What to Do When You Feel You Are Losing Your Faith

Woman attending church service during pandemic

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Living through a pandemic, natural disasters, racial discrimination, and the sporadic adversities that accompany everyday life, it can often feel as if you are losing your faith. You might not only lose faith in the higher power you worship, but you might also feel a loss of faith in humanity, loved ones, or in yourself.

Many people experience feelings like this, especially when it feels like you have no control over what is going on in your life and the world around you. It is when we are consumed by all the uncertainties of life that faith is needed most but also when it’s the most difficult to grasp. It’s definitely easier to have faith when everything is going well but it's a lot more challenging when they are not.

That is why it is important for us to recognize when we start having these feelings and work towards reestablishing or holding on to our faith, especially during troubling times. 

This article offers insight regarding the practice of faith and what to do when you feel as if faith is being lost.

What Is Faith?

First, let’s get into what faith is exactly. The term "faith" is defined as "a strong belief in something or someone" or a "belief in the existence of God; strong religious beliefs or feelings."

According to the Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, faith is having belief in something without an apparent reason.

The Christian Bible describes faith as "the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen." (Hebrew 11:1 KJV).

Most people correlate faith with trust in God, the Universe, or a Higher Power. Faith means believing in the existence and presence of our higher powers in our lives, even though we cannot physically see them. Since a higher power is not something you see in the physical sense (as with other sources we put our trust in at times), if you no longer feel the impact of these things in your life, you may begin to lose faith in them.

Many religious texts associate faith with belief and trust in God and seeking God during times of hardship. The Christian Holy Bible’s book of Psalms as well as The Jewish sacred text, The Tanakh, book of Misheli says “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalms 56:3, Misheli 56:3)

There may be times when you don’t feel the presence of God or loved ones. It is actually when feeling a disconnect from these things that you can lean into your faith the most.

Most people express that they possess faith, but it is when faith is tested that one must put mere words into fruition. It is often when an individual has no reason to have faith in something, that they can actually practice the virtue of faith.

The Islamic Holy Quran states “But as for those who believe, and do good works — their Lord will guide them because of their faith.” (Quran, 10:10)

Believing that God will work a miracle during an insurmountable situation, having confidence that the impossible is possible, or trusting that what is happening is part of a greater plan—these are examples of faith. 

Reasons You May Feel A Loss of Faith

There are various reasons why one may begin to feel a loss of faith, some examples are: 

What to Do When You Feel You Are Losing Your Faith

Faith is very important in spirituality, which is beneficial to both mental and physical well-being. A research study determined participation in spiritual activities to be beneficial for those who felt depression was caused by losing faith. Many often equate depressive feelings with loss of faith. 

If ever you feel that you are losing your faith, you may want to consider the following suggestions.

Acknowledge and Accept What You Feel

In these moments it is important to first not judge yourself for these feelings. They are justifiable and you shouldn’t feel guilt or shame. Accept that these are your feelings and show yourself compassion.

It’s best to acknowledge what you are feeling, accept them for what they are, and then address them by exploring what could be causing them. Then, you can seek help from others like a loved one or counselor if necessary. 

Try Meditation or Prayer

Take some time for yourself to meditate and pray. This can help you become more in tune with your spirituality and may be really impactful when feeling as if you are losing faith.

Meditation and prayer are excellent practices to connect with a higher power and your beliefs because they can deepen presence, acceptance, and peace.

Count Your Blessings

Gratitude goes a long way! Whenever you feel a bit lost or unfulfilled, try to think about the people and things in your life that you are grateful for.

There is always something in life to appreciate, sometimes it requires taking a step back to acknowledge what is right in front of us.

Gratitude is an amazing trait to have and offers great benefits to well-being. So, try writing in a gratitude journal to list out everything you feel grateful for.

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Talk It Out

Think about reaching out to someone you trust for advice. If you are feeling confused or overwhelmed, sometimes it really helps to talk these things out and seek opinions from reliable sources.

There are times in everyone's lives that they can use a listening ear and open arms from the people they care for. Sometimes people put up a tough exterior and don’t reach out to people who genuinely do care because they don’t want to burden them or show vulnerability.

It may be time to let down walls and open up about your feelings, you never know, that person might need this talk just as much as you do.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

At times when an individual isn't feeling their best, they shouldn't rule out the option of simply getting together with people that it just feels good to be around.

