Losing your way is a terrible feeling, and it can be difficult to find your way back. When you realize that you’ve lost your way in life, it can seem like it will be impossible to get back to where you were before – or move beyond that point.
But there are actually many things you can do to help yourself get back on track to the life you want to have, back on track to being you!
It’s Okay To Feel You Have Lost Your Way
First and foremost, it’s important to know that it is okay to feel lost from time to time. This is because feeling lost doesn’t mean that your life is hopeless, but rather it means that you are preparing yourself for something better. The feeling of loss means you are letting go of something that doesn’t fit in your life anymore. And this is a necessity to make room for what is to come.
Being lost can also just mean that you stumbled a bit on your bath to success, and this is okay. Even if you made a mistake that led to you feeling lost, you may need this feeling now in order to rework your life into something better.
Losing Your Way Is An Opportunity
Of course, in order to transform your life into something better, you need to take the opportunity that feeling lost presents you with. Feeling lost is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with yourself. And chances are one of the reasons you feel you’ve lost your way is because you’ve lost your connection with yourself.
So, when you feel you’ve lost your way, don’t brush off the feeling and think that your feelings will fix themselves eventually—because they won’t, at least not without your input they won’t. Seize the opportunity that feeling lost has granted you and resolve to do what it takes to find your way back.
The Signs that Say You Have Lost Your Way
1. You Think About The Past A Lot
The past is the past. This means it is done and gone. There is no reason to look back at the past unless you aren’t moving forward. Therefore, this means that if you find yourself constantly looking back at your past that it is highly likely that you aren’t moving forward in life. And if you aren’t moving forward, then you are probably lost some time in the present and you don’t realize it.
2. You’re More Cynical
Is everything always bad in your world? Do you constantly feel like nothing will ever get better? It isn’t the outside world causing those feelings in you, rather you are putting these feelings out into the world. Life is all about how you look at it, and if you are looking at it with a cynical view, then it’s likely that you have lost your way a little bit and you’ll need to find your way back in order to feel happy again.
3. You Don’t Enjoy The Things You Once Did
Maybe you used to love to spend time with friends, or play basketball at the local community center, and now you suddenly find yourself disinterested. This is a huge red flag that you have lost your way in life.
And this doesn’t mean that finding your way will lead you back to the same friends, or even to the same hobbies you enjoyed before, feeling lost in this instance just means that it is time for you to find meaningful change in your life.
4. You Spend Too Much Time Doing Nothing
Think about your typical day. What do you spend it doing? If you spend it in front of the TV, on your phone, or any other electronic device effectively scrolling and doing nothing, this is a sure sign that you have lost your way in life.
You should always awake in the morning feeling a sense of purpose, and if this isn’t happening for you, then it is likely that you are lost to the point where you don’t know your purpose anymore. And you won’t be able to remedy this problem until you are once again able to find your way.
5. You Don’t Have A Single Positive Goal
Over the course of your life, you will go through several different stages, somewhere you will have clear and large goals, and others where your goal may just be getting to work on time. The point is, you should always have a goal, and if you wake up to find that one day you don’t, well this is a sure sign that you have probably lost your way in life and probably need to start working to find your way back.
6. You Feel Grim From The Time You Wake Up
Sleep is supposed to be restful. You should never wake up in the morning feeling terrible. And if this happens every morning, then something is definitely wrong. And even if you don’t physically feel terrible, not having the motivation to leave your bed in the morning is the same thing as feeling horrible.
So tomorrow, when you wake up, gauge what you are thinking and feeling, as well as how long it takes you to get out of bed. This will be a good indicator as to whether you’ve lost your way.
7. You Question Your Life
Are you wondering why you are where you are? Or maybe why you are putting yourself through something that is making you unhappy? This is definitely a sign that you are lost. Because if you had found your way, you wouldn’t have to question yourself because you would know that it was the way for you.
You also shouldn’t question the things you are doing, because if you are, then you clearly aren’t doing what is right for you. When you’ve found your path, it will just feel right. And if it doesn’t feel right, then you have lost your way.
