8 Tips for Staying Positive in Our Stressed-Out World
This article is the ANTI-stressed-out, NON-nasty-spreading-disease, NOT-A-WORD-of-world-disaster, NON-political-jockeying edition. I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of the present state of events. Even now, I’m avoiding a few words to describe things, because I think we are all just a little weary of hearing them! I don’t want to see another webinar on surviving this thing… really, please stop!
I’m one of those people who tend to bury things that are bothering me. I often recognize that I have a bad attitude or that something is bothering me, before I realize what it is. One of the things I’m learning as I navigate life and current events is that positivity is a discipline. There are things we can do that help us stay positive.
The other thing about positivity is that sometimes our attitude is best changed by a decision to take a positive action. We need to take positive actions to influence an attitude change. This is really just a principle for living in general. If we choose to do the right thing our attitude will catch up.
With that in mind, lets focus on some positive actions that will change our attitude and produce a bright outlook.
1. Stop Being Negative – The Thumperian Rule of our childhood is applicable here. In the Disney movie, Bambi, Thumper’s mom and dad told him, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” I have been guilty, especially lately of complaining about certain government actions, being upset about my freedom being infringed upon, and more. And, some of this discussion is just normal. However, I’m also finding great benefit by drawing a line and forcing myself to turn it off!
2. Be Thankful – One of the best ways to turn off the negative is to focus on the good. A Bible verse I learned in my childhood says, “Be thankful in all circumstances”. This is a tall order, but a good one. James Allen, author of the classic “As a Man Thinketh”, said, ““No duty is more urgent than giving thanks.” As I do prayers with my children before bed, I often try to enumerate some of the things we have to be thankful for to help us all remember… we live in a free country where we get to choose, we have a really nice home compared to many in our world, we have food in plenty, we get to learn every day… so many good things!
3. Give to Others – It might be tempting to give into the scarcity mentality in our present environment and stop giving. But wouldn’t it be better to embrace the abundance mentality and hold to a giving attitude? And, isn’t it true that it is more blessed to give than to receive? There is something special that pulls you out of yourself when you give, especially to those who are less fortunate than we are. If you don’t know of someone in need, ask your church if they know of members who need some cash, or donate to a food pantry or homeless shelter. The reward is much greater than the gift!
4. Find a Way to Help – I recently downloaded the app, “Nextdoor”. It is a pretty cool little social media application for the people in your neighborhood to post all sorts of things and share information about the neighborhood. One of the things I noticed very quickly, is that there are lots of people who are looking to help. There are countless offers like “Anyone need help with grocery shopping or meals?”, and “We are willing to help anyone out…”. It was good for my soul just to see all the offers! Helping someone is a great way to boost a positive outlook. There is just something about a selfless act of kindness that gets your eyes off yourself and onto something better, like the wellbeing of others.
5. Share Stories – One of the things we did when many of our team started working remote was a bi-weekly company check-in. This has proven to be a great way to stay connected. It has also brought some fun and positivity, as we all share stories of the little things that are going on in our lives. One day everyone rather spontaneously decided to bring their pet into the camera which was great fun. We’ve also learned that one of our engineers has become the barista of the house during this time, and more. Stories of the little things going on in our lives often bring a smile!
6. Get outdoors – Getting outdoors is a good thing for most of us. The four walls of our houses or offices tend to close in on us after time. It always surprises me how much a walk outside, or even some good yard work can help my outlook become more positive! I think Emerson states it much better than I can, “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.”
7. Laugh – We have all heard it said that laughter is like medicine to the soul. One of the things we have tried to do in our virtual stand-up meetings is bring a joke. Most of the time they are really bad jokes, by that I mean worse than dad-jokes. The funny thing is that no matter how bad they are, if they get you to crack a smile, they brighten your day. It really lifts the spirits to laugh a little together. By the way, have you heard why scientists don’t trust atoms? …because they make up everything. Yes, I can hear the collective moan.
8. Feed your mind – It is too easy right now to feed our minds with everything that Netflix has to offer, even though we know it is not good for us in the long run. And, it is too easy for our thoughts to turn inward. Jack Canfield describes the law of attraction well when he said, “… whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.” What you spend your time on is what you get, and a simple shift of our focus will attract good!
The great thing is that these are all things we have control over. Choose to act and change your outlook to a positive one!
Scott Hirschfeld is the President of CTaccess, an Elm Grove IT support company that has been helping small businesses stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business since 1990. Under his leadership CTaccess provides the business minded approach of larger IT companies with the personalized touch of the smaller ones. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.