Social support is often an impactful aspect of a person's spiritual being that offers great benefits to quality of life (QoL). A community of people who are there for one another, who show up when it matters, and put in the effort to positively influence each other's lives is what social support is all about.

It is during difficult times that support systems live up to the role they possess in an individual's life.  A little social interaction with those that you enjoy spending time with just may help in feeling more connected to spirituality and faith. 

Consider Counseling

A faith-based therapist or a spiritual counselor can help you discover why you might be feeling that you are losing your faith. In your sessions, you will be able to safely sort out your emotions and feel them without judgment.

Engaging in counseling or therapy may support you in deepening your understanding of your relationship with your faith. If your faith has been shaken or broken, it may take some time to heal and recover your faith, and you are encouraged in being patient with yourself and the process.

Engage in Acts of Kindness

Sometimes all of the troubling circumstances that are going on around someone begin to get to them more than they realize. When the world begins to look hopeless it may be beneficial for a person to feel as if they have some control of the good being contributed to the world.

Engaging in genuine acts of kindness, like volunteer work or donations, may help put a little faith back into humanity. Acts of kindness are associated with life satisfaction. With acts of kindness, people are able to get out of their own heads and be reminded that they are a part of a bigger picture.

Attend a Place of Worship

Religious institutions—such as a church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or other place of worship—represent a community of people with a shared belief that can commune together in worship and the enrichment of faith.

Gathering with those who have similar beliefs as yourself can help when you feel you are losing your faith.

Research shows that, when people attend church, they often feel a sense of encouragement, strength, belongingness. Moreover, faith in their higher power might even be restored.

Take a Break

Sometimes people need a reset button to remember who they are and what they believe in. It is easy to become so wrapped up in everyday life that a person begins to lose touch with themselves and their faith.

This is why it’s important to take a break from daily routine and take a breather. Consider spending some time in nature, which is a great way of connecting with your spirituality. Doing so may offer a sense of serenity.

You may even want to consider a nature retreat or small getaway to reconnect with yourself and what matters most to you. 

Take The Time to Reflect

Take the time to consider what in particular could be the source of you feeling the way you do. It is possible that it is a variety of things in your life that are causing you to feel a loss of faith. Whether it is stress, trauma, grief, or just feeling a disconnect from God and the world around you, it is important to assess these emotions. Speaking with a therapist or loved one can also help in determining what is making you feel this way and gain more of an understanding as to why.

It may be beneficial to reflect on your relationship with God and your belief systems. It is possible that others have had a greater influence on your faith than you realize or are comfortable with. It is common to have religious beliefs that were taught during childhood and throughout your life that may be conflicting to you or no longer resonant during this time.

Remember that your beliefs and faith can develop or change as you grow, so try not to be judgmental to yourself if they evolve. Take time to reflect on what you believe, what is working, what is no longer working, and what you feel may be the best way to proceed.

A Word From Verywell

Feeling lost, uneasy, and withdrawn happens to the best of us, sometimes at the most unexpected times. Although one does not always have control over what is going on in the world around them or even situations happening in their own lives, they do have authority over how they perceive and react to these experiences.

One should not judge or dismiss their feelings, but it is, however, important that they don’t dwell on thoughts that result in amplifying negative emotions too long, because it is easy to become overwhelmed by them.

When challenging moments do appear, consider engaging in activities that help you reconnect with yourself, those you care about, and your relationship with your ever-evolving spirituality and faith.

6 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Taylor C. Reason, Faith, and Meaning," Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers. 2019; 28(1). doi:10.5840/faithphil201128112

  3. Wittink MN, Joo JH, Lewis LM, et al. Losing Faith and Using Faith: Older African Americans Discuss Spirituality, Religious Activities, and Depression. J Gen Intern Med. 2009; 24(402). doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0897-1

  4. Wood AM, Froh JJ, Geraghty AWA. Gratitude and wellbeing: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review. 2010; 30(7):890-905

  5. Helgeson, V.S. Social support and quality of life. Qual Life Res. 2003; 12:25–31 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023509117524

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By Tiara Blain, MA
Tiara Blain, MA, is a freelance writer for Verywell Mind. She is a health writer and researcher passionate about the mind-body connection, and holds a Master's degree in psychology.