How to Save Yourself
Escaping the deep grooves of a life rut requires willpower, planning, and resolve. You can save yourself. Learning to identify the bad situations and behaviors that keep you feeling low is the first step in a significant transformation that can and will help you out. You can learn to save yourself and change your condition for the better.
Saving Yourself From a Bad Situation
Identify the circumstances that need to change.A bad situation can be hard to stomach, even if you're not quite sure what's wrong. If something just doesn't feel right, start interrogating yourself and getting specific about your condition and your circumstances. What's "off" about your life? What needs to be changed? Ask yourself the following questions to try to start narrowing down signs that you might be in a bad situation you need to be saved from.
- Are you worried about your safety? Are you consistently stressed out about basic concerns, like where your next meal will be coming from, whether or not you'll make it through the day? If you're in a violent or dangerous situation, you might need to take drastic steps to change your life.
- Are you in a fulfilling relationship? Are you with someone that supports you and makes you feel good about yourself? try to figure out if your romantic life might be the cause of your problems. There's better out there.
- Are you happy at your job? Do you like your boss and coworkers? Do you spend more time having fun, or stressing about work? try to figure out if your job might be the problem in your life.
Eliminate negative people from your life.Surrounding yourself with negative, violent, or self-destructive people is a fast-track to a difficult situation. While it can be hard to make a break from friends and loved ones who can't take care of themselves, if it's affecting you to the point of crisis, you've got to learn when it's time to cut your losses. Identify toxic or enabling relationships and end them. Save yourself from bad influences.
- try to focus not on ending bad relationships but on starting new ones. Spend time with people you enjoy, people who will support your and lift you up. People who spend their time doing constructive and positive things.
- If you've taken big steps to cut addictive behaviors or substances from your life, but have lots of friends who haven't, it can be hard to maintain those relationships. Focus on finding new friends who do more uplifting and positive things with their time.
Consider a change of scenery.In some cases, it might not be possible to save yourself from where you're living. Whether it be a town that doesn't offer the career options you want, a violent neighborhood that keeps you in fear, or a bad domestic life that you need to escape from, make a leap of faith and move. Move out.
- Go somewhere you know people who'll be able to help you make the transition. Look up distant relatives or old friends from school who might be able to put you up for a couple days while you look for new work and find a place of your own.
- Start saving now to start putting your plan into effect. If you can't afford to move right now, you can still start helping yourself. Even just the act of saving up and doing the research of finding that next step can help to alleviate the negativity of being stuck where you are.
Consider a change of attitude.Every teenager who ever lived, Paris and Pittsburgh, has wanted nothing more than to escape to the glitter and the glamour that exists somewhere else. Everyone who works a job, great or dead-end, has an afternoon that never ends, a week from hell, an epic chewing-out from the boss. Learning to differentiate between a circumstance that needs to change and a need for a change in attitude is a big step in growing as a person, becoming more mature, and learning to save yourself.Imagine the source of your problems is gone from your life forever. How would your life be different? Would it? If so, make the change. If not, fix yourself.
- If you've got the moving itch, make sure place is really the source of your problems. Is your town really as bad as you make it out? Would everything really be fixed if you moved to wherever? Or is the problem actually elsewhere? Don't outrun your problems, lest they pack their own bags to meet you there.
Get help.No one should have to pull themselves out of a tough situation alone. Whether something as dire as getting out of a toxic relationship or as complicated as applying to graduate schools, learning to transcend your current condition and move to a better place requires the aid of others. Surround yourself with positive people and ask for their assistance when you need it.
- If you're living in a violent situation, get help immediately. Visit a domestic violence center in your area or call 1-800-799-SAFE to get help. You don't deserve to live in fear.
- Talk to family, friends, teachers, and people you respect and tell them you need help in changing your condition. Get advice. Sometimes it can be hard to identify the sources of your problems when you're so close to them. Listen, without being defensive, and trust in the wisdom of others.
Saving Yourself From Yourself
Identify your self-destructive tendencies.If you're your own worst enemy, it's time to start getting real. How do you manage to keep getting in your own way? Before you start coming up with a plan to save yourself, it's important to get a real sense of what it is that needs to change.
- Do you struggle with apathy? Does a Saturday afternoon full of promise turn into a YouTube spiral, an Xbox session, and a nap? Maybe you need to get motivated.
- Do you struggle with addiction? If a substance or activity has a grip on your life, you don't have to live with it or face it alone. Start dealing with your addiction and take control of your own life.
- Do you struggle with low self-esteem? You should be able to rely on yourself, not have to fear your self, critique yourself, and drag yourself down. If you have trouble being positive, your self-esteem might need to be addressed.
