Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


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Self-pity is far more ubiquitous than you might think, a fact that can make you feel a little better all on its own by normalizing your experience. Many of those who seem to have it all together, who appear to be living the dream, are secretly carrying around their own personal crosses, dissatisfied to the point of desperation with this or that aspect of their lives. Maybe they don’t know how good they have it but this doesn’t take away from the fact that their distress is very real to them.

Psychologically speaking, self-pity is widespread in our Western culture in large part thanks to the cognitive bias that if things aren’t perfect then they aren’t good enough. Many are constantly striving towards an idealized version of life, where absolutes are possible in the first place and sustainable in the second, where wants, needs, hopes, and dreams are all fulfilled, where life is basically a storybook.

If you’re struggling with self-pity one thing you can do to pull yourself out of your rut is to mindfully experience and appreciate all the aspects of life that are wonderful in spite of whatever it is that is keeping your life from feeling wonderful right now. You don’t have to minimize your struggle in order to get some relief, you just have to open up your life aperture a little bit, shifting your attention from your problems to everything that is going right, to all the elements capable of inspiring gratitude and happiness if you just take the time to notice them.