Let’s be honest… we live in stressful times. So much is beyond our control and sometimes, staying positive and hopeful can be a challenge. What these times teach us, however, is we are stronger than we think; and more adaptable to change than we knew. Here are four ways to find hope and positivity in these crazy times…
1.Look for Hope in Unexpected Places
One key step in finding hope in a time of chaos is to turn off the news and simply look for the positive in unexpected places. We saw looting after the recent protests, but we also watched as neighbors came together the next morning to sweep glass and help small business owners straighten their stores.
In the midst of strict quarantine orders, we see individuals helping elderly neighbors by planting flowers in their gardens, cutting their lawns and bringing groceries to their doors.
In difficult times, we can choose to be a beacon of hope and caring and not a contributor to the difficulties facing our world. That choice helps us to live in positivity and is uplifting to ourselves and for those who need to see signs of good happening daily.
2. Encourage Optimism in Those Around You
A positive attitude cultivates positivity in those around you.
Pay it Forward is a real concept. Helping someone who is not expecting to be helped is a gift to yourself as well. When you see others stepping up to participate in a birthday parade for an elderly neighbor or a small child, you smile. When you watch the news and see neighbors cleaning a neighborhood after a night of looting madness, hope and the belief that things will be ok are fostered.
There are things we can do to help others even during the stay -at- home/ safer- at- home quarantines. We can help a neighbor with yard work they cannot do themselves. If you are going to the market, see if your neighbor needs anything you can pick up at the same time. Call your Mom, sister and friends you are not seeing. Helping others truly does help yourself. You CAN be the spark that lightens the darkness others may be feeling. Each act of kindness will help you to find more optimism in your own life.
3. Practice Gratitude
There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for in your life. Even when there is chaos; even when there is a quarantine, grace exists. Is there food to eat in your household? Be grateful. Do you have a roof over your head? Be grateful. Are you healthy or recovering from a medical condition? Each day you feel good or better is a reason to be grateful. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stories on the news, and social media, we allow the negativity of others to drown out the aspects of our lives that we would otherwise be grateful for.
Now is the time to practice gratitude. Limit the access of negativity to your life. You CAN control what you watch on TV, and the amount of time you spend on social media. This does not mean you ignore issues we see which need addressing. But be the positive force for change and be gracious when others disagree. Kindness and respect stem from gratitude. Minds can be changed when unexpected kindness and graciousness is expressed toward them.
4. Challenges are Possibilities
It is so easy to look at a challenge as a limitation. Turn your viewpoint toward the positive and you will see that a challenge is a possibility. Your business is subject to a stay- at- home order. How can you meet a need in your network, client base or neighborhood that will bring in revenue? You are collecting unemployment or working part-time from home. How can you become more marketable? Maybe now is the time to learn a new skill or take a free online course. Update your resume and see what opportunities are available using skills which are now more marketable than they were previously.
Most entrepreneurs found success by meeting a need which others did not see. Look around you. Think about where products or services fall short and see if you can create a fix that may turn into income for you. Challenges are possibilities when you look at them with a positive eye.
In this time of chaos, we can ease our stress through positivity, gratitude, and seeing challenges as possibilities. We WILL get through this difficult time. We CAN get through this period with grace and optimism. We control our mindset and what and who we allow to live in our heads. Be the positive when others are focused on only the negative in their lives. This change in focus may lead to you becoming the beacon of optimism in your circle. You just may find that a change in focus will reduce your stress level more than you thought possible.