Simple Ideas to Stay Positive and Healthy During Difficult Times
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
– Anais Nin
1. Find the optimistic viewpoint
Trying to force optimistic thinking can be difficult when that’s not the state of mind you’re in, but the way you think determines the way you feel. An effective way to build a more positive outlook is to ask yourself one simple question:
What is one opportunity within this situation?
2. Cultivate a positive environment
Who you choose to spend time with and the input you get from the TV, internet and radio will have a big impact on your outlook.
To stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that lift you up instead of drag you down. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are the 3 most positive people I spend time with?
- What are the 3 of most positive sources of information I (can) spend time on?
3. Slow down
When you go too fast, it can be hard to think, talk, eat and move. It can all feel overwhelming. Recognize it, focus on your breathing for a minute, and consciously slow down. It will become easier to think things through clearly, and easier to find the optimistic and constructive perspective.
4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill
It can very easy to lose perspective, especially in times of real crisis. Identify what is a big problem and what isn’t. Use the simple mantra of ‘Stop, Breathe, Refocus‘. If it’s not a big problem, let it go, at least for now.
5. Add positivity to someone else’s life
You tend to get back what you give. Find the value you have to give and spread positivity. Help out. Give a ride. Lend a hand. Be a listening ear. You’ll get it back.
6. Exercise regularly, eat and rest
These are basic habits that sound pretty boring, but they’re likely the most important thing you can do to take care of your health and stress levels. Manage your sleep to regulate your emotional state, not only for yourself but for those around you. And fun fact (which you already knew) exercise doesn’t just help deal with stress but it releases natural endorphins to help you feel good.
7. Learn to take criticism
Don’t reply right away. If something you’ve heard makes you angry or upset, take time to calm down a bit before you reply.
Really listen to the criticism. Try to remain open-minded and think about the feedback you’ve received, and if it can help you.
Remember that the criticism isn’t always about you. Some criticism is helpful. Some is simply an attack because someone else is struggling with something.
Reply or let go. Ask a question or two to get more specific feedback if you think it might be helpful. If you don’t get a reply or have simply been the brunt of someone else’s anger, time to take a deep breath and move on.
8. Start your day in a positive way
How you begin your day will set the tone for the rest of your day. Experts recommend avoiding checking messages on your phone or sitting down in front of the computer as your first activity. Take a few minutes to sip some coffee, have a conversation with a friend or family member or go for a quick 5 minute walk.