How to stop struggling in life?

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    I was writing an email to a friend tonight, and was writing to her that I keep struggling with all of my problems, and all of a sudden I was struck with the idea that that’s part of my problem. I mean, I’ve read that you should stop struggling, go with the flow of life, etc., but how do you do it?

    I feel like I’ve been trying to battle my problems all of my life (for decades) – being unhealthy, clutter, procrastination, depression, weight, eating, and so much more (I could go on and on, but won’t – I usually write it all out on paper for myself, though).

    I keep trying to make plans, figure out how to change, and I try to change, but fail over and over again – at almost everything.

    So, what is the way to improve your life, but have the changes flow, and not struggle? I keep feeling like the struggling is what is causing me some of the trouble?

    Okay, it’s late and I’m tired, so I don’t know if this is even making sense, but if anyone has any suggestions or insight, please let me know.

    I’m very interested in having a better, more calm, more relaxed life, but also getting healthier, accomplishing a lot (all of my housework, book writing, blogging, and more), while still somehow having fun and enjoying each day. Is this possible? Or more precisely, is it possible to become the type of person who can do this, when I usually feel like such a mess and I struggle through most days exhausted and feeling terrible?

    I know that the work that I want to do can feel like fun when I get working on things, but there is also a lot of drudgery to get through first (cooking and stuff), so my husband and I can get healthier. I know I shouldn’t look at it this way and should appreciate each thing (even washing dishes).

    I feel like there must be a way to do it. Has anyone overcome a lot of problems and become more of the person that they want to be? More positive, happier, calmer, healthier, but also getting things done?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has any advice for me. I know I’ve already asked questions on two threads, but this is a new idea, so I’m hoping to get some ideas about how to change and how to start.




    There are also so many other things that feel so hard for me. It feels like daily life is a struggle all the time, even when no major or new problems are happening (though, trust me, we’ve had many of those in recent years, including losing several loved ones (one being my sister) and my husband having open heart surgery).

    I have trouble handling personal email (just mainly two people who I love and care about, but on rare occasions some other people), clearing off the DVR, organizing myself, getting rid of so, so much clutter, etc. It all takes so much energy and sometimes I want to run away to a cave somewhere (with my husband and our cat). Not really, it would be too creepy, but you know what I mean. Life feels hard, but I feel like I’m making it harder than it needs to be.

    I feel like I’m missing some important skill, some way to handle life.

    I know I sound like a disaster. Sometimes I’m better than this, but not too often.

    Any ideas or help?



    Hi Mimi/Christine,

    Here’s a thought which may or may not work. Were you good in school or did you enjoy (even a little of) it?

    There’s something about being in a program, class or routine. You have assignments, you meet/do things at a certain time each week, and there are others in the same boat.

    So if you write, join (or start!) a writer’s workshop where everyone critiques each other’s work. Your writing gets done, and it gets edited.

    You could start a Blogging group! I’ve never heard of it, but you can have monthly meet-ups where everyone blogs in the coffee shop, comments on each other’s blogs, and gives each other tips!

    Housework. Google “Flylady”. Declutter/clean for fifteen minutes a day. Have a morning and evening routine. Check out her website and don’t get overwhelmed, the system is actually a no brainer.

    Health. Take a class at the gym. Or, sign yourself up for a 5K and follow one of the many “Get Ready for a 5K” apps. Eat three meals a day, No Sugar, No Seconds, No Snacking, Except on Days that Begin with an “S” (Saturdays, Sundays and Special Days). Google “No S Diet”.

    OK, now that you have your classes and routine, go with the flow!




    It’s wonderful you want to make some positive changes, and I am sure you’ll manage to accomplish your goals. I am on that road for some time, some things have worked out… some things are still on the waiting list 🙂 I see a lot of frustration with yourself in the post.. Whatever you do, just let it be from the heart. It seams that you are pushing yourself too hard, and you have high expectations from yourself, which can lead to just more stress and anxiety. You’ve been through a lot, and first give yourself some break.Your lifestyle wasn’t built over a night and building a new one will also take some time. And sometimes just a simple walk in the nature and having a coffee with a dear friend is better for your mind that forced yoga poses, demanding exercises etc… Start small. Do one little thing today that makes you happy.

    It’s important to work on spiritual, mental and physical level though… You can read all the inspiring books, but if you eat unhealthy, and sit all day long in front of the laptop, not much will change. I know many people who re-post inspiring quotes, follow Oprah, Louise Hay.. understand the Law of attraction, and still they struggle will illness, depression and problems regularly. Your mind understands the logic, but still your body and soul are hurting and they need attention too.