- Do you take too many risks that don't pan out? If you're a gambler, someone who gets a thrill from the possibility of danger, of consequence, or of failure, it's likely you'll come up short more often than not. While there's nothing wrong with a little thrill in your life, if you're taking dangerous risks that are affecting your safety, you might need to take steps to save yourself from it.
Identify your emotional triggers.What sets you off down a self-destructive path? Whether it be a person, a circumstance, or an idea, it's important to learn to recognize the things that trigger your self-destructive or spiraling behavior so you can start to cut it off before it takes hold. Pay attention to when you feel sudden urges and interrogate yourself at those moments. Write it down if necessary.
Remove and replace the destructive stimuli.When you've identified the things in your life that trigger negative emotional responses, replace them with positive behaviors. try to reprogram your mental pathways toward positivity and grace, as opposed to self-destruction and depression. It's easier than you think.
- If dwelling on your relationship with your emotionally-abusive father makes you want to take a drink, learn to beat yourself to the punch. When you start focusing on thoughts of your father, head the gym. Hit the heavy bag for a couple hours. Blow off some steam.
- If you struggle with apathy and self-esteem issues, start celebrating each little achievement and taking steps to develop your self-respect. Start exercising and taking more risks. Treat yourself as you want to be treated.
Learn self reliance.Take responsibility for yourself and start taking care of yourself. It's ok to rely on others for help every now and then, but there's also a time for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Start helping yourself.
- If you're living at home above the age that it's appropriate to live at home, it might be time to move out. While that can be a great way of saving money after college, it can't be an excuse for not working. Take a step and grow up.
- Don't ask for help with things that you can do yourself. If your computer is acting up, you could call your friend in tears and fall apart, or you could try to figure it out on your own. Respect yourself enough to figure it out.
Control the inner critic.The cool police, the criticism cops, the guilty conscience. Whatever you want to call it, you've got to learn to control the little voice inside you that needles you with negativity. A conscience is an essential part of being a moral person, but it can also drive you into the ground with feelings of guilt, of remorse, and of self-loathing. It might be unwise to ignore your conscience altogether, but learn to control it. Learn to use it when it's necessary and when to let it fade into the background.
- Start anticipating what will make you feel guilty later. You won't need to worry about a guilty conscience after the fact if you listen to it before the fact. If it will make you feel guilty later to send that text, or to take that drug, don't do it.
Surround yourself with supportive people.You can't and shouldn't have to do everything alone. Learn to surround yourself with people who'll hold you up, who'll support you, who'll reinforce the good parts of you and make the bad parts seem distant.
- Avoid toxic relationships and enablers. People who reinforce the parts of you that need worked on might need to be cut from your life. While it might be difficult, cultivating healthier relationships can help to keep you safe from temptation.
Saving Your Soul
Embrace the big questions.If you suspect you might have a desire for knowledge and for satisfaction that can't be easily answered, you might need to turn to deeper questions to find solace.Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, considering the big questions can lead many people to a new sense of purpose and fulfillment, helping to realign priorities and perspectives. Why are we here? What does it mean to lead a good life? Embrace the difficulty and the mystery of these questions.
Place your faith in the power of some guiding hand.Whether you want to call it "god" or not, learning to give up some of your ego and embrace the idea of a higher power can be a powerful experience for a lot of people. It can be enough to save yourself.
- If you're not interested in religion, that doesn't mean you can't find a way to live faithfully and with a deep sense of purpose. Physicists, artists, and people in lots of different fields are serious to the point of deep spirituality regarding knowledge. Throw yourself into something entirely and find redemption in work.
Talk to and learn from other believers.An essential part of any religious practice is worshipping with like-minded believers. To learn more about whatever purpose, practice, or religion you're thinking of adopting, the best way to learn isn't from a book or from a video, but from real interactions with other believers. try to practice as they practice and bring your questions and concerns to the table. Deepen your questions into beliefs and a daily practice that you can comfort yourself with.
- Spiritual practice should be a daily activity. Even if you only go to church once a week, or if you choose not to go to church at all, try to build some kind of daily devotion into your life. Meditating for a few minutes every day can help you keep you tied back into those deep questions you're interested in.
Consider embracing a formal religion.If you want to grow in your renewed sense of purpose and your interest in the divine, it may be appropriate to devote yourself to an organized religion. Start by learning as much as you can about different modes of worship and experimenting with different theologies and schools of thought to find one that fits you and your beliefs. Take the next step. Learn more about joining different religions here:
How can I save myself from a financially abusive relationship (as my partner is controlling all of the money)?
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. You don't have to go it alone.
- If you're struggling in an abusive relationship, you need to get help immediately. Act now and save yourself.
Sources and Citations
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