Teen Struggles: 7 strategies to overcome hopelessness.

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So often, teenagers face so many different situations and messages from so many different sources, and they don't know where to turn. They can't see the path they need to take to get through it, and it can seem hopeless.

One thing to do that can help through those hard times is finding something that you love and enjoy, and focusing on them, even if they're just little things. Often, the smallest things can give the biggest boost in life.

If you're in a hopeless situation right now, letting go, learning, and moving on can be a great solution.

Sometimes these situations just have to run their course, but sometimes you can abandon ship and make other plans. Just remember that hopeless situations don't exclude the possibility of better days ahead.

Whatever struggles you're facing today (whether it's the end of a relationship or mid-terms coming up), I want to leave you with seven strategies (and a bonus!) to help you to get through it.

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Let it go.
Sometimes you just have to let it go. The outcome sometimes seems inevitable, but does it really help when you obsess over it? Does that change the outcome? It can feel kind of like you're just giving up, but is it wise to keep going down a path that leads to nowhere? To keep on with something that can't possibly go right?

Just make the decision to let it go and move on with the rest of your life.

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Purge your emotions.
We've all heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Those emotions will sweep through you as you work through whatever it is that you're facing. As you work through those five stages, you will start to feel better. It's healthy to work through those things.

Sometimes you might have to do something physical to help you work through those emotions. For some people, that might look like a long exercise session, going for a hike, or swimming. It might just be putting your head down and having a good long cry, or maybe having dinner with a friend and connecting with them on a deeper level.

The key is finding a healthy way to work through that. Choose wisely how you work through those emotions.

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Learn something new.
In most cases, hopeless situations are at least partially our responsibility and result from our own poor decisions. Sitting down and thinking about how you contributed to the situation you're in can be a key in working through it and helping you avoid falling into that same situation in the future.

It's so common for us to repeat our mistakes, but if you can think through them and learn to avoid a repeat performance in the future, you can use that knowledge to help you in the future. Imagine how great your life would be if you could only make each mistake one time.

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Enjoy yourself.
When you're in the pit of despair, that is the perfect time to pull back and do an activity that you enjoy. Just because life has given you lemons doesn't mean that you have to be sour all day. Make some lemonade (obviously a metaphor). Have a good time. Go enjoy yourself for a minute.

Taking some time to enjoy yourself can help relieve you of those feelings of despair, if only for a minute, and give you hope for the future.

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Keep up with your responsibilities.
Whatever stage of life you are in, whether you're a teen, a young adult, or even a full-grown adult, don't let go of your responsibilities in life. You need to avoid letting those areas of your life suffer. There are people and things that rely on you.

If you allow your stress to keep you down and prevent you from keeping up with the things that need to be done on a day-to-day basis, they just pile on and add to the distress and despair.

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Plan for the future.
When you have an interesting and exciting future to look forward to, it gives a huge boost in moving forward, creating a better life, and avoiding and eliminating future stress and despair. If the future seems bleak, it's hard to be happy.

Create in your mind the future that you want, the life you long to live, and then just take one tiny step towards making that happen and making it a reality.

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Make a list of all the things that fill you with gratitude.
There are likely a lot more people in the world with far more challenging circumstances than what you're facing right now, but when you're in that situation, and you're going through those difficult times, it can be so easy to forget that other people have gone through the same thing and much worse.

If you think about it, you have got a lot going on for you right now. Make a list, and keep adding to it every little thing, down to the tiniest little things you can think of that make you happy and fill you with gratitude.

BONUS! Remember, there were other times and situations in your life that seemed hopeless too, and you came through those, and they made you who you are today. They brought you to where you are now. You survived them and came out on the other side more resilient and knowledgeable.

Hopeless situations happen, but always remember that you can make it through them and come out the other side better and stronger than you were before.

Not every situation is salvageable. Sometimes, you just need to let go and move forward, which can be the best solution. Worry has never changed the actual outcome of any situation, so just enjoy life and create a future for yourself that keeps you steadily looking and moving forward.

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