    When I had depression, i started with the spiritual part. First thing I did, I started ‘smudging’ (burning sage).. That will clear your space a bit from all the cluttered negative vibrations. After that I learned about methods of visualizing, meditation, raising your vibration. One thing at a time. If you are religious that might help too.. Start something, anything. Getting a sage a burning it, was simple and quick enough for me to start..

    And a lot of the ‘healing’ starts in the supermarket. 🙂 If you don’t wanna eat it and it hurts you, just don’t buy it. It’ as simple as that. You don’t have to deny every guilty pleasure you had from tomorrow, I still eat chocolate, french fries sometimes. For example, Don’t buy artificial juices anymore starting now… that’s 4 spoons of sugar lees per day. Trust me, that’s more than enough for start. For lunch next week, try a new simple healthy recipe. Give it a chance and if you like it you’ll cook it again. Introduce new habits gradually.

    Stay away from toxic people 🙂 They hurt your body more than sugar 🙂

    And don’t be hard on yourself. Only the things you do with joy will bring real benefit. Of course, sometimes you have to push yourself a bit, just don’t let the pushing be your biggest daily routine. Never forget to love yourself and give yourself some credit.

    Just take baby steps, and be happy each time you do! And don’t be frustrated if some things you try won’t work out. Everyone responds differently..

    Gary R. Smith

    Dear Christine,

    You have much self-awareness and are reaching out and both are positive signs. You have received thoughtful, caring responses from others with sound advice and specific suggestions. You are off to a good start!

    {{It feels like daily life is a struggle all the time, even when no major or new problems are happening (though, trust me, we’ve had many of those in recent years, including losing several loved ones (one being my sister) and my husband having open heart surgery).}}

    As you already realize, struggle blocks progress. When events that hit like hardship happen, a common response is to struggle. The uncommon gives another approach. As you and I discussed earlier, the Litany I wrote has been my most powerful tool. It has shifted my energy in definite, clear ways. I am using it daily as a tool to continue sculpting myself into the person I choose to be. You could read and recite it, allow yourself to feel it, and decide if it is something for you. Once you have the idea, you might choose to write your own Litany. I have not yet posted the Litany here, as it needs some background. If you feel drawn, you could visit my new blog post which gives the ‘Litany of Love’ and let me know how it feels to you. It can also be downloaded as a free PDF file and printed from http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog/litany-against-fearlitany-of-love

    {{I’m very interested in having a better, more calm, more relaxed life, but also getting healthier, accomplishing a lot (all of my housework, book writing, blogging, and more), while still somehow having fun and enjoying each day. Is this possible?}}

    Yes. The same site (Whole Human) has a page on the ‘Meditative Life’ with videos, links and PDF files to download.

    {{Or more precisely, is it possible to become the type of person who can do this…}

    Yes. And more power to you.


    Obviously, I’m the type of person who gets easily overwhelmed, which is why it takes me so long to respond to things. I will try now, though, to respond a bit to what people have suggested.

    First of all, thank you to everyone for taking the time to respond to my problem. I really do appreciate it. I know that everyone nowadays is so busy, so it takes special people to care about others and try to help. Really, I mean that. It’s amazing the caring and support that is on this message board, and the people who help in such a loving way should feel good about that, for sure.

    Inky, it’s funny that you mentioned the Flylady site and said “don’t get overwhelmed,” because that’s exactly how I’ve felt the few times that I tried to go to that site through the years. I haven’t checked it out recently. Maybe it’s better now. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at it. I do tend to get overwhelmed so easily. Yesterday I went through one box and it was almost all notes I wrote, and it took me all afternoon and made me feel so much worse. It’s really hard. I actually thought when I started that I would feel better having accomplished it, but it made me more aware of my craziness, so I felt worse. Still, I know it must be done. Maybe I will do it in smaller doses, so it’s not so intense.

    Marliv, you’re right about how your mind can understand the logic of inspiring quotes, but it’s hard to get in line with the thinking. I have printed quotes up all over the house. On my better days, they help me, but other times I just can’t see straight and they mean nothing. I do agree that I need to work on meditation, visualization, some prayer, etc. You are also right about toxic people, gradual change, doing things with joy, and more. Thank you.

