Idaho, Iowa, Des Moines
January 21, 2020

What to Do When You're Struggling with Life

Have you ever felt like something was wrong but have been unable to put your finger on it?

You’re not alone.

It can be frustrating when things feel hard but we’re not exactly sure why. When we’re overwhelmed with stress, exhaustion, or challenging emotions, it can be difficult to reflect on what’s really bothering us.

As an online therapist, I help anxious millennials gain insight into their issues. I also help people make sense of their experiences, shift their mindsets, and learn coping skills.

While there are many different reasons why people struggle in life, there are several themes that I frequently notice when I work with my clients. Read on for some common themes that people often grapple with, as well as potential solutions.

Common reasons why you might be struggling in life (and strategies to change that)

Everyone experiences difficulties in life, but sometimes it can be hard to identify exactly what’s going on. Below are a few topics that many people struggle with at times--and how they cope with those issues.

Problem: You’re not living in alignment with your goals

Most people want to live openly and authentically, but sometimes internal and external pressures cause people to try and be someone they’re not.

struggling in life

When our lifestyles don’t line up with our overall goals, we might feel uncomfortable or unfulfilled. Since this can happen on a subconscious level, it may not be immediately obvious that it’s happening.

However, if you reflect on your current path and discover that you’re not living in alignment with your values, this could be the reason why you’re struggling with life.

✓ Solution: Get clear on your goals and values

If you have the inkling that your current lifestyle isn’t what you truly want for yourself, it may be time to think critically about what you do want.

Journaling can be a helpful way to reflect. Get out a paper and pen and use the following question as some prompts encourage reflection.

What motivates you? What kind of person do you see yourself as? If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be and why?

These questions are just starting points. By thinking about your needs and wants and comparing them with your current life situation, you can gain insight around what aspects of your life you want to change.

Problem: You don’t pay attention to the positives

There’s something positive in nearly  every situation. However, it can take intentional reflection to actually recognize this.

It can be all too easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life. Certainly, it’s important to acknowledge challenges and difficult feelings, but take time to be grateful as well.

The problem comes when we spend so much time focusing on the negative. The more we pay attention to problems or feed into negativity, the more naturally our thoughts go in that direction.

Over time, this can make it difficult to look on the bright side.

✓ Solution: Prioritize practicing gratitude

Thankfully, we have the power to shift our thought process.

When we devote ourselves to intentionally finding things to be grateful for, we can start to feel more positive. Over time, it will become easier to automatically find positive elements in any situation.

There are many different ways to practice gratitude. Some people find it helpful to make a daily list of things to be thankful for. Others like to share a gratitude practice verbally with their loved ones, sometimes in the form of a blessing before a meal. Still others may show gratitude through a morning prayer.

It’s important to find a technique that works for you. This will make it more likely that you’ll consistently stick with it.

Problem: You don’t have an adequate support network

Everyone experiences difficulties in life, but no one should go through them alone.

struggling with life

Sometimes life’s problems feel even harder when we don’t have enough people in our corner to support us. When it seems like we don’t have anyone to turn to with our issues, we might feel isolated and alone.

Oftentimes, we don’t need a ton of different people in our lives to feel supported--think quality over quantity. But if we lack even just one or two people who we can talk to, life can feel even more difficult.

✓ Solution: Connect with people who care

While growing your support system is easier said than done, it’s important to prioritize this.

When we don’t have proper support, we suffer unnecessarily. After all, human beings are wired to be social creatures--it’s not natural to isolate ourselves.

Even though some of us may tend to retreat when things get tough, it’s important to reach out for help. No one should have to suffer alone.

Go out on a limb and connect with a family member or friend. They may surprise you by being more supportive than you may anticipate.

On the other hand, you may also need to intentionally create new connections if you don’t feel supported by the people you currently have in your life.

There are many ways to go about this. In person or online support groups, spiritual or religious communities, and clubs or associations are all excellent ways to meet new people.

While making these natural connections in your personal life is important, you may also want to consider formal supports too. Talking to a therapist is a great way to add more support.

I provide online therapy to millennials who struggle with anxiety and other issues. If you’re struggling in life and could use some extra support, I encourage you to connect with me today.


We all struggle in life from time to time, but half the battle is pinpointing what exactly is going on. Therapy can help with this, and it can also help you learn solutions and ways to cope. If you’re ready to take the first step, schedule your free 20-minute consultation with me today.

Meet the author

Danielle Wayne

Danielle is an anxiety therapist. She specializes in helping busy millennials manage their anxiety so they can perform at their best. Danielle has been featured on Apartment Therapy, SparkPeople, Lifewire, and Now Art World. When Danielle isn't helping her clients, she's playing video games or spending time with her partner and step children.

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