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How to stay encouraged in difficult times -Encouragement by Own self – Part 1

How to stay encouraged in difficult times -Encouragement by Own self: Life can be challenging, and we all face difficult times at one point or another.  Whether it is dealing with a personal crisis, facing financial difficulties, or navigating the uncertainties of a global pandemic.  Feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, and anxious during tough times is normal. However, it’s important to remember that difficult times don’t last forever. There are things we can do to stay encouraged and maintain a positive outlook.

This article will explore practical strategies for staying encouraged in difficult times. We hope that by implementing these strategies, you can cultivate resilience, overcome adversity, and become stronger in difficult times.

The Factors of discouragement

Prior to delving into strategies for staying encouraged in difficult times, let’s first examine the factors of discouragement and the concept of encouragement.


Discouragement is a state of feeling disheartened, demotivated, and disappointed in response to a challenging situation.  When we face adversity or hardship, it is common to feel overwhelmed, helpless, or defeated. These all lead to discouragement. 

Disheartened, demotivated, and disappointed are all states of feelings that occur when we experience discouragement during difficult times.  Here is a closer look at each state:

  • When we are disheartened, we feel a sense of sadness, disappointment, or disillusionment.  We may feel like our efforts are not paying off. We are not making progress toward our goals.  This can lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of hopelessness.
  • When we are demotivated, we feel a lack of enthusiasm or drive. We may feel like our efforts are not being rewarded. We are not making any progress toward our goals. This can lead to a feeling of apathy or disinterest.  It can make the situation more difficult to take action in creating positive changes.
  • When we are disappointed, we feel let down or dissatisfied by a situation or outcome.  We may have had high expectations for ourselves or others.  When these expectations are not met, we feel disappointed.  This can lead to a feeling of Discouragement and a sense of loss or frustration.

How to stay encouraged – Factors of Discouragement

Feeling discouraged is a natural response to stress and adversity.  Prolonged or chronic anxiety and stress can contribute to the development of certain mental health conditions and may also affect neurological functioning.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.  Mental health conditions can range from anxiety and depression to more severe illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 

It is important to recognize and acknowledge the factors of Discouragement to address them and move forward. 

Discouragement can be caused by various factors.  The nature of these factors may be personal or external. 

  • Internal factors: These are personal factors that may include:
  • Personal setbacks: The setbacks are obstacles that can hinder our progress towards our goals.  For example, losing a job or experiencing a health issue can be a setback that can make it difficult to stay motivated and focused.
  • Failures:  The outcomes that fall short of our expectation or goals.  For example, not achieving a desired grade on an exam or not being able to complete a project successfully.  It can be a source of disappointment and discouragement.
  • Challenges: The difficulties or obstacles that we face in our personal lives.  For example, managing a chronic illness, dealing with family conflict, or coping with a personal loss can be challenging and can impact our emotional well-being.
  • External factors: These are external circumstances or events that contribute to discouragement.  These factors may include:
  • Global crisis: Global crisis, such as natural disasters, pandemics, or economic recessions can have a significant impact on our emotional well-being.  These events can create feelings of uncertainty, fear, and helplessness.  It can contribute to a sense of discouragement and overwhelm.
  • Unexpected life events: unexpected life events, such as the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakup, or job loss, can also be sources of discouragement.  These events can disrupt our sense of stability.  It can make us difficult to stay motivated and focus on our goals.

Emotions that occur when we are discouraged

Challenging times can trigger a range of negative emotions within us, including:


  • Anxiety: A feeling of unease, worry, or fear about what may happen in the future.
  • Fear: An emotional response to a perceived threat, danger, or risk.
  • Frustration: A sense of annoyance or irritation caused by obstacles or difficulties in achieving a goal.
  • Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility caused by perceived injustice or challenges.
  • Sadness: A feeling of sorrow, grief, or despair caused by loss or difficult circumstance.
  • Helplessness: A feeling of powerlessness or inability to control a situation.
  • Uncertainty: A sense of doubt or insecurity about the future.
  • Disappointments: A feeling of dissatisfaction or disillusionment caused by unmet expectations.

