We’ve all had moments where nothing seems to be going our way. Your day just isn’t working out the way you had hoped it would. In fact, when you really start to think about it, you realize that it’s not just that your day or week or year that isn’t working out: your life isn’t working out. And in realizing this, you begin to spiral downward into the deepest despair. You are quickly entering a place where nothing ever works, no one is ever on your side, you are never good enough, no one understands you, things never fall into place, and disaster strikes at any given moment.

But…may I just suggest that before you turn this despair into a full-blown pity party, you try something first?

Get some perspective.

Believe me, I know that this works from firsthand experience. I have been known to thrown my share of pity parties, and this seems to be the quickest and easiest way to pull myself out of one.

I have found that when I start spinning downward, the universe will bring someone into my life who is currently going through a really rough time or has overcome adversities and come through it all with a great attitude and a healthy perspective.

Meeting someone or hearing a moving story at exactly the right moment is a surefire way to pull yourself out of a downward descent.

Knowing that someone else is truly suffering or has suffered greatly doesn’t take away from your current pain, but it does help you gain perspective around it. And this perspective allows you to ask yourself some probing questions:

1. Are you truly facing devastation or are you being a bit melodramatic?

2. How would this person who has suffered so much handle it?

3. Would they brush it off and look for the positive or would they allow themselves to spiral into oblivion?

4. How important is it for you to continue giving this dark place energy versus moving into a more positive mindset?

5. What are you gaining by having this pity party?

We all go through hard times, and I’m by no means discounting this. What I am saying is that if you have the tendency to create hardship and drama as a way of sabotaging yourself and creating a life that will never be a happy one, it may be time to gain some perspective by pulling yourself out of your own life for a moment and empathizing with someone else who has been through something tragic or overcome great adversities.

I woke up this morning feeling tired and overwhelmed about my life. Running through the checklist and feeling like I’m constantly playing catch up is definitely taking a toll on me.Had I allowed it to, this feeling of fatigue mixed with self doubt about whether I am capable of handling everything on my plate could’ve turned into quite a mess.

But then two things happened. I thought about a person I met recently who has one of the most inspiring stories I have ever heard. I put myself in his shoes for a moment and realized that my problems today of feeling tired and overwhelmed were tiny compared to what he has overcome. And I realized that I could choose to change my attitude and be grateful for all of the wonderful moments that are occurring around me all of the time – I know that this is what he would do.

The second thing that occurred this morning was that I learned about a tragic event that happened to someone I admire greatly. And my empathy and sorrow for her loss immediately pulled me out of my own life and into hers. And when I came back to my life, instead of feeling overwhelmed and tired, I was instead filled with gratitude for all that I have.

If you ever feel yourself spiraling into a full-blown pity party, take a moment to think of someone else who you can empathize with. Pull yourself out of your own pain and move your energy into helping them, feel grateful for how they got through their own struggle, and then bring that gratitude into your own life.

We always have a choice. We can choose to go to our own pity party – complete with self doubt, sadness, and despair or we can choose to go to a much happier party – complete with admiration, empathy, and gratitude. I know which one I want to go to. :)

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her husband, Dan Teck. www.jodichapman.com