November 30, 2012 - submitted by Clara, United States of America

Sometimes we reach that point where we lose it. Where we don't know what to do. I think I have reached that point. I don't know how to explain it, I just feel so lost. I look at myself in the mirror and feel so unfulfilled and unhappy. I know how fortunate I am for the things I have but I never feel that feeling of happiness. Everyday I remind myself that I'll be out of this town, free, happy, and independent. But how can I be happy now?

The Oracle replies:

Like many others, I too have been where you are and I recall at the time it did feel impossible to pinpoint and place the source of the problem. Nobody can tell you how to be happy but if you give it some thought, you should be able to work it out. It may mean different things to different people so let it come from you.
This may sound very flimsy and not much of answer but I honestly believe it's true. How can you be happy now? Just BE happy.
I had a gratitude book and wrote down the things I was thankful for. Life is so short that I felt a sense of urgency about getting the right balance.

Work out what you want & go for it. Don't sit around moping; go and do things you love. Spend time with people you like. Read books, watch films, listen to music that you enjoy. If you fill your time giving off positive energy, it will come back to you. That outlook is needed to make you feel happy. There may be times when things don't go your way, but count your blessings. If you can't have the immediacy you crave, work towards the end goal.
My philosophy in life is quite simple; if you don't like something, don't moan about it, change it - do something about it. Things don't always just happen, you sometimes have to make it happen so - make it happen.
I could quote lots of positive sayings but the two that are at the forefront of my mind that can be adapted to your own situation are:
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
or the same thing but set to music:
"If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself, and then make a change" - Michael Jackson.
That's my advice: change.
Over to you.

As a stressed out high school junior I know EXACTLY how you feel. Unfortunately, you're probably like me stuck in the same town, same people, same problems; a rut of empty and lifelessness. I managed to cope by looking forward to the small things in life to get me through things. Whether it looking forward to see my crush (shhh,) or even to go brighten someone's day, there are just some of the very small little joys that make life worth it for me. Hell, I practically wait every Friday just for Team Oracle! Whenever something bad happens, I sit and think: what do I do now? Do I just give up or do I keep going? It may seem like a long time, but play our cards right Clara, and things will go by very quick. However, don't make time fly too fast because you might miss out on the best joy there is and it's probably staring you right in the face. Now I don't know what your joys are Clara, but go find them. Billy N.

I once got an advice that might help you in this situation. The idea was that every night before you go to sleep, you should write three good things down that has happened to you during the day. It could be something as simple as your morning coffee being especially good or having a nice conversation with someone. Or it could be much bigger. Then when you go to sleep you have these three things in mind and it might scare away the dark thoughts. And when you are feeling sad some day, you can read them again and remember all the good things that has happened. It is simple, but effective. Linea.

I'm so sorry to hear that you feel the way you do. I know that it's awful - I've been through it. I used to feel very depressed and cry often for no reason at all, and once the flood gates opened up I'd just start sobbing about everything that was wrong in my life. But it was my Dad that gave me some brilliant advise. When I told him how I was feeling he said that he completely understood, but also that at times when I felt depressed or miserable and started to cry, that I should sit with him or someone that I care about and who cares about me too. Maybe you should try it too. By surrounding yourself with those you love and who love you back, they'll make you feel more positive and upbeat and show you that every cloud does have a silver lining. Trust me. If it helped me, it'll help you. You WILL make it through this.
Best wishes, Maia, UK.

This is actually the most easiest question to answer, if I could say one thing to help you, I would have to say the most life changing, loving, perfect, hopeful, peaceful thing I can possible thing of. This thing it's so amazing it's so colourful it's just perfect. Too be honest I don't think I need to say what this amazing thing is, because I think we all know this amazingly perfect thing has to be COLDPLAY! Grace.

That sounds like a horrible feeling. You should move on with the idea of being out of the town, change your life, turn it up side down, meet some new people, start any activity, find a hobbie. And hear some good Coldplay music, that will help a lot! , Agustin.

There will always be times in life when things don't make sense and you feel completely alone, the thing that matters is what you choose to do with those times. I have experienced this feeling many times through out my life and have thought about ending it, but what good would that do...what I have learned is to except the things that I'm not happy with and be happy with what I do have because no one has a perfect life, it's not possible. Every second that is used being sad is another second wasted that could be used for something wonderful. My answer to being happy is to except the things you can not change, forgive the people that have hurt you, and love yourself despite any flaws you may see. We're not here forever and not one second should be wasted. Do what makes you feel complete and be happy with the person you are! I hope things get better for you. Katelyn,USA.

I think we would all like to believe there is a land of escape out in the future, but the truth is, no matter where you are or when it is, life can only be as great as what you make of it. There are so many opportunities for you take right now, and I know it can be difficult to see that when you are so accustomed to living in a monotonous or rigid routine. Oddly enough, I just got out of the same rut you were in. I took a day off from technology, family, and friends (talk about difficult!). I began to notice how many interesting people I haven't met in my own neighborhood and how many things I wanted to try that I thought I didn't have time for (amazing how much time opens up when you're not checking e-mails, texting, or watching old tv shows). I suggest taking up an instrument, meditating, knitting, bird watching, exercising, or any hobby that you can grow on for that matter! You won't believe how much more interesting your life can be in that town you thought you knew :) Good luck!
- Veronica, USA.