These emotions are normal and natural responses to challenging times. It is important to acknowledge and process them in a healthy way in order to effectively navigate difficult situations. By addressing the feelings of discouragement in a proper and healthy way we can stay encouraged in difficult times.

How to stay encouraged – The concept of Encouragement

Encouragement is a powerful tool for navigating difficult times. It boosts confidence and self-esteem. Provides motivation to keep going, even when things are tough. Helps to maintain perspective during difficult times. Creates a sense of support and concentration.

Being encouraged does not mean that a person never experiences difficulties or setbacks.  Instead, it means that they are able to approach challenges with a positive mindset and the belief that they have the skills and resources to overcome them.  Encouraged people are often able to adapt to change, learn from their mistakes, and grow from their experiences.

How to stay encouraged – The strategies of Encouragement

Encouragement can come from both our own self and from others

Encouragement by own self

How to stay encouraged

Self-encouragement is the act of motivating and uplifting own self during challenging times.  Self-encouragement can be helpful both in internal (setbacks, failures, challenges) and external factors (global crisis and unexpected life events) It involves:

Cultivating a positive mindset and positive self-talk

Cultivating a positive mindset and positive self-talk can have a significant impact on our overall well-being and happiness.  It is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and ty to focus on progress rather than perfection.

Here are some tips that can help to develop a more positive mindset and self-talk:

  • Practice mindfulness: It is the practice of being fully present and engaged at the moment without judgment.  It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions.  And, can help to cultivate a more positive mindset.
  • Reframe negative thoughts:  When negative thoughts arise, try to reframe them in a more positive light.  For example, instead of thinking “I am not good enough”, reframe it to “I am doing the best I can.”
  • Practice gratitude: Take time each day to focus on things you are grateful for.  This can help shift the focus to the positive aspects of life.
  • Surround yourself with positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people, media, and environments can help to cultivate a more positive mindset.
  • Use positive self-talk: When talking to yourself, use positive language and affirmations.

Taking care of own self

Taking care of yourself is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Taking care of yourself is not selfishness. It’s important to prioritize your own needs and well-being so that you can show up as your best self for others. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself:

  • Practice self-care:  Self-care activities can include things like going for a walk, reading a book, pursue the hobbies that make you fulfilled.  These activities can help you relax, recharge, and reduce stress.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels.  It is not only good for physical health but also for mental health.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help in maintaining a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and boost energy levels.
  • Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and well-being.  Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Manage stress:  Stress is a part of life, but it’s important to manage it effectively.  This can include things like practicing mindfulness, exercising, and talking to a friend, family member, or therapist.
  • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to recharge and refocus.  This can include taking a walk outside or simply taking a short nap.

Focusing on strength and accomplishment

Focusing on your strengths and accomplishments can help boost your confidence and self-esteem.  Everyone has strengths and accomplishments. By focusing on your own, you can build your confidence and feel more positive about yourself and your life.  Here are some tips for focusing on your strengths and accomplishments:

  • Keep a journal: Write down your accomplishments and strengths in as journal. This can help you stay focused on the positive things in your life.
  • Celebrate your successes: When you achieve or accomplish something significant, take time to celebrate your success.  This can help boost your confidence and motivation
  • Practice positive self-talk: Use positive self-talk to remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishment.
  • Set achievable goals: Setting achievable goals can help you build confidence and feel a sense of accomplishment when you achieve them.
  • Focus on what you can control: Instead of focusing on things you cannot control, focus on what your can control.  This can help you feel empowered and in control of your life.

Setting realistic goals

Setting realistic goals is essential for achieving success and maintaining motivation. It is a process. Be patient with yourself, and try not to compare your progress to others. Focus on your own journey and take it one step at a time. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals:

  • Define your goal: Start by defining what you want to achieve.  Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  • Break it down: Break your goal down into smaller, manageable steps.  This can help you stay motivated and make progress toward your goal.
  • Consider your resources: Take into account the resources you have available, such as time, money, and skills. Make sure your goal is realistic given your resources.
  • Be flexible: Recognize that circumstances may change, and be willing to adjust your goal if needed.  Being flexible can help you stay motivated and focused on your end goal.
  • Celebrate your progress: Celebrate each step of progress you make towards your goal.  This can help keep you motivated and positive.

