Discouragement is part of us: all human beings have heard of it.
Especially in September, you feel discouraged when you return to work or faced with the gradual lack of sunlight (in winter we are more discouraged). Often people are not sure whether they are suffering from deep discouragement or even the onset of depression.
We feel apathy, the only desire to do nothing, not want to report, and at the same time this same discouragement causes us worry and frustration.
Where do these sensations come from? When do we really talk about depression? How do you deal with and understand this mood?
What do we mean by discouragement?
Discouragement is one of the most crippling feelings in our life. It is not an intense mood, but a subtle one that conquers your actions, your thoughts, your routines and your daily life.. Discouragement leads you to cancel plans, to want to start projects but eventually you go back to your cell phone or your couch, it isolates you and protects you in an invisible bubble. A protective bubble that actually prevents you from living the way you want to.
To feel at certain times of our life several days of discouragement or deep discouragement is a natural reaction to stressful stimuli or due to emotional learning. However, today it is much more common and disabling than before.
The reasons are clear: neither our way of life is adapted to our needs (but to economic, industrial, manpower needs, etc.), nor our digital world of aerial information helps us (our recent attachment to technology it causes discouragement when this technology works as an addictive mechanism … this includes both mobile phone and social networks, streaming platforms, etc.), and most importantly, because our culture us makes discouragement ignore, cover it up, until we already consider that depression has caught up with us.
In my work as a psychologist and coach accompanying people in their personal change process, more and more people feel a recurring discouragement. It may be the first problem they want to change, or sometimes discouragement comes with anxiety. This increase does not have to relax us: we have to deal with the problem at the root, not just with fixes. Why are we so discouraged? How do you deal with this feeling so that it isn’t so intense, frequent and lasting?
Here I will talk about the 3 main causes of discouragement and their solutions according to the real cases of people who have had this problem in recent years and whom I have accompanied in their efforts to solve it 100%. Let’s go for that.
The causes of deep discouragement and how they affect you
Discouragement is a feeling associated with sadness, which includes fatigue and the idea that what we are doing will not be worth it. We could understand discouragement as a kind of low intensity sadness that persists over days or weeks, just as anxiety is a fear that has become widespread and that accompanies us on a daily basis.
However, discouragement doesn’t have to be depression. Depression is a major state of discouragement, the diagnosis of which requires several conditions, some being durability over time (between 3 and 6 months) and especially that the symptoms prevent us from having a functional life in certain aspects (not being able to go work, avoid relationships, etc.).
In case of discouragement, yes we can face what is right and necessary, but we live it without enthusiasm or motivation. Here is the first surprise: discouragement, contrary to popular belief, is not a primary problem, but a consequence.
Human beings do not get discouraged easily because it is neither functional nor practical to become discouraged. Discouragement is always the consequence or the result of a root problem which, if not resolved in time, triggers discouragement. There can be three causes of discouragement.
1. Reaction to external events
Throughout our lives, we have difficult situations and experiences that we do not expect, stress us out and discourage us. It can be a shocking and unexpected event (a break-up, a health problem, the death of a loved one) or an accumulation of stress over time (when we live by limiting our personal, professional, relational hopes. where we depend too much on each other and you forget about your well-being, etc.).
Occasionally, this discouragement can also be due to a dysfunctional relationship with your own well-being. For example: faced with prolonged periods of routine with clear objectives (finishing the race, facing opposition, etc.) we can feel a kind of emptiness that pushes us to discouragement when we have already achieved this goal .
This discouraging factor is due, above all, to having built up some form of extrinsic motivation: we tend to receive well-being from external factors that we cannot control in the long term.
We really cannot control these external factors. The solution is to learn to build well-being on your own, by fostering a form of intrinsic motivation that is more dependent on you.
2. Reaction to anxiety
It is the most common cause of discouragement. And what does anxiety have to do with discouragement? Anxiety is a generalized state of fear, an intense and exhausting state, while discouragement is associated with sadness, demotivation and fatigue.
This is precisely the relationship, and this is why the diagnosis of the picture “anxiety-depression” is very common.
Anxiety is a state of vigilance, living conditioned by a fear that we have not been able to manage in time. Anxiety arises from the way we breathe (which is why it mainly rests on the chest), it infects our thoughts, actions, and is totally exhausting. This is why discouragement arises: because of anxiety.
Living too long conditioned by anxiety is such a exhausting process that our bodies tend to be discouraged from reducing activation. Just as an outburst of anger or a couple’s argument wears us out, anxiety leads us to helpless discouragement.
However, dealing with discouragement (especially if it’s through chemicals) without working on the main problem, like anxiety, leads us in the long run to unfavorable results: discouragement normalizes and we cannot learn on our own.
Thus, anxiety is probably the main and most important cause of discouragement. Ask yourself: when did your discouragement start to crop up? What situations, interpretations or experiences made you go through anxiety?
3. The way you deal with and deal with discouragement
It is part of our human nature to feel discouraged at times in our life. We have good experiences, but also difficult times that we do not know how to face. Sometimes a succession of these moments or the reaction to anxiety can lead to discouragement.
Another key factor is how you deal with discouragement. Depending on your perception, your actions and your management of emotions, discouragement can increase, last for a longer or shorter time, or increase or decrease in frequency.
It is a typical thing that a person who suffers from anxiety, for example, and who overcomes the problem, understands it as a kind of failure to go through an afternoon or night of anxiety. It is not, but it is part of a natural process.
In the same way, when we cling to discouragement and our actions get carried away by that state of mind, it will be much more difficult to deal with.. Dealing with discouragement does not mean that you make it go away, but that you understand it, accept it and take different actions aimed at improving your mood.
It’s a learning experience that will serve you for the rest of your life, because it makes you aware of your emotions and especially how to manage them so that they are in your favor rather than against you.
Important: try detect if you often use an external stimulus in your daily life to feel good, such as cell phones (need to constantly watch cell phones, watch TV programs …), smoking, binge eating, etc.
In this case, you are using these external factors as a mechanism for satisfaction and mood, but they also cause more anxiety and discouragement later. For your change process to work, you need to detect how you are managing your mood now so that it is primarily up to you and has it in your favor.
You will have discovered that in the three causes there is something in common: before we do not speak at all about emotions. Both encouragement and discouragement, fear, insecurity, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, and even motivation are states that depend on emotions.
We are emotional beings, we are always excited, and therefore emotion influences all of our processes.. The way you motivate, think, decide, interpret, communicate, communicate and act is influenced not by your emotions, but by the way you understand and deal with them.
This is why any personal change process will be lame if you don’t work with emotion management.
I will now give you a special invitation. On empoderamientohumano.com you have the option to schedule an exploratory session with me, which can be via Whatsapp from the comfort of your home. We can explore the causes of your discouragement, find solutions and see how I can support you in your process so that you get the change you need 100%.