How to Stay Optimistic When Everything Seems Wrong
The overwhelming news reports you see and read every day can push your mental health to the boundaries. Optimism might not sound like the best solution, especially in a crisis such as this pandemic. However, despite confidence being a luxury that only a few can afford, it can still help you recover and cope with trauma by softening the blow of stress.
To become more resilient, you must learn to be compassionate not only to others but also to yourself. One of the primary keys to do so is by interrupting the negative thoughts that you frequently encounter. If you often find yourself in a cycle of negative inner dialogue, you must take a step to relax and disturb this round of anxiety.
Disrupting includes stopping to focus on your breathing pattern instead of your thoughts. Change the environment that surrounds you and create a safe distance from your previous mental space. You could also try to converse with a close friend, family member, or someone you trust to enlighten your perspective.
Find Pleasure in the Small Things
Because you currently have limited options on how and where to spend your time during the lockdown, you may come to realize that typical day-to-day activities can become enjoyable, such as feeding your pet or brewing coffee. Try to lean into this. You might think these daily activities are dull, but they can be a sufficient distraction from oncoming lousy news.
Even if the world was not amid a pandemic, these simple moments are still crucial. Researchers from a recent study emphasized the value of mundane activities that people do every day. They asked participants to record their everyday habits, such as the songs they frequently listened to or the posts they share on their social media accounts.
- After a few months, the partakers took a look at the documented memories, realizing how they were more interested and curious in their recent activities than they would be. If you often enjoy the human activities in retrospect, you might as well appreciate it, too, while you still can.
Find Moments of Gratitude
There are always things to be thankful for, even during the times where life may not be so kind to you. Sometimes, a comparison isn’t the one that steals joy away. However, it does do a great job of reminding people of the good things they currently have. While practicing to be grateful for specific instances in your life, your brain exercises its ability to look for things you should be thankful for, until eventually, you will often see the good that surrounds you.
One way to start is to have a journal where you can write down at least three things every day that fills you with gratitude. As you make a habit of focusing on the good in your life, you can be more optimistic and have lesser negative thoughts.
Move Your Body
As you exercise, you also release several chemicals that provide healing and tranquility. It also gives you a brief escape from any negative inner dilemmas. Any physical activity that requires concentration and focus, including sports or workouts, you offer your mind a momentary time-out from any thinking that might lower your mood.
Once you’ve finished with your chosen activity, you will have a fresher and sharper mind due to the calming chemicals that your body has released. You will find yourself from a different perspective, allowing you to take a better angle while tackling your problem.
Don’t Belittle Your Negative Feelings
As much as you want your negative feelings to go away, ignoring them is not the best way to solve them. Once you feel down, that means there’s something wrong. It allows you to focus on the problem better as you try to solve it.
You can use your negative emotions, including doubt, fear, and anxiety, as an attention funnel to give you a narrower mind, providing more emphasis on essential details. This can be useful and efficient as you assess a particular situation during the current crisis. It allows you to appropriately sort out fiction from fact despite the overwhelming information that you receive every day.
As much as how negative thoughts can be draining, overly optimistic thoughts can also be despite the tips mentioned above. You should not sweep your negative emotions under the rug, but you shouldn’t gloss them over either. Instead, try to let all your traumas, stress, and anxiety sit beside your other feelings.
Wong, K. (2020, April 29). How to Stay Optimistic When Everything Seems Wrong. Retrieved from
Lechner, T. (2020, June 17). 10 Simple Hacks To Stay Positive When Your Situation Looks Bad. Retrieved from