Medical Signs You May Have Lost Your Way
As you probably know by now, the brain and the body are very closely connected, and when you are having a problem with one, it is highly likely that symptoms will present themselves in another.
Therefore, even if you may think you have just lost your way mentally, there are several physical ailments this could cause that you should be on the lookout for:
- ● Depression
- ● Increased Anxiety
- ● Loss of Appetite
- ● Increased Fatigue
- ● Irritability
- ● Changes In Weight
- ● Uncontrollable Emotions
- ● Upset Stomach
- ● Headache
If you find yourself experiencing any of these physical symptoms then it is highly likely that, in some form, you have lost your way. Losing your way in life can feel very similar to depression, and if you have more than one of these symptoms, you should definitely arrange to see your healthcare provider to rule out any other ailments that may be causing you issues.
What To Do When You Have Lost Your Way
First of all, it’s time to accept that you have lost your way. And unfortunately, this feeling isn’t going to go away on its own, meaning you will need to take action in order to find your way back.
Now that you’ve recognized that you’ve lost your way, at least a lot of the hard work is done for you. Next, you will need to work hard to find your way again. And the methods that will help you to find your way aren’t the same that may work for someone else, so you will likely need to try a few different methods, or even a combination of methods to help you find your way again.
Take A Break
Clearly, whatever you are currently doing in your life isn’t working for you and it’s time that you take a break. This could be a break from your job, your family, or even friends who may not be supporting you. Remember that this is your life and you have full control over everything in it—this means you can take a break from anything in your life that you may need to.
Ask For Help
If you are feeling really lost, this can often lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, and it is absolutely okay to admit you need some help. Make an arrangement to see a counselor or confide in a family member or friend that you trust. You never know, they may have experienced something similar and have some advice for you.
You can also ask for a friend to help hold you accountable by checking in on you frequently and asking about how your progress is coming. This can help motivate you and keep you on track when you need it the most.
Also consider getting help from one or more of the major mental health charities.
Try Something New
One of the reasons you may be stuck or feeling you’ve lost your way is because you are bored with your life and the activities that are in it. Sometimes all it takes is trying a new activity to help you snap out of it. And this doesn’t have to be anything major. Try a new restaurant, take a new class at the gym that you already attend—it can truly be that easy.
Sometimes, when you try something new, you may not feel a passion right away, but rather just a spark of excitement. It is necessary that you follow that spark. This is because sometimes a passion may present itself as something small and it will grow with time—as long as you let it.
Also, if you are feeling especially lost, it can sometimes be hard to see through the brain fog this creates to recognize a passion.
As previously mentioned, one of the reasons you could be feeling you’ve lost your way is that you have lost your connection with your inner self. You can work on finding this again by spending some quality time with your own thoughts.
One of the best ways to do this is by using meditation. Don’t worry if you don’t know how yet, as anyone can learn how to meditate and use it to find their path in life.
It may also be worthwhile to check your local community center and see if they have a guided meditation class you could attend. These classes can also often be found at yoga studios or offered online for your convenience.
People frequently lose their way because they forget about all the things, they have going for them in their life. And one of the ways to remind yourself how truly great you have it is to start your day by writing down one thing you are grateful for. Seeing it written on paper will make it not only feel more real, but will also probably remind you of other things you are grateful for in life.
Remember That Life Is Short
It’s common that when people feel lost it’s because they feel like life is never-ending and like they will never climb past the stage they are currently in. But this simply isn’t true. Remember that your change is right around the corner—and if you manifest it like this, it will be.
Additionally, remember that the longer you spend in this lost stage of your life, the more time you are wasting. This can help you feel a sense of urgency when it comes to trying to find your way.
Most people who feel lost spend an inordinate amount of time sedentary, which is very counterproductive when it comes to finding your way. How can you find your way when you don’t move? Exactly.
Get up off the couch and get active in any way you can—whether that is joining the gym, doing chores, or even something simple like going for a walk around the block.
Not only that, but many scientific studies have shown that physical exercise can lower depression and reduce stress—two major mental components of feeling lost. So, if you battle these two emotions, you will not only help eliminate them but your feeling of being lost as well.
