Life is a mixed bag of good and bad times. Everyone feels helpless and hollow at some point in life. When faced with a disturbing situation, it can be extremely challenging to stay positive. However, such situations have to be dealt with.

Even though you feel you are losing control of life, you can still find happiness in the most miserable state of affairs. Staying positive and unruffled even in the midst of a tragedy can help you live a healthy and peaceful life.

Here are eight ways to create happiness and stay cheerful when you feel dejected and helpless.

1. Open Up and Share

Suppressing your emotions when you are going through a rough phase can make you feel worse. Initially, it may seem challenging to share your feelings even with a person you trust. However, opening up to him/her can make you feel lighter and help you sort your emotions.

Mounting evidence indicates that bottling up your emotions can significantly increase the risk of heart ailments and other lifestyle-related diseases.

Talking to a loved one can help put things in perspective as he/she will be more objective and can offer solutions. You can talk to a friend, a family member, or a teacher/mentor who can relate to your feelings and help you feel better.

2. Decide to Be Happy

We often look for happiness outside and expect things and people around us to make us happy. Happiness doesn’t come from materialistic things. Buying a new house or holding a prestigious title can give you temporary pleasure, not happiness.

Your happiness is in your control. Therefore, make a choice to be happy despite the overpowering circumstances. Wake up in the morning and resolve to find happiness in everything you do.

Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I choose how I feel today. I am happy.” Document your achievements and treat yourself to dinner or a spa session. Think about someone who makes you smile. When you make a conscious attempt to be happy, you will see yourself emerging out of the most stressful situation.

3. Practice Positive Affirmation and Visualization

Researchers have discovered that negative self-talk can induce physical and emotional stress, leading to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and low immunity levels.

Be wary of what you say to yourself. Avoid saying anything that can damage your self-esteem and confidence. If negative thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge and respond to them with positive affirmations.

For instance, if you find yourself saying, “I cannot find a way out of this,” focus on your strengths and say to yourself, “I will try to make it work. It’s an opportunity for me to succeed.”

Visualization too is a powerful tool that can help you overcome tough situations. Before you get out of bed, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place of your choice (an exotic destination or a favorite corner in your house) without any worries. Enjoy being there. Visualize yourself relaxing, talking to your loved ones, or pursuing a hobby. Visualization will help you realize your full potential and make you feel happy and refreshed.

4. Count Your Blessings

It is natural to see life from a negative perspective when you are going through a rough period. You often tend to take the little joys of life for granted and fail to appreciate them.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a grateful outlook towards life can have numerous emotional and interpersonal benefits. Look back at your life and be grateful for the gifts, such as good health, a loving family, loyal friends, or a beautiful house showered on you.

Before retiring for the day, think of all the people who supported you and the blessings bestowed upon you. Being thankful for the positives can make you feel content and elevate your mood.

5. Learn to Forgive and Move On

Getting over a bitter incident can be hard. When you are hurt and upset, you may find it tough to forgive the concerned person. However, your inability to forgive can make you hateful, hostile, and restless. This can severely affect your psychological well-being, making you anxious and neurotic.

Practice forgiveness to live a peaceful, happy, and healthy life. Forgiving others helps you accept facts and let go of the pain and anxiety related to a harsh episode. By moving on, you are gifting yourself with the peace of mind you deserve.

6. Pamper Yourself

Despite your busy schedule, remember to spare time to do what you love. Pursue a hobby or go for a movie with friends. Exercise daily to uplift your mood and remain healthy. Workouts trigger the release of endorphin (feel-good hormones) that work similar to morphine, warding off pain and anxiety and reducing stress.

Meditation is also an excellent way to relieve tension and stay happy. Spend 15 to 20 minutes each day focusing on your breath to remain composed in the most disheartening situation.

7. Help Those in Need

Helping people who need your assistance and support can give you a sense of satisfaction and make you feel happy.

According to a survey conducted by the United Health Group, volunteering for a noble cause can make you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Moreover, 78 percent of people who volunteered for a common cause experienced low stress levels.

Dedicate at least two hours per week to help someone or commit to a social cause. Sign up for a philanthropy project, volunteer to help at an elder-care, or help a friend in need. Knowing that you cheered someone else will give you a sense of satisfaction and make you feel happy.

8. Live One Day at a Time

Avoid worrying excessively about the future. Excessive worrying can have a negative effect on your physical and mental well-being, speeding up your aging process.

Focus on the present and find creative ways to overcome the challenges that come your way. When faced with a mammoth task, break it into smaller parts and accomplish them.

Fretting about a problem that you may face in the future will spoil your present. Therefore, take charge of your present life and avoid stressing about things that you cannot control.

It isn’t easy to manage overwhelming situations, but that doesn’t make tasks impossible. Even when you are stuck in the darkest time of your life, there’s always hope. Use the above-mentioned tips to stay happy and composed when you feel helpless and dejected.

Guide to Inspired Life