Most of us can agree that positive thinking is important. It tends to make us feel better, be more productive, and reduces stress.
The problem is, our lives aren't always rosy. Crises happen - be it on a personal level or something more widespread. That reality is a part of everyone's life, and it makes keeping your spirits up tough.
If you are struggling to stay positive and hopeful when going through these challenging times, try following these nine tips. I have also included three actionable steps you can take right away and a list of suggested reading for those people who are looking for even more information.
Don't Put Your Head in the Sand
No matter what you are dealing with, ignoring it is rarely the answer. While ignoring problems might feel good in the short-term, it will sap your long-term positivity. Plus, many of the other tips listed here require you to acknowledge your circumstances first.
This Too Shall Pass
When you are in the midst of a crisis, it is nearly impossible to keep things in perspective. That said, you need to recognize that your circumstances are temporary. Things might seem dire at the moment, but try your best to remember that "this too shall pass." As my mom would say, it may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass!
Make a Plan
One of the single best things you can do to maintain positivity during tough times is to make a plan on how to deal with it. When you focus on the solution rather than the problem, you will naturally feel more positive. You will feel like you are rising to the challenge. Now is also a good time to be planning for your business after our current crisis has passed.
Think About the Things You are Grateful For
Even during great personal turmoil, you still have things you are grateful for. When things get tough, it is vital to remember that there is good in the world, and more importantly, in your life. When you are struggling, take some time to list the things in your life you are grateful for. Don't forget about the people you are grateful for - there has never been a better time to tell them how much you appreciate them!
Reach Out for Support
Support in and support out! Reach out to loved ones and offer your support. Reach out if you need assistance too. When things are dire, it is always reaffirming when people pull together and help each other. There are new resources popping up in every community across the country to meet our current crisis - there is no shame in taking advantage of those resources if you need to!
Take a Break
Sometimes our circumstances are so dire that we are forced to think about our problems constantly. It is OK to take a break. You can take a break from the news, social media, or other people. It might not be easy but taking a break from external stimuli can help keep you positive. Go for a walk, play with your pet, sit outside in the sunshine, find a quiet place to meditate or gather your thoughts, or just go for a drive - it will refresh your spirit and give you some new perspective!
Journal Your Feelings
Journaling is a powerful tool in so many ways. By simply giving you a place to express your fears and concerns, a journal helps you maintain positivity outside of its pages. Do you know how good it feels to vent to a friend? Well, consider your journal as your best friend. If you have never kept a journal, now may be a good time to start - even if it's just for a short period of time.
Focus on Things You Can Control
When your world seems like it is spinning out of control, you may feel helpless. One way to address this and stay more positive is to focus on the things you can control. Instead of fretting about things out of your control, focus on making sure you do your best job on the things you can control. Remember this? "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Distractions are usually the worst. We are often trying to learn how to avoid or deal with them, and distractions in our work day bring on aggravation and frustration. They aren't that bad when you are struggling to stay positive in tough times, though. No matter how silly they seem, you should embrace distractions that bring you joy in tumultuous times. If you're currently staying at home during the current crisis, you may want to consider actually scheduling some distractions just to keep yourself positive!
Here are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to get yourself back on the positivity track!
Write down your feelings. Think about everything you are dealing with and how it's affecting you. Write it down. Don't worry about grammar or spelling; just focus on getting your feelings out of your head and onto paper.
Reach out. Whether you are reaching out to offer support or request it, reaching out will help you feel like part of a community. When we all work together, we can overcome anything.
Make a plan. Think about what your biggest struggle is right now and devise a plan to tackle it. Set some goals and deadlines. You will feel more positive by just having the plan, and even more positive if you act on it.
Looking for some additional reading on the subject of staying positive? Here are some of my favorite options:
Stay Positive: Encouraging Quotes and Messages
Staying Positive in a Negative World
Positive Thinking Every Day
The Power of Positive Thinking
The One Minute Gratitude Journal
To your success!
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Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.
Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years of experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.
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