Life isn’t always the way we want it to be. All we have to do is to go outside or connect with any media source to see that we live in very uncertain times. Many jobs we thought were safe no longer exist. Businesses that have been around for years have closed their doors in the last few months. If it isn’t COVID-19 there’s fires, hurricanes or something else. There’s always some disaster somewhere. And people often seem to be more cruel than kind as they attempt to deal with stress and uncertainty.
How ever easy it is to get caught up in a negative spiral of self-doubt and anxiety, it’s no place I want to ‘live’ and I don’t believe you do either. But it begs the question, ‘how do you stay hopeful and positive when around you all you see are negative messages and fear’?
Be here now
By focusing on the present, you will find it easier to take a step back and act as an observer. The events around us do not determine our results, our choices do. Our response is key to any outcome. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll see you can enjoy the simple things in life, no matter how bad things may seem. All worries and fears of the unknown can melt away if you focus on the present. Look for things in your life for which you’re grateful.
Look for ways to exhibit compassion and empathy
Spreading hope needs to start somewhere. Begin with the one and only person you can control, yourself. By looking for opportunities to pay it forward through random acts of kindness, you then become the impetus for others to do the same. Your compassionate heart and ability to walk in another’s shoes will be the guide to those around you. And even if it’s not? You’ll have at least changed one heart – your own.
The person without hope becomes stagnant, preferring to hide from the world. If you find that’s the case with yourself, then it’s time to force yourself into action, even if you don’t feel like it. Get out of the house and go for a walk. Call a friend and suggest an outing or go by yourself. Find a green space somewhere because these places have been found to create calm and contentment in those who spend even a few minutes there. The goal is to find a positive action and embrace it, whatever that might be. Pick up litter, share a smile and some laughter, do something that makes you feel good inside, and there you will find hope blossoming.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world around you. Only by actively seeking hope will you find it. By practicing these three steps regularly, you’ll find yourself able to look forward to each day, no matter what’s going on around you.