Practicing self-compassion

Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially in a difficult or challenging situation. It takes practice and patience.  Be gentle with yourself and try to approach yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would offer to a loved one.  Here are some tips for practicing self-compassion:

  • Be mindful of your self-talk: Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Avoid negative self-talk and instead use kind and supportive language.
  • Recognize your common humanity: Remember that everyone experiences challenges and setbacks.  Recognize that you are not alone in your struggles.
  • Practice Self-care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  • Treat yourself like a friend: Imagine how you would treat a friend who was going through a difficult time.  Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding.
  • Let go of self-judgment: Practice letting go of self-judgment and accepting yourself as you are.  Recognize that imperfection is a natural part of being human.
  • Practice forgiveness: forgive yourself for mistakes or shortcomings.  Remember that making mistakes is a part of the learning process.

Staying informed but not overwhelmed

Staying informed about current events and issues is important, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of news and information.  It is important to stay informed about what is going on in the world, but it is also important to take care of yourself.  Avoid becoming overwhelmed. Here are some tips for staying informed without going overwhelmed:

  • Set limits: Set limits on the amount of time you spend consuming news and information. For example, you might limit yourself to checking the news once or twice a day for a set amount of time.
  • Choose your sources carefully: Choose reliable sources of news and information that you trust.  Avoid sources that are biased, or sensationalized.
  • Focus on what is important: Focus on the issues and topics that are most important to you.  Don’t feel like you have to stay up-to-date on everything.
  • Take breaks:  Take breaks from the news and information when you feel overwhelmed.  Do something that helps you relax and recharge.
  • Talk to others: Talk to friends and family about what is going on in the world.  This can help you gain different perspectives and feel more connected.
  • Take action: If you are feeling overwhelmed by a particular issue, consider taking action.  This can help you feel more empowered and in control.

Finding Meaning and Purpose

Finding meaning and purpose in life can bring a sense of fulfillment, happiness, and motivation.  It is a journey, that takes time reflection and action.  Be patient with yourself and keep an open mind.  With time, you can discover what brings you joy and fulfillment, and live a more purposeful life.  Here are some tips for finding meaning and purpose:

  • Reflect on your values: Think about what is most important to you in life. Identify your core values and think about how you can live your life in alignment with those values.
  • Explore your interests: Take time to explore your interests and passions. Pursue hobbies and activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Set meaningful goals: Set goals that align with your values and interest. Make sure your goals are challenging but achievable.
  • Help others: Helping others can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  Consider volunteering, mentoring, or helping a friend in need.
  • Connect with others: Connect with others who share your values and interests. Build meaningful relationships with friends, family, and community members.
  • Practice gratitude: Take time to appreciate the good things in your life.

Seeking support

Seeking support is an important part of taking care of yourself and maintaining good mental health.  It is a sign of strength, not weakness. Everyone needs help at times. There is no shame in asking for support when you need it. By reaching out for support, you can build a strong and supportive network that can help you navigate life’s challenges.  Here are some tips for seeking support:

  • Identify your support system: Think about the people in your life who you can turn to for support.  This might include family members, friends, or mental health professionals.
  • Be open and honest: When seeking support, it is important to be open and honest about your feelings and needs.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • Find a mental health professional: Consider seeing a mental health professional.  They can provide a safe and supportive space to discuss your feelings and work through challenges.
  • Joining a support group: Joining a support group can provide a send of community and connection with others who are going through similar experiences.
  • Reach out for crisis support: If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, reach out for immediate support.

We will continue our discussion on “How we stay encouraged in difficult times”.  In our upcoming post, we will explore the strategies of encouragement from others.


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A strong believer in and practitioner of teamwork; caring about people instinctively; and able to build good interpersonal relations; culture-focused, capable of diversification in the competitive environment. Her area of interest is Nature as a whole. She likes learning and meeting people; meetup with her own self during long walks. She believes in the power of positivity; it adds beauty to life. She aims to make life beautiful with positivity and extend help wherever she finds the opportunity.


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