Just as having no goals is a sign of being lost, having goals is a sign that you are getting better and finding your way. Remember, you don’t have to make a big goal in order for this to work. You can make small goals and keep adding to them as you discover where you want to go in your life.
Some good beginning goals include getting out of bed early every day, exercising regularly, or even just resolving to eat at home instead of ordering out. Whatever goal you make, write it down then stick to it—as this is a very effective way to help you get back on track.
Many of the items on this list may sound very daunting, but remember, the trick is to start simple. All you have to do is take one small step in the right direction and the rest will follow. For example, say you watch the same TV program every week.
This next week, instead of watching that program, watch a different one or enroll in a class at the gym. You never know what you may find that you really enjoy!
Stop The Excuses
Have you thought about doing several of these things but instead found yourself making excuses? This is a very common problem when it comes to finding your way again, and it’s absolutely critical that you no longer let yourself make excuses.
Next time you find yourself coming up with a reason you can’t do something, tell yourself that you know that it is an excuse. Then tell yourself that you can do the activity that you are being faced with, then go for it.
Over time you can learn to recognize the signs of yourself about to make an excuse and put a stop to it before the excuse even enters your mind. If you find yourself making the same excuse frequently, this is a sign that you need to address the reason you make that excuse and right away.
Maybe you are feeling lost because you aren’t happy with the person that you are and this can only be fixed by learning to accept yourself, flaws, and all. It can help to remind yourself that there is no one in this world quite like you and that you are a unique human being. Engaging in activities that boost your self-confidence and lower self-doubt will help with this as well.
Focus On One Thing At A Time
Occasionally, people don’t get lost because they have no direction, but rather because they have too many and aren’t sure which direction they should choose. This can be remedied by selecting one of your options and pursuing just it for a while. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on the others completely, it just means taking a break to pursue one thing at a time.
For instance, imagine that you want to further your current career, but you also want to start a business. Not only that, but you are trying to get into the best shape of your life as well. While it is awesome, and feasible to pursue all three, it may just not be working for you to do so right now.
So maybe, you decide just to focus on your fitness journey first and let the career and business plan just continue as they are…for now. Then once you feel less lost, you can add the other paths back in to your life.
If Something Isn’t Fulfilling, Cut It Out
Just as you should pursue things that give you the feeling of a spark, you should also cut out anything that leaves you feeling empty or lost. This could be a relationship, a job, or a hobby. So, continuing with the above example, say you are pursing all three options for your life, and are especially lost in your current career which you can’t seem to find any joy in anymore. This is definitely a sign that this should be the path that is cut from your life so you can focus on the other two instead.
Ask Yourself Who You Want To Be
People can frequently get so caught up in the lives of others, that they forget who they want to be. This can lead to them feeling lost in a way that is easily fixed by spending some time with your thoughts. If you haven’t already, ask yourself who you want to be then start making goals and plans that will lead you to becoming that person.
How Do I Pick A Solution To Find My Way Back?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the length of this list, don’t worry, it is extra-long for a reason. Everyone’s feelings of being lost are different and come from a different place within them. Hopefully, as you read through the list, one(or more) of the reasons for your lost feeling stood out to you and gave you an idea of what you can do to fix it. If not, then it might be time to seek professional help.
Don’t be afraid to try multiple solutions. There is no one size fits all to working on your mental health. And if one solution isn’t working after a few days, don’t keep struggling with it—you gave it a shot and it wasn’t the one, time to try something else.
Advice From A Psychologist About Feeling Lost
According to Doctor Carolyn Ferreira, feeling lost is never a great feeling, and it can often mimic the symptoms of depression. But just as depression doesn’t usually get better without intervention, sitting around and hoping to feel less lost doesn’t work that way either. And if you wait too long, Ferreira says you might come to look in the mirror one day to find you don’t recognize yourself.
If you think your feeling lost has gone this far, the Ferreira recommends on Psych Central that you follow these steps to help you to find your way, or at least get to a place where you can begin to make changes to your life.
Step 1: Recognize What You Are Feeling and Acknowledge It
If you continue to deny your emotions, this could lead to destructive behavior according to Dr. Colleen Mullen. Instead, you should acknowledge that you are feeling sad and helpless, because the first step to getting proper help is to recognize that you need it.
