Do you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself? Kind of embarrassing to admit you are wallowing in your pain, huh? I mean who wants to admit they have this ongoing conversation in their head that is self-absorbed?

Perhaps, you run every scenario in your mind over and over again wondering how someone ELSE could be so insensitive. Or how _____ treated you so badly.

Sadly, your mind gets stuck on the same people and the same dialogue until it is an obsession. Before you know it, you have given your power over to another person without realizing it. Ugh!

Truthfully, self-pity can be addicting.

Once you start, it is hard to stop unless you decide to stop consciously. You know it feels good or you wouldn’t do it. Right?

Thankfully, I have learned how to stop this bad habit, and you can too.

In this post, I will show you how to stop feeling sorry for yourself and overcome your pain. You don’t have to be caught in a cycle of unforgiveness and anger. You can be free again with these five tips.

Before we do that, let’s look at what causes self-pity. You may be surprised.

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What Causes Self-Pity?

You might think self-pity is a natural thing that occurs when something goes wrong, however, this is not the case or we would all be caught in this self-defeating cycle.

No, self-pity is a choice we make when bad things happen to us.

There is a natural process for grieving a loss that takes time. Healthy people deal with it head-on and push through the discomfort until they get through to the other side, while those caught in self-pity subconsciously decide to feel sorry for themselves somewhere along the way not realizing it is self-destructive.

What Does Self-Pity Look Like?

Frankly, self-pity looks gross. I did it for many years and had no idea how bad it was until I saw other people doing it.

You are constantly preoccupied with yourself and the past so much that it affects your present and future.

In fact, you become so passive in your thought life that you are expecting someone else to rescue you or understand your pain before you can move on, never realizing only you can pull yourself out (with God’s help).

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Sadly, you are constantly waiting for others to join your pity party because only then will you feel validated. Of course, no one wants to join.

When no one joins in the wallowing, you are angry which, in turn, causes more self-pity. It is truly a cycle of unforgiveness and self-absorption all rolled into one.

How Do I Stop Feeling Sorry For Myself?

If you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, here are five things you can do to pull yourself out of the hole. It takes some discipline but over time you will see great results if you will be faithful to follow these tips. I still do these things to keep my mind from falling into a pit of despair when something difficult happens.

1.)  Stop ruminating

If you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, then quit playing the same situation over and over again in your head. You know, those arguments in your mind that keeps going in circles… Realize that you are allowing others to steal your joy and peace when you do this.

Don’t let other people hijack your brain. Make it a point to catch yourself when it starts.

Picture a stop sign in your head blinking red to break your train of thought.

RELATED: How to Stop Negative Self-Talk: 6 Tips to Break the Habit Today

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2). Release the situation to God 

The most difficult step is to choose to release everything to God. Decide not to take the problem out of His hands and worry any longer.

It may help to journal your feelings as a form of release. Or talk to an empty chair and say everything you need to say out loud. Perhaps even talk to a pastor, friend, or counselor if you need more help.

This is how to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

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3.) Forgive those who have hurt you

Forgive yourself, others, and God for anything that is still causing bitterness. Don’t leave anything on your side undone. Realize you only have a certain amount of power in a situation.

In fact, you are only responsible for yourself, nothing more.

RELATED: 5 Burning Reasons Why You Need to Forgive Those Who Hurt You

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4). Choose gratitude/give back

Replace your self-pity with gratitude. This helps move the focus away from you and on to others. Every time you start feeling sorry for yourself, start naming all the things you are grateful for in your life.

You can go a step further and volunteer. This will help you to realize there are other people who are hurting and have difficult problems too.

The point is to get outside of yourself and be other-focused.

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5.) Prayer and scripture

If you want to stop bad thinking, then replace it with good thinking. This is how to stop feeling sorry for yourself! Find scriptures to say over and over again until it is memorized.

Think about these verses when you want to wallow. Listen to podcasts that are encouraging and biblical. It will help you keep your mind off of yourself.

RELATED: 25 Different Methods of Prayer That Are Powerful

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How Do I Get Rid of Self-Pity?

If you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself and wallowing in self-pity, then start with this prayer. This will help you to stop your bad habit and move on to better thinking.

Dear God,

Thank you for loving and caring for me. You alone know my deep hurts, frustrations, and feelings of rejection concerning  (the situation). I ask that you would help me to change what I can, forgive those who have hurt me, and release the rest to You.

Thank you for giving me the power to lay this problem down at the cross and no longer wallow in my pain.

When I am tempted to take it back, please remind me You are in control of the situation. In fact, I can rest in You. Thank you, Lord, that I can trust you to work in ways I never dreamed possible.

Help me to put my mind at ease and claim Philippians 4: 8 which says to “think on things that are true, right, pure, noble, and lovely.”

Let my mind be fixed on You and Your words. Not mine. If I need to think about the situation, give me the right thoughts that include a solution. But nothing more until then.

Please help me to praise you in this situation even though I don’t know how to solve it or let go. Thank you that  I can put my mind at ease and move on with my life. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

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In Jesus’ Name,

Don’t discount prayer. It is the best tool when asking how to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Every time you get tempted to go back to bad thinking, start praying.

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How to Stop Having a Pity Party?

If you want to stop having a pity party then change your thinking.

Stop obsessing. It is the most freeing thing you can do.

You no longer have to harbor anger, resentment, or bitterness in your heart. God wants His people free to do His work and not bound up in themselves.

It is time to overcome the pain with these five truths and move on with your life for good.

Did you learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself? Comment below. 

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Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or have a family estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

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Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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There are tips on building a Christian home, parenting, marriage, family issues, and faith. Learn how to get back to the things that matter most in your life and the life of your family. It’s time for a revival!


Julie is a wife, mom, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, and faith with a touch of humor.


  1. Yes! I often say (and think): “Good things rarely happen by accident.” Being intentional is so important! And somsetimes you have to do these steps over and over for the same situation before you can even feel your heart begin to shift, but the Lord will help you get there.

  2. I love your posts. You could be talking about something serious and I still find myself smiling and chuckling over your sweet sense of humor that is sprinkled throughout your writings. So true! Being free from the sadness is so much better than wallowing! ❤

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