    Gary, thank you for your advice, too. I only had a minute to glance at your litany page (will look at it more later). It’s deeper and worded in a fancier way than the things I wrote for myself the other day, but I do think that your mention earlier of having a “litany” must be what inspired me the other morning. I wrote some positive ways that I want to look at things, and I’m going to type and print them and put them on a clipboard to read every day. I do know that when I was writing them, I was really feeling better, because they applied so directly to me (of course, having come from my brain) and they seem to be the better part of my thinking (when I’m thinking in the “right” way). Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    Thank you everyone for all of this advice. I will save, read, and re-read things later, to keep myself thinking of where I want to go and how I want to be.


    A strong ‪#‎woman‬ knows she has strength enough for the journey; but a woman of ‪#‎strength‬ knows it is in the journey where she will become strong. ~Luke Easter https://goo.gl/8zjnxM


    You are not alone. We all have personal struggles, and I think you are depressed. I am not a big advocate of drugs, and I am a physically healthy person, but I started taking antidepressants and it HAS helped. BUT, I do plan to get off them. I do not need a dependency on drugs and I do have a date that I plan to get off them. An antidepressant can help you get rid of that sinking feeling, and help you focus. I am not an MD so you should talk to your doctor for certain. He/she will assess your situation. I have also learned thru Weight Watchers to ‘celebrate’ small successes. I am not obese by no means, but I liked the support group idea, and really only needed to lose 10 lbs, but I liked the idea of not being alone in my diet struggle. someone above offered advice that I think may be a tad aggressive for you — ie/5K. if you are not excercising now… I suggest a smaller goal, and then you will feel success. Your goal could be walking 3 days a week totally achievable. Then, next goal could be 3 days a week but set a distance goal. You seem overwhelmed. A little at a time, may do the trick.

    Richard Ingate

    Hello Mimi,
    ‘Struggling’ means we are spinning our wheels. It’s a sign of low state of mind and not a good time to make decisions and try to understand things. Go for a walk, do whatever you know to do to let your mind quieten down. In our quieter moments we are more able to hear the innate intelligence we all have. You have it too. Set any goals or no goals for yourself when you are in a quieter mind and a good feeling, not when your are immersed in the struggle.

    Best wishes,




    You are right, I am depressed. It is situational (recent losses and troubles) and also chemical (genetic, maybe – sister and mother have had it, too).

    Because of a health condition that I have, I need to try to avoid most medications and even supplements, so I do know that I need to work on natural ways to help my depression, like exercise. That’s a very good place to start.

    You are right, big goals (like a 5K – maybe not much to some, but like climbing Everest to me) are too much. I’ve had trouble getting myself to do just 5 minutes of exercise a day. My husband has been struggling with it, too. When you feel so tired, like you are in a deep pit, it’s hard to get out. I know it’s both the fatigue and the depression, bringing me further downward.

    Thank you for your suggestions,



    You are right. Since I feel like I’m in almost a constant state of struggling, then calming and centering are some things that I need most (and need to work on first). Exercise, eating a bit better, meditating. If I make some very small changes (the kind that won’t make me anxious and crabby), then I can get quieter and centered and think more clearly.

    Thank you,


    Hi Mimi. Because you said you get overwhelmed very easily its very possible you have anxiety along with the depression. Traumatic events can trigger this. After the death of my mother 15 years ago I developed severe depression and anxiety. After several years and as a last resort I saw my doctor and went on antidepressants. It has made a huge difference and reduced my suffering so I could function. The thing is; biochemical depression and anxiety are debilitating. It saps your energy, motivation, and self confidence. No amount of willpower can overcome this. The brain chemical “serotonin” becomes depleted and the only thing that works is getting your serotonin levels back up. Thats what medication does; make more serotonin available in the brain. Aerobic exercise releases serotonin and well as sunlight. Medication can help you get back on track so you can make the healthy lifestyle changes. Best of luck.


    Jim, you’re right, I do have both anxiety and depression, and there have been traumas. We’ve lost several important people, including my sister, who was only 43. Then, worrying about her son (only 5 when she died), my husband’s open heart surgery, and other smaller problems. I keep saying that it’s amazing we are still standing, considering all that’s happened in a few years, but of course we need to do better and get much healthier (and I need to feel more balanced in the head).

    I can’t take any medications because of a health condition that I have, but I really do want to get back to exercising. I know it’s really hard to start when you feel very down, but I do know for sure that it’s helped me in the past.

    Thank you for your suggestions.


    p.s. to Jim

    I’m sorry about your mother. My husband’s parents and aunt have passed on, and they were all like parents to me (we all lived together), so I think I do sort of understand. I know it’s not the same as losing your own mom. I’m very close to my mom now, and I never want to lose her. I’m sorry that you had to go through that and always will have that pain. Also, I’m sorry that my nephew will have that pain his whole life, too. I know it will never go away.

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