Let’s be honest, staying positive while keeping informed about world events has been getting increasingly difficult. And yet, despite what seems to be an endless stream of bad news, we remain completely and solely responsible for our outlook on life. Yes, regardless of the political noise, economic fluctuations, social movements, and international affairs – we get to decide if our glass is half empty or half full. So, if the burden of the world is lying heavy on your shoulders, it’s time to set it down and examine how and why you picked it up in the first place. More likely than not, the answer is stress.
Stress is responsible for more physiological and psychological ailments than we can count. It also tends to cloud the mind and distort emotions, causing overwhelming generalized anxiety, which only further disables people from taking action against it. That’s why figuring out where it’s coming from is crucial if you want to stay positive. The good news is that experts agree that by cutting out “stressors” and incorporating a few simple exercises into our day, we can learn to control of our mindset and enjoy a higher quality of life.
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer
To change your outlook on life, you first need to create space where that change can be made. You have to realize and accept the fact that your mind may be in crisis mode, and that you may need support getting out of it. This is when a strong network of friends or loved ones can be immeasurably helpful. Aim to surround yourself with people that make you happy, who have a sense of gratitude and optimism for life, and who know how to stay positive in light of the bad news. See what you can learn from them.
How to Stay Positive
Strength Through Gratitude
Cultivating gratitude on a daily basis can help you stay positive by intentionally redirecting your focus from negative and invasive thoughts that are characteristic of stress, to positive and constructive ones. Engaging in something as simple as jotting down what you’re grateful for can have a significant calming effect. The list can also serve as a great reminder for when situations get particularly testy at a later time.
Surrendering to Mindfulness
Emerging research is steadily confirming what Buddhists have known for a long, long time: mindfulness can help reduce emotional reactivity while boosting cognitive flexibility. What this means in simpler terms is practicing mindfulness gives us control over how much we are affected by incoming stimuli, both intellectually as well as emotionally.
Serenity via Spoken Word
If you want to stay positive, you have to watch what you say. The damaging impact of complaining can’t be overstated since it literally changes the brain and overstimulates our fight-or-flight response. Instead, try practicing a daily affirmation (from Merkaela) to keep calm and in control of your mindset.
Tuning In by Tuning Out
In today’s world, media outlets are everywhere. And so is the news. One of the best ways to stay positive is to take strategic breaks from information input. Stay away from your phone or TV before going to bed. Do not listen to public radio or read the paper first thing in the morning. Instead, take a bath, listen to some music, or try a little Merkaela aromatherapy to relax and recharge. There will always be more news when you tune back in.
Standing for Something
One of the best ways to stay positive is to stand for something bigger than you. Find a good cause to get passionate about and try to get involved. By investing yourself into a constructive and productive cause, you’re releasing positive energy into the world, which should provide you with some piece of mind.
Growth Through Goal Setting
Goal setting is immeasurably important when trying to stay positive since much of our stress stems from a sense of helplessness in the face of bad news. When you have goals, you have to make plans for achieving them. This means working hard towards accomplishing something specific. Taking small steps on a daily basis will reinforce your sense of control over your life, even in the face of unforeseen obstacles.
Creating for Happiness
Have you ever noticed how most successful people in any industry have a creative outlet? Whether it’s art, writing, crafting or designing, successful and positive people tend to engage in activities that allow them to balance their professional side with something a lot more personal, providing them with a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life.
“You will never see a rainbow if you are looking down” – Charlie Chaplin
At Merkaela, we are always interested in learning which of our provided strategies readers will find the most effective. We sincerely hope you’ve found these helpful in your quest to find happiness and stay positive, even in light of the bad news.