Seven Ways to Stay Positive and Happy During 'Uncertain Times'
Posted Oct 10 2008 1:07pm
Many people have been asking lately HOW they can possibly stay positive with the world seemingly struggling every day. I have come up with seven ways to do so. I encourage and invite my readers to pipe in with their own as well as submit comments on mine.
1) Limit your News (Watching/Reading/Listening)
Yes, we can recognize that these are very difficult times for many and that the world economy is uncertain. Watching 3 hours of news or checking the stock market every 2 hours will not change that. Talking about HOW BAD it all is and watching as the news makes everything seem broken will not help you feel good. “The News” makes it all worse and the more you watch and talk about how bad things are the worse you will feel. Yes, I believe you can be informed but 5 minutes daily is more than enough to catch up and move on. If you feel “I HAVE to get MORE news” — why not try a site like “ Happy News ” instead and see how that affects your daily life? There are always POSITIVE things going on in the world - unfortunately that is not what mass media concentrates on.
2) Pay Gratitude for the Simple Things
Yes, it can feel easy to concentrate on what we don’t have when our quality of life has had to change to accommodate for higher gas, food and health care prices…. To WORRY about these things does not help. Pay gratitude for what you DO have. Do you have family and/or friends that you love? Do you still have a roof over your head? Are you able to go out for a walk or to read a funny book? Do you have a hobby and/or exercise you enjoy? Switching to what you love instead of what is wrong puts you in a state to receive more goodness. I’ve written about the importance of gratitude several times and it is a little shift that goes a LONG way!
The Local library is a place to borrow free books and movies and to also be a part of your community.
A walk to get some sun on your face and be with nature is an amazing way to shift your mood. I grew up in NYC and a walk in a park always put a smile on my face. Now that I live in the country I find it essential for my well being to get out and get moving! Hence my post “ Nature Heals You — 10 Ways to Enjoy it ”
Reading is always a good way to feel transported. Get a book from the library or swap books with friends for free and enjoyable reading experiences.
Put on an old Cd, tape or even LP that makes you smile. If you are bored with your music collection — go to a site on the internet that plays music and be amazed… I recommend Pandora where you enter one song or musical group you like and it plays songs that they think you would like based on the one you mentioned. I also love putting on you tube videos and dancing or getting silly with my kids. Nothing makes us smile more than a good old fashioned “dance party”! One of my kid’s favorites is “Mahnah Mahnah” by the Muppets (below):
4) Find a Teacher and/or Hero for Inspiration
As many of you know I ran the group writing project “ Heroes of Healing ” that has over 20 wonderful writers sharing what they learned and summaries of over 40 “Heroes”. When I was ill it was essential for me to surround myself with positive material. I had over 6 years of bad habits and being on autopilot to un-do! It wasn’t enough to find one teacher for me because there were MANY different areas of my life that needed work. I honestly think I would have gotten bored if I JUST studied one teacher exclusively. By finding people you resonate with to learn from you will:
a) Gain some affirmations and/or quotes that you can say when you find yourself getting “off track”.
My 4 (yes, I know regular readers you have heard this a zillion times - bear with me ) were:
“ When you Change the Way you Look at things the Things you Look at Change “
– Dr. Wayne Dyer
“ You must realize everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness “
– Dr. Deepak Chopra
“ Worry is negative goal setting ” by ??”
‘ You Have Enough, You Do Enough, You ARE Enough “
by Susan SARK
b) Find a different way to look at things and learn new coping skills.
Learning about “The Pain Body” from Eckhart Tolle gave me an A-Ha moment like few others. Reading about how Susan Sark overcame the emotional pain of incest to go on to inspire others gave me new insight on WHAT it was possible to forgive and work through. Hearing Vaishali talk about how you ARE What you love and if you are worried or upset all the time then you are loving being worried and upset - struck a deep chord within. The Heroes of Healing list gives a wonderful opportunity to go through so many different ways to cope including EFT, Hypnosis, meditation and SFT Awareness which embraces traditional Christian values to empower people to heal from depression. There are no shortages of alternative methods to heal emotional and physical pain now — it is just FINDING those methods that resonate with you and keep you on track.
5) HELP Others
Whether it is promoting and spreading awareness of wonderful causes like Train for Humanity or getting old clothes together and bringing them to the Salvation Army — there are an unlimited number of ways to GIVE to others. Helping others will fill you with joy. As you give and you are promoting kindness and spreading love. There is always someone that can use help and it does not always have to be monetary help. Take a look around your house and see what you can get rid of — guaranteed there are people that can put whatever you find to good use. I wrote a post a while back “ Heal Yourself by Helping Others ” that also highlights ways to help that don’t cost a thing.
6) Combine Resources with Others
From car-pooling to having “bring your own dish parties” - there are MANY ways to be social AND combine resources at the same time. Trade clothes with friends for a “new” wardrobe, trade books, CDS, DVDs, furniture — ANYTHING… When it is NEW to you (whether it is new from the store or not) it will give you that sense of abundance and gratitude!
7) Take CARE of Yourself Physically
When people get upset or overwhelmed there is a tendency to “take the easy way” from moment to moment. While a $5 McDonalds meal might SEEM easier than a grocery trip and making dinner… it will NOT help you in the long run. While bypassing exercise to get in that extra work or to “catch up on news” might SEEM like a better option — you NEED to be moving and taking care of yourself. While sleep may seem like a luxury with “so much to do” it is essential that your body gets the rest it needs to be strong and cope with stress better. While reminding yourself to drink water might be “the last thing on your mind” - drinks water flushes out toxins and is essential for health and in most cases is FREE. Little shifts and being mindful of how you are treating your physical body will enable your emotional body to stay strong and resilient. The GLC Zone (Grow learn Change) offers many wellness bloggers to read and learn from.
I hope these ways have helped you. The last one is the one I personally “struggle” with the most. No, I’m not hitting Mickey-D-Drive-throughs but will rationalize less sleep for work time and less exercise for work time. We all have our areas that can use “some work”. We all have means to cope with these times that would help others by sharing them. How do YOU stay positive during these times” Have any of my ideas given YOU new ideas of ways to stay positive? Please share and help me and others find new ways to enjoy life and be happy no matter WHAT! It is a joy to be writing on my new site and I want to thank everyone so much for their support and wonderful comments!