Disarming Feelings of Uselessness

Turning Negative Self-Talk into Self-Kindness

Everyone needs to feel like their efforts matter. If you’re struggling with feeling useless, you may have fallen into a rut of only focusing on the negatives in your life and losing sight of the positives. Mental health counselors call this “negative self-talk.” It can feed off rejection, disappointments or making comparisons to other people. Negative self-talk pushes you into a mental feedback loop that can have an impact on your entire hour, day or even your whole week.

Mindtools.com suggests that a great way to break out of the negative self-talk cycle is to first, take a deep breath and move your body. Then, identify the situation and how it affected your mood. Next, rethink and take note of the automatic thoughts that came to mind once the situation presented itself. Finally, find evidence that counters the automatic thoughts that came into your head. This helps provide unbiased clarity on the situation and dissects the inner, automatic self-talk.

  1. Cleansing Breath (at least 3 times)
  2. Observe My Feelings (be specific)
  3. Positive Self-Talk (like I’m my own best friend)
  4. Explanation (make it make sense)

Visit Mindtools for more details.

Dear Future Me….

Another way to disarm a feeling of uselessness is to write a kind letter to your future self. Write out your current accomplishments, what you are proud of and things you have recently overcome (no matter how small). Futureme.org is an easy and free resource to use.

Tips for managing other difficult feelings

Our campaign home page has tips for other common negative emotions or feelings.