In the midst of a crisis or tough times it can be challenging to stay positive. In this blog, we share 10 tips how to stay positive during difficult times.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
With the cacophony of bad news readily available in these difficult times and the overwhelming wave of panic resulting from a worldwide pandemic, it’s easy for a highly sensitive person to be overtaken with gloom and despair.
But working to stay positive in difficult times is a worthy endeavor that enhances your mental and physical well-being, as well as your capacity to manage future stressful situations. Positivity and optimism are a crucial part of stress management, and good stress management could potentially lower rates of depression and improve the body’s immune response.
10 Tips To Stay Positive During Difficult Times
Staying positive may sound simple, but where do you begin? The following ideas are some practical ways you can work on staying positive during difficult times.
1. Gratitude Journal
Research at UC Davis demonstrates that having a gratitude practice can help to improve your mood, raise your energy levels, and lower anxiety by reducing the body’s stress.
To do this, just take some time to write out at least three things you are grateful for or that make you smile. This can be a person, an experience, an object, or anything else.
Try to perform this practice daily so that in good times it will be a regular occurrence, and during difficult times it will help to brighten your outlook on life.
2. Don’t Dwell On Negative Thoughts
Your inner critic and worrisome thoughts only serve to bring your mood down and make you feel worse in these already difficult times.
You can teach your mind to shift from negative thoughts and worries to a more positive mindset. This can be achieved in various ways, such as challenging the negative thoughts by asking yourself if the thought is really correct or not. You can also bring up any positive achievements that negate what your mind is telling you.
Finally, if those don’t seem to work, act like you are talking to a friend in the same mindset you’re in and see what you would say to them.
Studies have shown that even short mindful meditations can facilitate a more positive mood and improve the overall mental health of the individuals participating. This can be doubly helpful during these difficult times of stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness meditations are those in which you bring your awareness to a single point of reference, such as your breath, a word, or a bodily sensation.
This can help train your attention and awareness to stay positive and prevent yourself from falling down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts and being trapped there, which is all too easy during difficult times.
If you’d like to give it a go right away, try this guided meditation:
4. Take Care Of Your Physical Health
While it sounds a bit too easy, taking care of your physical health in difficult times can actually help you stay in a more positive mindset. The basis of eating well, exercising, hydrating, and getting enough sleep are core to your mental health.
Eating well can ensure you are getting the proper nutrients and vitamins that can help boost your mood and mental clarity. While exercising can burn off tension and stress and help stave them off if done regularly.
Hydration may not be thought about often, but even being just a little bit dehydrated can impact your mood, your energy level, and your ability to think clearly.
Finally, getting at least eight hours of high-quality sleep at night can boost your brain function as well as improve your decision-making capabilities.
All of these can easily be thrown to the wayside during difficult times, so it is essential to try to bring your physical health back on track as soon as you can.
5. Get Outside
Sunlight and fresh air are two of the easiest ways to raise your positive vibes during stressful or difficult times.
Taking a walk, sitting outside, or working in your garden are all great ways to get vitamin D and help clear your mind.
The vitamin D you get from the sun hitting your skin can help regulate your mood and decrease any depression you may be feeling.
If you can’t get outside, for one reason or another, opening a window and sitting in a sunny spot for a while can work as well.
6. Focus On The Positive
Dwelling on negative or depressing thoughts are far too easy in the difficult times we live in, but it only serves to lower your mood and make you feel more stressed.
When you notice your thoughts are turning, try to distract yourself with something positive.
Watch an uplifting movie, or listen to music that makes you happy. Pull out that gratitude journal we talked about, reread it, and scribble in some more thoughts on what makes you happy.
You can also write out positive goals of what direction you want your life to go in the year.
7. Cultivate A Positive Support Group
A highly sensitive person can take on a lot of feelings from surrounding people and make them their own, so having friends and loved ones around that are positive-minded can help elevate your thoughts in difficult times.
If you find it hard, especially during a pandemic, to make new friends try connecting to like-minded people in online groups and forums. Why not join our community for highly sensitive people and empaths?
8. Limit Negative News
It is all too easy in these difficult times to lose several hours on social media, scrolling through all the news and updates, and being left in a sour, agitated mood.
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping yourself up to date with the current state of the world, for your own mental health, you should put a limit on how much news you take in on any given day.
A highly sensitive person can become overwhelmed by the news and be thrown into a depressed state by merely scrolling a news site.
Make a point only to check one news site a day and to limit the time on that site to less than an hour total. If you’d like to reduce your time on the phone, this might be an interesting read for you.
9. Take Time For Yourself
Your own personal endeavors can get pushed to the wayside during difficult times due to lack of energy or lack of brain space to concentrate.
Making time to do the things you enjoy can elevate your mood and make you feel more productive.
Whether it’s a creative endeavor like dancing, drawing, or painting, or it’s more self-care centered such as a bath or an at-home spa day, it is essential to give yourself time during the week to do these things.
10. Stay In The Present
If you find yourself thinking of past regrets or worrying about the future, you’re not alone. These ways of thinking are common during difficult time periods and only serve to bring your mood down with thoughts of things you cant change.
When you notice this happening, bring your awareness back to the present and focus on what is going on around you.
It also helps to go through your day slowly so as to mindfully keep yourself and your awareness in the present.
You’ve got this!
This year has been a difficult time for everybody, and staying positive is becoming more and more difficult.
But you don’t have to let the difficult times or the negative thoughts that come from it keep you down.
What are you doing to remain positive during difficult times?