Going from Happy to Hopeless…and Back

August 24, 2021


On this show...we are examining the pendulum swing; going from happy to hopeless...and back. This swing could play out over a lifetime or it could feel like it happens in an instant, over and over. Emotions are a tricky thing and unique to you. We aren’t talking about what is “normal” we are talking about what’s going on with you or someone you know. The good thing about a swing is that it will come around again so in some cases it’s about weathering the storm, reaching out for support and comfort, and trusting in your ability to right the ship. Ultimately, YOU have power over your thoughts and reactions, and even when it feels like you’ve lost all control and your emotional rollercoaster is taking too long in the dips, you still have options. Just recognizing that this isn’t the way you want to live is the first step...on this show, we’ll talk through the others.

So let’s check in with ourselves and be honest, how fast does your pendulum swing? Today we are talking about Happy to Hopeless but you might find calm to anxious, sweet to sour, agreeable to angry...you fill in the blanks. Your emotions are anything but even keel, calm, or consistent. 

All those highs and lows have left you wondering what the heck is going on and feeling like a mess. Must be the way you’re wired right? Something you learned from the people who demonstrated that kind of behavior first or as a result of something or someone. 

Most of us accept and justify our own behavior blaming others or promise to work on it someday. Or better yet, claim to be “working on it” without a clue as to why or how. As a result, one minute you’re on top of the world, loving life, and the next thing you know, nothing is going right now or ever will. 

To be clear, I am in no way making light of depression or acting as if “choosing happy” is the answer. Hopefully, we will touch on all points to give some new insight. But if you’re listening and feeling hopeless and unable to find a way out - please reach out, there are resources that will help get you through this dark time in your life. Don’t suffer in silence. 

Maybe this is a new and confusing time in your life and you’re still trying to figure out what you’re dealing with.

Jennifer Barry helps clarify with:  Common symptoms of depression: What to know in her article for medicalnewstoday.com

Exerts from the content

While anyone can experience some of these symptoms from time to time, a doctor will only diagnose depression when a certain cluster of symptoms appear, and they persist for 2 weeks or longer.

  1. Feeling sad or empty
  2. Feeling hopeless or helpless
  3. Feeling worthless
  4. Feeling excessively guilty
  5. No interest or pleasure in activities
  6. Anger and irritability6. Anger and irritability
  7. Feeling tired and a loss of energy
  8. Insomnia or lack of sleep
  9. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  10. Lack of appetite
  11. Overeating and weight gain
  12. Aches, pains, and physical symptoms
  13. Thoughts of death or suicide

So many factors combine to determine our moods and our abilities to effectively manage them.

Our age….learning and growing, striking out on our own, trying to make ends meet can be scary and overwhelming. I remember when I unlatched from my family and was flying solo - oh I thought I knew everything. I wanted to be the boss and make all my own decisions until the first hiccup and then I wanted to run back to the nest. Being responsible is terrifying when you are first starting out. 

What about managing life, love, work, and family - holy cow there is only so much time in the day and it feels like we spend most of it at work! Everyone wants something from you AND at the same time. So many plates spinning and you’re petrified that you’ll drop one and people will figure out that you really don’t have it all together. 

The kids move out, the house is empty, no one is asking questions or consulting you when big decisions are made. New blood comes into your workplace and you feel less important, your thoughts and ideas are “old school”, everyone’s making plans to slow down but you don’t feel accomplished yet...where did the time go? 

You’re old….how in the world did that happen. Looking back it feels like it happened overnight. When you were young you thought about this day but it felt like forever away and now you’re here. Your 9-5 has come to an end, you have all the time in the world to do something cool but what? You don’t feel as good or as motivated as you once did. All you wanted was some peace and quiet and now you have an endless supply and it’s lonely. You remember when you couldn’t find an hour of free time in your schedule and now you wish you could find one hour of fun and togetherness. 

No matter where you are in your life, your perspective is everything. Hope is the first syllable of Hopeless….so let’s focus on turning things around and sending that pendulum back the other way.

Amy Morin gives us 9 Things to Do If You Feel Hopeless in her article for verywellmind.com

Exerts from the content:

Consider That Your Brain Might Be Lying to You

But just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Your thoughts may be distorted, inaccurate, or downright wrong.

Argue the Opposite -When you feel hopeless, you’ll likely think about all the reasons why nothing will ever get better. So take a few minutes to argue the opposite.

How To Be Happy Again: 15 Tips To Rediscover Your Happiness - found at aconsciousrethink.com

Exerts from the content:

If you want to be happy again, it suggests that you were happy at some point in the past. The first step to finding that happiness again is to ask when and why you stopped feeling happy.

If you focus too much on happiness as an outcome, you will often find it harder to achieve that outcome. Happiness erupts spontaneously when the conditions are right.

Determine the recipe for your happiness and you will be better equipped to fill your life with the right ingredients


  1. Remember. there is understanding to be had, responsibility to be claimed, and new ideas to embrace. 
  2. Many factors combine to determine our moods and our abilities to effectively manage them.
  3. No matter where you are in your life, your perspective is everything
  4. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Your thoughts may be distorted, inaccurate, or downright wrong.
  5. Arguing the opposite might just open your brain up to the idea that things may not be as gloomy as you’re anticipating.
  6. Sometimes, you have to change your behavior first and the feelings might follow. 
  7. There’s always something you can do to make things a little better or to help yourself feel a little better.
  8. I’ve learned from life that sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places
  9. Sometimes the very act of striving to be happy is what stands in the way of happiness.
  10.  When you feel healthy, you are able to extract every last drop of goodness and happiness out of a situation.

CHALLENGE: recognize the swing of the pendulum and take action on finding the root of the problem. Argue the opposite as you push back on old perceptions embracing new perspectives. Remember, you can make it through whatever comes next. 


I Know YOU Can Do It!

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