I'm excited to post the next installment of our All-Star Single Panel to answer the question of the month from one of our readers! Don't forget you can email your questions at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUESTION from a reader:When life is at its most difficult, you feel like you've used all of your options to make it better, and your energy towards life is low, how do you get going again? How do you re-convince yourself that life is interesting and beautiful?
ANSWERS from our panel:
Ben is single and a super amazing guy living in Arlington, VA.
Your situation in life is not going to be interesting and beautiful all the time. Maybe not even most of the time. But even if your situation seems far below your expectations, life is always full of possibilities. There is always room for hope for a better future. I think the key is to figure what out you can do right now to bring that future closer to reality and stop worrying about the things that are beyond your control. If you truly have no control over your situation, then the last thing you have control of is your attitude towards the present circumstances. As challenging (or even irrational) as it might seem, you may simply have to chose to to see things differently.
Sharon is single and an incredible woman living and working as a Nutritional Health Coach in St. George, UT.
Add to that losing the love of your life, and that was me six months ago. Of course, I had felt this way at times in my life many times before to certain degrees, but THIS was that feeling times ten, with a heavy dose of deep sadness and heart break. I'm not trying to get any sympathy out of you (I am now a stronger person as a result and grateful for the experience) but trust me, I am very familiar with this. I had to fight my way out of that hole.
This is what I've learned over the years, especially recently: (and this will be an answer ya'll probably would never guess...)
1. For people who feel this way often, the first thing I would look at is diet, sugar and carbs mainly. I've worked as a nutritionist for 11 years now, but have studied it extensively for about 20 years now. Blood sugar is often the source of sadness, fatigue, lack of motivation and lots more.
2. Hormones. This is tied closely to the first answer, but if fixing the diet doesn't do it, there's a bigger problem, and you need to get a full panel test done on to test deficiencies, but mainly cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, etc.. depending on your gender. This has A LOT to do with your state of mind. Trust me, I've experienced it.
3. How much of your life is just work and existing and how much of it are you excited about and engaged in? What helps you feel like you want to get out of bed each day? If you don't have that in your life, go out and find it!! There are an endless amount of things to do. I can't imagine being bored and uninterested ever again. If it's refinishing furniture, making jewelry, hiring a coach to learn how to play a sport you've always wanted to be better at, traveling, etc, etc, etc...I have an adorable elderly neighbor who is lonely and depressed, and when I visit her, it puts a smile on her face and I leave feeling grateful for my youth and feel determined to not waste it. If you don't know exactly where to start, just start! Read lots of books that give you good advice and ideas. I've benefited immeasurably from reading great books.
4. Remember: IT'S NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD. It can be physical/chemical a lot more than you would ever guess or are aware of. Ask a lot of questions, find a good nutritionist, contact me if you want to. Happiness is out there in abundance waiting for each of us to find it.
Todd is a totally awesome single guy living in New York, New York.
This is a hard question to answer because I'm not sure I ever cease to believe that life is interesting and beautiful. That very fact is what often keeps me going. Oscar Wilde once said that the purpose of life is that it ends. Or to quote another man of questionable morals: "Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon." - Woody Allen. I'm of a similar faith. I believe that life is almost never not worth the living of it. Sure, there are times when life seems to suck, but it rarely actually does--particularly if you are an American of a certain socio-economic class. Man has a tremendous ability to manufacture discomforts or ills. If we were to solve all the problems we believe we have, we would only generate or discover new problems to take their place. I do not mean to demean those who have true cause for suffering, those who have lost loved ones, those who face immense physical pain. This suffering is the price that, at some point, we are all asked to pay for living, for loving, and it is, I believe, a small price, one that few would forgo if given the choice to instead not have lived at all. In those moments when I seem to lose hope, I work to remind myself that, for most of us, satisfaction is at our fingertips; we need only realize that there is nothing lacking and the whole world belongs to us. For the small number of us for whom this is truly not possible, may the end (or appropriate medication) come swiftly.
Heather is a familiar face on this blog! She's a remarkable single woman living in Washington, Utah.
I think the two greatest commandments hold an answer to pretty much every important question: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Here's how I would translate these commands...
First, be kind to yourself. Do things that express your value and make you feel light-hearted. It's surprising how much even just buying a 99 cent ice cream cone and going to a free museum can remind you of your own humanity. Get out of the house and go where there are people...I think it helps you to get out of your head. Be creative every day in whatever small way you can. Love yourself. This is necessary.
Second, be kind to others. Serve. Volunteer. Pray for someone. Think about someone who needs you. Love your neighbor. It works. It really, really works.
And third, be grateful. It's one of the truest ways to express love for God. His blessings are endless and remembering them expands your heart and your vision. Also, I know from experience that promptings come more easily with an open, grateful heart. He cannot reach you if you are not reaching for Him.
- Keep an eye out for the final installment of this round of our All-Star Panel! LDS therapist, Tiffanie Williams, will answers our reader's question in an upcoming post.