I think that the most important thing to do is to think about what amazing things you could be missing out on if you don’t try your very hardest to turn things around. I’m not saying you aren’t trying, but maybe you just need that one final push in the right direction. When you feel empty and unhappy, do something that you love. Watch a fun movie, take a little trip somewhere, meet up with a friend… Keeping busy is imperative, focusing on things that make you smile while keeping in mind that things are never entirely bad. I recently got to know a person who is unfortunately struggling with some health problems right now. When I asked her how she’s feeling, she gave me an inspirational answer that I think can help you now. With a smile on her face, despite the potential danger of her illness, she told me that even though things may be a little bad at the moment, she was not going to let it get her down. She said she’d fight and live her life happily as long as she could, and her words really made me realise that no matter what struggles you’re dealing with, it is never okay to give in to sadness and negativity. There is always a reason to smile. Remember that, and you will feel that feeling of happiness. Stay strong! Sincerely, Medina.

Ahh I know how you feel, I’m experiencing this same thing. It really sucks doesn’t it? Really nothing has changed, well a lot of things have changed, but you wouldn’t think that they would affect me…
I’m getting through it by just not even thinking about any of it. I engulf myself in something- cello, art, school- and make it the center of my thoughts and life. I just put my entire being into something and don’t even think about what is happening anywhere else.
Try it. You don’t even have to be good at whatever you choose - it could even be starting a collection of something or painting or something where there is no good or bad. Just take your mind off things and it will get better in no time. You’ll be so involved with yourself you’ll look up one day and think “what was I even worried about?!”
Hope this helps and best of luck! Megan.

There will be no absolute definition of happiness. Things you are fortunate for might be just things you have learned you should be happy about, obviously they are not exactly what you are longing for.
Only yourself is able to find out what really would make you happy. Is there something you always wanted to do, to learn? Fulfil a desire - now. Cherish days and moments wherever possible. To look at future is important, though it should not disable your actions in the present. If leaving a town is so essential for you then remind yourself every day what you have done for your plan and be proud of every least step! All the best. L.Q.

Isn’t it horrible to feel like that - almost soul destroying - I am finally emerging from exactly the same thing! Halfway through this year I decided that enough is enough and I needed to ‘reclaim’ my joy. At first it was hideously difficult but 6 months later I am able to say that I have my joy of & for life back. Here are a few of the things I did:

1) First thing each morning I needed to re-focus my thoughts to positive (for me affirmations were a good start – speak & think good & then life seems to catch up with & transform!)

2) I made a small list each day of the things in my life I am grateful for (& they change/grow from day to day).

3) I needed to slow down & discover me – who I was, ie the ‘authentic’ me (this was hard – I’m only just beginning to realise this one!)

4) I found beauty in each day (some days it could be a song, a piece of music/art/poetry/literature/photo, a flower, butterfly, the sunlight, a prism, rainbow, a storm, a park in the middle of the city, a building, etc!)& now my days seem overloaded with small pieces of beauty & wonder!

5) & I needed to spend time each day in creativity (my heart/spirit/soul thrive on creativity! What is it that makes you feel alive Clara, that feeds/nourishes your heart & soul, do that!) I hope these help? Love Cali.

Waiting for the future, or to be somewhere new is not an unfamiliar feeling for a lot of people. It sounds like you are mentally ready for a new challenge, for a change of environment and are generally feeling dissatisfied with things as they are now. Yes, you might very well be happier when you are 'out of this town ...' and think that you will feel that sense of belonging somewhere else, but you do have the ability to be happy now and change how you feel! sometimes just making a small change in your life, rather than the radical new job, new town etc. can have a big impact on your life and how you feel, walking a different route, making a new friend, a new haircut, helping someone out could help. Also, make a list of the things you do like about your life, could be a job, family etc. and a list of things you are dissatisfied with. choose one thing you are dissatisfied with and set some small goals to change it. If its something big like your job, perhaps by starting a weekend or online course to learn some new skills that would. If its your friends and social life you want to change, make a plan to join a group of some sort and go along with the view to making a new like-minded friend, so be open and friendly. Leash NZ.

You already know that these feelings are not permanent, so you can rest knowing that you will be happy! It's easy to feel lost whenever your daily routine becomes stale. You might feel like this because you are doing the exact same thing, day in and day out. Plan something fun every week to give your daily grind a kick. It can be something like a trip, or something as simple as going for a walk or getting coffee with a friend. Give yourself something to look forward to each week! Instead of feeling lost, try losing yourself in the moment. Warm regards, Blake.

I actually ran into this problem myself not too long ago. couId not see the brightg side of anything, and couldn't enjoy life as i should.It took time to figure it out, but what i discovered is that going through life waitng for the future and focused on the greatness and the possibilites of what you will do and become will get you nowhere. If you always look ahead, you won't realize where you are. Remember, "We live in a beautiful World"-dont panic, just take time to physical search for the great things in life. One of the things that got me out was becoming a die-hard Coldplay fan, and finding music that was inspirational from them (which technically is all of it, but that's not the point). All of their songs have a deeper meaning, and gave me something to look for, and to enjoy. find something, and use it to keep you anchored down, and to be happy. Justin.

I think its different for everyone. You have to find what makes you happy and what you want to accomplish. Its a bit like defining success. But keep your head up, Clara, its okay not to know. In the meantime, try to enjoy the little things in life. For me, its painting on my walls or going to parks in the mornings. It might be something completely different for you, and thats good because it's the point. Finding who you are and what you love. Its easy to feel lost if you aren't able to express that, so do it! Although we always face physical limitations, we ourselves can free our minds at any time. Wish you the best. Love, Darem.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week’s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.