Step 2: Write About Your Emotions
For those that aren’t quite sure just what it is they are feeling, it can help to sit down and write about your emotions. This can also help you to narrow down why you are feeling a certain way and help you to be able to choose the right solution for getting you back on track from the list above.
Step 3: Take Care Of Yourself
Above anything else, the first step to getting better is to take care of yourself. If you find in your journaling that you are feeling the way you are because of burnout, then it’s time to take a break and rest. And if you don’t have time in your schedule for eating healthy and sufficient sleep, make some right away. You won’t be able to make any changes to your life if your body is run down and tired.
If you’ve made it through these three steps, you are now ready to use one of the ways mentioned in this article to get yourself back on the way you were meant to go in life. And if you find that you are still struggling with your mental help, then it is definitely time to seek professional help such as a counselor or psychologist.
What Happens If I Don’t Try To Find My Way?
You may be reading this list and thinking that you don’t really care about finding your way and you would rather just take the easy road and remain lost in your life. Of course, this is your choice, but remember that feeling lost is a horrible feeling, and it won’t clear up on its own, so without your interference, you will never get any better.
Additionally, even though feeling lost isn’t always depression (though the symptoms are similar) Psych Central advises that when you are feeling lost and ignore the signs, you may eventually find yourself falling into depression.
And depression, besides harming mental health, can also harm your physical health as well—everything from your skin to your nails, your hair, your heart, and even your stomach. So, if you want to live a happy and healthy life then it is better to work to find your way sooner rather than later.
How Do I Know When I Have Found My Way?
The last question you are probably asking is how you know when you have finally found your way in life. And this can often be easier said than done as knowing you’ve found your way looks different to everyone. However, if you start to see some of the signs listed below, this could be an indication that you have once again found your path in life and are no longer lost.
1. You Feel Comfortable
Each and every day when you wake up you should do so feeling comfortable in your own skin. You should mostly feel relaxed and you shouldn’t be experiencing any long-term anxiety or feelings of depression. You also shouldn’t be constantly worrying either. Occasional discomfort is part of life, so even if you feel uncomfortable in a new situation, you should still be overall comfortable in the long run.
2. Everything Feels Like It’s Working
Remember before when nothing seemed to go your way? And you felt like you were swimming upstream? That’s a sure sign that you still haven’t found your path yet. But when you feel like you are finally going with the flow rather than against it, that’s when you know that you are right where you are meant to be.
3. You Feel Great With The People Who Are On Your Path
Another sign that you are on the right path is that you feel great with the people you are meeting along the way. They support you and make you feel good about yourself. They also have similar goals to you—all things that are an indication that you are truly heading the right direction in life.
4. You No Longer Need The Fake Stuff
Remember how you used to rely on stimulants like caffeine to get excited? Or maybe you needed alcohol to dull the pain you felt in your life. Suddenly, you find that you no longer need these things and you are excited about your journey naturally, this is a sure sign that you’ve made it back on track and are exactly where you need to be.
5. Your Life Has Meaning
Remember when you felt that life had no meaning and how terrible that felt? You should now feel the opposite and feel as if you have a purpose for your life. And if this is true, then you’ve made it—you’ve found your way back and are ready to start living the rest of your life.
Everyone experiences feeling lost at some point in their life. Whether this is in your professional or your personal life. Don’t give up just yet though, because although feeling lost is a terrible feeling, you are the only one who can resolve to get yourself back on track.
Once you have decided that you have lost your way, there are several ways you can get yourself back on track. Everyone’s life is different, and something that may work for you may not work for someone else.
Don’t give up though and keep trying new ways of getting back on your path until you find that one that works for you. And if you find yourself continually struggling, don’t be afraid to see professional help.
It’s a journey, but when you find your way back, you will feel comfortable, relaxed, and as if you are right where you need to be. You will no longer need to fake it till you make it, and there is nothing better in this life than feeling at peace with the journey that you are on.
If feel that you’ve lost your way in your life, take this article to heart and work on finding your way back today!