5 Ways to Break the Cycle of Self-Pity


Self-pity may well be the most damaging emotion a person can feel because it ruins everything around it. Self-pity usually results in misery and negative thinking.

When you think negatively, the consequences are generally unpleasant. These unpleasant consequences make you feel even sorrier for yourself. Thus self-pity is self-sustaining.

Do you feel sorry for yourself on a regular basis? Do other people ever accuse you of wallowing in your own self-pity? Do you want to change the way you think in order to improve your life? If you are sick of being a victim, read on to learn more about breaking the cycle of self-pity.

1. Why We Pity Ourselves

Why do people have a tendency towards self-pity? Self-pity is widely thought to be a form of self-soothing. Self-pity may be a negative emotion, but it still feels good.

A person who feels self-pity usually avoids taking risks because he assumes he is doomed to fail. He also tends to blame his failings on circumstances and other people instead of assuming responsibility for them. When you don’t take risks or acknowledge responsibility for your actions, you are free of stress and remorse.

What’s more, when a person is feeling sorry for himself, others will give him attention and attempt to comfort him. People with sociopathic tendencies may even use self-pity as a means to manipulate others. Social-Learning theorists imply that self-pity is something most people learn during childhood when they realize that being sick, hurt or unhappy will encourage attention from others.

2. Make A Deal

Over the course of time, self-pity becomes a repeated pattern or cycle. In order to stop feeling self-pity, you must begin by making a deal with yourself. The deal is that you will stop feeling sorry for yourself and try thinking positively instead.

However, this deal is harder to keep than it seems because it requires a lot of self-awareness. You have to teach your brain to notice when you start sliding into self-pity mode, and stop it.

You also need to appreciate the fact that sorrow and grief are not the same as self-pity. You are only feeling sorry for yourself if you expect the world to give you something because you feel sad.

3. Physical Exercise

If you don’t get enough physical exercise, it is very easy to become depressed and start feeling sorry for yourself. Regular cardiovascular exercise can do a great deal to boost your mood because it causes the brain to release neurotransmitters that eliminate both physical and mental pain. If you want to stop the pattern of self–pity and adjust your attitude, aim to do at least thirty minutes of brisk cardiovascular exercise four times a week.

4. A Proactive Stance

It is easier to say goodbye to self-pity if you fill your life so that there is no time for moping. Hence if you want to stop the pity party, it is important to set yourself new objectives and strive to achieve them.

When you reach an objective, push yourself by setting a brand new goal. Once you regain control of your life and fill it with plans, you won’t have time to think negative thoughts about how unlucky and unfortunate you are.

5. Gratitude

If you feel sorry for yourself, then you cannot be grateful for what you have because it is impossible to feel self-pity and gratitude simultaneously. If you make a special effort to feel grateful for what you have, you will feel less dejected.

If you force yourself to stop and consider that there is always someone worse off than yourself, you will gradually become less egoistic. If necessary, you may need to write a list of things you are grateful for and re-read it every day just to remind yourself that things could be a whole lot worse. You can only truly break out of the cycle of self-pity if you learn to sincerely appreciate everything you have.