How To Handle and Overcome Despair

Despair: the loss of hope; hopelessness. To lose, give up, or be without hope (often followed by of).
by Mike Corthell

Despair is beyond grief, although it can be part of the grieving process. It can be true loss of all hope or it can be 'quiet desperation'   the feeling of an emptiness in our lives, an emptiness that we attempt to fill with 'things' like money, possessions, and even people pleasing awards.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
Henry David Thoreau
When we feel desperation, the quiet kind or the gut-wrenching hopelessness of a grave, depressing situation, what can we do to handle it immediately or prevent this awful state to begin with?

True despair is the very bottom for depressed people. People with intense feelings of despair can be in imminent danger of committing suicide and at the very least they feel their life is without hope and meaning. This type of despair requires immediate professional intervention.

For the average type of desperation we can look at these simple steps.

Look objectively at the reason you are feeling this way. Is there legitimate reason for this overwhelming feeling? Who or what is causing the emptiness you feel?

Look at how you were feeling not very long ago when you were happy and satisfied with your life. What is different? Try to identify the problem at hand. Then you KNOW you can and have happiness again.

Allow yourself to 'feel the feeling'. Do what you have to do. Be sad and cry, with knowledge that by allowing yourself to feel hopeless this WILL be temporary.

Look back on the times when you were happy and what you did to make that happiness happen both in you and others. It had to do with some type of short term goal, something to look forward to didn't it?

Take action! Develop a plan of action that will slowly move you out of the state you are currently in. Start with something small, a hot shower, a walk or even shopping. Talk to a friend or any level headed acquaintance.

The most important word in the above is the word ACTION. Want to be successful? Take action. Want to make more money? Take action. Want to be smarter? Take action. Want to be HAPPY again...


The solution for 'desperation of the quiet type' is very similar. Identify and DO something about it.

Many people have given up on their dreams plus they, for the most part, blindly ''follow the rules''. Rules that have been made by those who came before them. They follow all the ‘social norms’.

To overcome this desperation, you need to find your passion in life. Have a goal. And dedicate yourself to it. but it will take ACTION and determination. 

That part, the effort part, is why most people don’t do it, because they think it's too hard for them. That’s the first reason they are miserable in their situations and their lives.

The other big, important word in the above essay? THINK.

If any of us want anything in life we first have to THINK that we can have it!

Then put one foot down and then another...