hours of television per day. That’s almost a full-time job.
If you are wondering where you will find time for creativeness? You can start by turning off the t.v. and putting away your devices. In fact, a digital detox will help you feel better all around because devices are very addictive and create a feedback loop in our brain, making us think we need them. Yet, often these are forms of numbing our feelings and used to pass the time.
Why not use that extra time doing something creative?
Yes, your time would be better spent doing something that stimulates creativity. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:
- clay molding
- adult coloring
- graphic design
- model cars
- play an instrument
There are just a few ideas. Find something you enjoy and don’t wait. Start doing it today.
Journaling is a great form of expression when you are feeling lost. You can use a guided journal to start understanding yourself better and creating a clear direction for your life.
Often I hear the excuse, I am too old or it is too late to find purpose or change. These are, in fact, just excuses. The best time to start is now. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you start on your journey. Did you know the oldest person to become a doctor was 66 years young? (source oldest.org)
If he can do it, why not you? (Of course, I don’t mean for you to become a doctor right this minute, but whatever your own goals are fill in the blank page…) -You get my point. Your life is a blank book, no matter what age you just happen to be.
So use your journal to start finding yourself. In fact, I offer a free guided journal to get you started. You can sign up for your journal freebie here!
The key to finding out what you want to do is to use guided journaling and reread and reflect on what you wrote. Find areas you enjoy about yourself and cultivate them.
#5 Get More Sleep
One reason you may be feeling down is due to your sleep patterns. Hence, one of the best ways to feel good about yourself and happier is to get enough sleep. However, most of us are slightly addicted to our phones in this digital era. We even use phones/tablets to read before bed not realizing we are in turn, messing with our brain’s circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle) by looking at blue light before bedtime.
If you are having difficulty sleeping or do not feel well-rested when you wake up, try reading a real, physical book with dim lights or a reading light only pointing to the book for one week and see how you feel. My guess is you will sleep better. In fact, I know this because I have tested it myself. I was having my own sleep issues and I stopped watching my big screen and looking at Facebook or Kindle App at least two hours before bed. My sleep has improved drastically.
Give it a try.
Other ideas for better sleep include the following:
- black out curtains
- sleep mask
- comfortable pillow
- lavendar spray
- soothing quiet music
- meditating before bed
- warm bath before bed
Find ways to train your brain to know it is time to start winding down. Don’t do anything extremely excitable for at least an hour before you are ready to go off to dreamland.
#6 Spend Time With Friends
Humans are social by nature. Find people that are uplifting and hang out with them more often.
Also, try to rid your social calendar of toxic people. If you are feeling lost and down, you don’t need to add any negativity to your life.
This can be easier said than done, but it is normal to lose friends on your path to self-improvement.
One way to feel good about yourself is to help others. Find a local shelter you can volunteer for or take some food to a food pantry. You can start small, but you will notice after helping others how good you feel about yourself.
Try to make this a weekly, if not a daily practice. Do something kind every day.
#8 Find Your Spiritual Self
Being spiritual or mindful can give you positivity. I’m not suggesting joining a religion if that is not your thing. However, I do go to church and I find peace and solace in praying with others.
Yet, you can also learn meditation and enhance positive vibes in your life.
Searching for a bigger meaning can help with feelings of being lost and confused in life. Finding a great purpose can give you a sense of direction and flow in your own life.
So try a few churches out and see which one suits you, or join a meditative class or yoga retreat. Connect your energy with other humans.
#9 Spend Time in Nature
The natural world is a source of healing, beauty, and connection. Spending time in nature can have many health benefits.
Nature brings solitude and peace.
According to a 2015 study in Science Direct, after spending 50 minutes on a nature walk, as opposed to a “city walk” taken by other random participants, the nature dwellers showed a decrease in anxiety, rumination, and negative affect and increase in positive affect. The “nature walkers” also had increased cognitive function.
Benefits of spending time in nature include:
- Reduced levels of depression and anxiety
- Increased creativity
- Increased self-esteem
- Better memory function
- Enhanced immune system
- better cognitive function
So if you are feeling down, find a nature trail or go for a hike. You can bring a friend or go alone if you are looking for quiet time. Enjoy the beauty of nature and breath fresh air.
#10 Have a Good Cry
If you are feeling lost, it is okay to cry. It is okay to process your feelings of confusion. Sometimes having a good cry allows us to process and release our feeling so we can then move forward and make a change.
Nonetheless, if we continue to hold on to negative feelings they become a weight and a hindrance when we want to change the patterns in our behaviors.
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#11 Pick Yourself Up
Once you have processed and released your feelings, you can begin to pick yourself up and make the desired change. To not feel overwhelmed, start small.
Your micro-habits will eventually affect how you live your life. Try to get at least five minutes of exercise, right when you wake up in the morning. Then make your bed. You will feel a sense of accomplishment, right when you wake up, setting your day up for success.
