What To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom Emotionally

What To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom Emotionally

Feeling like you have hit rock bottom can be compared to hopelessness. It’s an emotional state that negatively impacts your day-to-day life, general health, relationships, and motivation to do anything.

Whatever the reason is for feeling like you have hit rock bottom emotionally, it’s first of all important to realize that you can only feel better from here on out.

It is also necessary for us to experience the bad in life to fully appreciate the good.

While negative emotions are valid, they are also temporary and fixable.

So, in this guide, we offer guidance and advice on what do you do when you hit rock bottom emotionally.

Not all of these tips will resonate with you. But there is bound to be one tip that will help you feel more positive and optimistic by the time you have finished reading.

What To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom?

When you’ve hit rock bottom emotionally, the first thing to do is identify your emotions and why you feel them. What are the emotions triggering feeling at rock bottom?

For more on how to effectively journal your emotions, consider reading How to Journal for Self-Improvement, which can provide insights into the benefits of

Start by writing down a list of what you are feeling. There should be no thought in this exercise – simply write down your raw emotions as they come to mind.

Once you have a list, you can assess each emotion and think about why you feel it.

This exercise doesn’t just help you to understand what you are feeling and why, but a recognizable path to a solution for each emotion.

This is because knowing why you are feeling a negative emotion is the key to fixing it. If you are feeling hopeless because you lost your job, for example, the solution is to reinstate that hope by working towards a new job.

How to Recover From Rock Bottom

what to do when you hit rock bottom emotionally

Take Control of Your Emotions: There is always a reason we are feeling a certain way, but how we respond to these emotions is important for moving forward.

We can use meditation to acknowledge and accept our emotions or detach from them altogether. Meditation can be a useful tool in acknowledging and accepting emotions. For those new to this practice, How to Meditate for Healing offers a great starting point to incorporate meditation into your daily routine.

This can be done by finding a quiet and comfortable space, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing or the sounds around you to instill a state of calm.

As another method, we can take a stoic approach to our emotions by recognizing that the reason for them might be out of our control, and therefore it is fruitless to waste our energy worrying about them.

Ultimately, negative emotions are temporary. We are feeling down, and we know why, but that doesn’t mean that the feelings are permanent. Thoughts are also just thoughts, so any self-criticism doesn’t have to be accepted as true.

Focus On Self-Improvement

Signs you’ve hit rock bottom: Feeling like you have hit rock bottom emotionally can come with low self-esteem, low self-worth, and zero motivation. But the advantage you have here is to take this opportunity to focus solely on yourself.

This is not selfish. If you want to improve yourself or your life in general or discover yourself and who you are, be unapologetic in taking the time you need to work on yourself.

You might want to find a new job, return to education, start exercising, or learn a new skill. Whichever it is, nothing should stop you from doing what is calling out to you or what you know is going to make you happy.

If it feeds your soul or lights a fire in your heart that will pull you out of rock bottom, it’s time to do it.

Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle

Our general health plays a big role in how we feel emotionally. While it might be tempting to let ourselves go when we are feeling at rock bottom, it is important that we resist the urge and do the opposite.

Things like exercising and eating healthily do not just present physical benefits. They have tangible benefits to our mental health that can help improve our general happiness long-term.

This results from chemical reactions in the brain, including the release of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, which are scientifically proven to provide feelings of satisfaction, motivation, gratitude, and confidence.

Simply eating healthily, getting enough sleep, being productive, and adopting an active lifestyle can naturally boost these chemical reactions.

Take A Break

What To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom Emotionally

Sometimes all we need is a break.

Whether it is general dissatisfaction, depression, or feeling burnt out, taking a break to do something you enjoy or experience something new can be a remedy for rediscovering optimism, contentment, and happiness.

This can be in the form of a solo retreat, a new experience with a friend or partner, or simply taking time off work and your regular schedule to mentally recharge and reconnect with yourself and the things you enjoy.

Whichever it is, you should also not feel guilty about doing it. Responsibilities are important, but not as important as our mental health. And if something is putting your mental health at risk, it’s time to consider if it is worth it.

Seek Someone To Talk to

Not all of us can manage on our own. And even if we think we can, talking out our problems and emotions with someone else is often more cathartic and therapeutic than we initially thought.

Whether it’s a friend or professional help, it is always worth letting out your emotions to someone who we can trust.

Even if the advice doesn’t help us, or they simply listen, the act of expressing what we feel verbally can feel like an instant release.

You might feel embarrassed or ashamed. But the thing to remember here is that it takes great courage to open up about how you are feeling.

Seeking someone to talk to when you are feeling at rock bottom emotionally does not show weakness; it shows strength, bravery, and the willingness to get better. If you’re struggling to open up about your feelings, How to Open Up in Therapy can offer guidance on how to start those conversations, whether with friends, family, or a professional therapist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when you hit rock bottom mentally?

The first step in such a difficult time is acknowledging your emotional capacity and identifying the negative feelings triggering your condition. Writing down your emotions can help in this process. Also, seeking professional advice from a therapist can be particularly helpful in understanding your situation and receiving guidance.

What does it mean when you hit rock bottom emotionally?

Hitting rock bottom emotionally refers to a time in life when you feel a heightened level of despair, often characterized by feelings of hopelessness, panic attacks, and apathy toward life. This may be due to adverse life events, a toxic environment, or addictive behaviors.

What is the good thing when you hit rock bottom?

Despite being tough, hitting rock bottom could be the perfect time for introspection and self-improvement. It allows you to understand the true essence of your feelings and drives you to make meaningful changes in your life. There’s a silver lining in it as it provides an opportunity to eliminate toxic people, bad habits and focus on adopting a positive mindset.

How long does rock bottom last?

The duration of hitting rock bottom varies for every single person and largely depends on their emotional capacity, the actions in life they take to recover, and their personal situation. It is crucial to remember that these bad times are not permanent. Seeking professional advice and taking actionable steps toward recovery can expedite the process.

Do you have to hit rock bottom to get better?

Not necessarily. Improvement doesn’t always stem from bad situations. However, hitting rock bottom can be a wake-up call that pushes people to make significant changes in their daily lives. The beauty of life is that even when we face barriers, we can always choose to learn and grow.

What is the first step to take when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom emotionally?

The first step is to understand and identify the reasons behind your feelings. Spending time with yourself, writing down your emotions, and assessing each emotion will provide clarity. Professional therapists can offer constructive ways to deal with the current situation and can guide you toward a healthier everyday life.

How can I recover from feeling like I’ve hit rock bottom?

Recovery involves several actionable steps. First, recognize your emotional state and seek professional advice. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, both for physical health and mental well-being, is crucial. Removing toxic people from your life, focusing on self-improvement, and cultivating a positive mindset can significantly aid in recovery. For some, obtaining health insurance covering mental health services, such as PCCPacific Life CoachPacific Life, may also be beneficial.


Feeling at rock bottom emotionally is not a permanent situation.

You might feel hopeless, fed up, or insignificant, but it’s important to remember that these feelings are an opportunity to rise up and come out on the other side stronger and happier than before.

Above, we listed a handful of tips for what to do when you hit rock bottom emotionally. Not all of them may have resonated with you, but we hope you found one piece of advice that leads you on a positive, optimistic path.


About our Author Michelle Landeros, LMFT license# 115130
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT

Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.

Last updated: June 16, 2024