It can feel nearly impossible to be optimistic during difficult times. We must push through to fight negative thoughts and behaviors. Here are some tips to help you achieve just that.
- Change the Things that Are Within Your Control
Spending time worrying about something that you can’t change can cause a lot of stress. Instead, use that energy to focus on the things in your life that you can control, like your diet, exercise regimen, or household chores.
- Reframe Negative Thinking
Redirect your negative thoughts to positive thoughts. For example, if you are in isolation alone, try to shift your focus from that to the fact that you are healthy, on your own schedule, and safe. Guiding yourself away from the negative thoughts will help put you in a positive mindset quickly.
- Practice Gratitude
Expressing thankfulness helps you foster a new attitude by pushing you to look for the good around you. If you have trouble finding things to be grateful for, try a gratitude challenge . The American Heart Association has a 21 days of gratitude challenge that will help you think more positively.
- Ask Yourself If It Will Matter Long Term
Sometimes things seem crucial and maybe impossible to deal with at the moment, but might be inconsequential even just a few days after that. Whatever you are dealing with and causing you to think negatively, ask yourself if that issue will matter next week or month or year. Don’t allow short term emotions to have long-lasting effects.
- Trust That Things Will Work Themselves Out
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that things will work out favorably. Remember to be patient. The things that happen to you while waiting for things to get better can benefit you in the long run.
- Don’t Turn a Minor Problem into a Major One
As the old saying goes, don’t turn a molehill into a mountain. It simply means don’t take a little problem and turn into something much bigger. The saying is used to tell someone that he or she is overreacting. When you are overwhelmed, it’s easy to turn a small problem into a much bigger issue. One of the easiest ways to avoid this from happening is to take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “relax, take it easy.” Remember to stay calm and talk to someone if you need to.
- Try Something New
Try new activities, or engage in something you’re passionate about. Keeping yourself busy will take your mind off the negative thoughts you’re experiencing. Try painting, sculpting, cooking, yoga, music, or anything that sounds interesting to you. Whatever the new hobby is, you want to make sure it is something you will enjoy.
These are trying times for everyone. We have to take steps to adjust to our new normal with as much positivity as we can. Take it one day at a time. Everyone is different. Don’t compare your progress to others, talk to those who love you, and always find the positive in every situation.