Also start drinking water first thing in the morning. This will help your brain function better and you will be able to conquer tasks that will move you forward toward your goals.
#12 Find What You Enjoy
Pay attention to things that give you joy and of course, do more of whatever you love. If you find hanging out with a certain person brings you joy, set up a coffee date soon.
If you find walking in nature brings you joy, set a date with yourself a few times per week (or even daily if time allows) to give yourself that feeling of contentment.
When you feel joyful feelings, write down what you were doing and continue to do more of it.
#13 Treat Yourself
Life is not fun if you always feel deprived. Treat yourself and do it often.
These treats do not have to break the bank. Just reward yourself for small progress. Perhaps you can buy yourself a small luxury such as a $5 lotion or a $5 coffee at the end of the week.
Don’t blow your budget, if you are low on cash, but find a small way you can feel rewarded and taken care of. You deserve it.
Also, try saving a small amount of money each week for travel. Often people feel they are missing out when they do not experience all the beauty the world has to offer. Set a small amount of money and set a goal for a small trip or if you have more money, take a great vacation. In this way, you always have something to look forward to.
#14 Leave Toxicity Behind
Do you hang around toxic people? Are you sometimes toxic yourself? It is best to recognize these patterns and become self-aware.
If you often feel victimized by the people you hang around and you notice a pattern of friendships with people that are not loyal to you, lie, break plans, or put you down, it is time to find some new friends.
After soul searching to find things you love and are passionate about, find groups with like-minded people and start building new friendships.
Yet, if you are someone that does these things to others, realizing you have an issue can bring about change.
The next time you blow off a friend, think about why you are doing things. Don’t make plans with people if you don’t intend to keep them. Be honest if you are too busy.
If you notice you are often putting others down, whether intentional or not, try holding your tongue and having self-discipline. Becoming self-away will help you bring about change and leave toxicity a thing of the past.
#15 Eat Well
Keeping a healthy diet will help your body run more smoothly and leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. If you often eat fast food or processed foods, you are depriving your body of crucial vitamins and minerals you need for energy and health.
Try cutting back on processed foods and start by putting at least one healthy fruit or veggie into your diet per week. Try eating the fruit or veggie first, so your body is satiated with healthy foods before you are full.
If you swap out some of your unhealthy snacks for healthier ones, you will make small changes. Eventually, you can skip the junk food altogether.
Exercise helps boost your mood and leaves you feeling happier. When you work out, you increase serotonin levels in the brain – the happiness chemical.
Working out daily has added health benefits, will help you reach your weight goals, and will also help you sleep better.
Even if you can only squeeze in a 15-minute walk, it is better than no exercise at all.
#17 Listen to Upbeat Music
Music can also boost your mood. Find a playlist that makes you feel happy and motivated. Use it while you work out or dance around your living room if you are feeling down. You will have an instant uplift in your mood.
#18 Phone a Friend
Humans are social beings. Talking with others, whether to vent or just to enjoy someone else’s company will help you feel happier and less lonely. It is important to have a few good friends you can call when you need to talk or just want to hear someone else’s voice.
If you are feeling like you don’t have these people in your life, join some groups and start building friendships. It won’t happen overnight, but try to find people you have a lot in common with and will have many things to talk about.
#19 Get Some Sun
Sunlight is your friend. I live in Michigan and we go through a harsh winter with little sunlight for months. It affects your mood after a while.
So make a point to get outside on those bright days. Take a walk and get some vitamin D.
#20 Organize Things
Clutter blocks creativity and happiness. In fact, when we hold on to things, it is often a sign of procrastination and indecision.
Nonetheless, if you are living in clutter, deciding where you want to be or go in life will be more difficult. Try organizing one area of your house each day and if you are feeling overwhelmed ask for help. You can try a professional organizer or ask family or friends to help you declutter.
This one thing can help you find clarity in your life and make it easier to work on yourself and achieve your goals.
#21 Positive Thoughts, My Friend
Have you tried affirmations? You can literally change your thoughts by jotting down a few positive affirmations and taping them to your mirror or wherever you get ready in the morning. Say these things every day and you will start to believe them. Say them before you go to bed. Start and end your day on a positive note.
Here are a few you can try to get started:
- I am worthy of happiness.
- I am right where I am mean to be in life.
- I am a light for all who know me.
- Abundance is flowing through me.
- I am enough.
What to do When You Are Feeling Lost Final Thoughts…
When you are feeling lost, use the above tips to help you work through your feelings. Make sure to process your feeling and then try to find things that cultivate joy in your life and decrease toxicity. Find groups with like-minded people and make new friends that are loyal and listen. Be creative and find things that motivate you such as upbeat music. Stay healthy by exercising and eating well. You will notice some changes in your mood and feelings. Journal your changes and check progress on your goals. Keep moving forward each and every day.