Optimism is not just about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. It’s about reframing thoughts into more accurate statements and choosing a reality that is more useful.
Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious and worried since the beginning of the Lebanese revolution? Have you been experiencing higher levels of stress in your body and brain? Clearly, many people are distressed about the political and economic situation Lebanon is going through and many view this as a turning point for our country.
Taking care of yourself, your community and your country during political and economic uncertainty requires energy and perseverance.
Here are 9 tips for cultivating sanity, reducing your stress, and building your optimism in times of crisis:
- Keep a positive outlook: Remind yourself that all what we are facing is temporary; we have overcome worse setbacks before and we can do it again. Let us focus on the positive things that could be achieved and learn from the experience that we are going through at the present. And don’t forget to celebrate every small win along the journey.
- Slow down your quest for information: It is important to stay informed, however, if you feel that you are becoming stressed and irritable with others, or feeling depressed and hopeless, just cut down on your screen time for few days. By reducing your distress, you will be able to stay politically and socially engaged.
- Go to trusted news sources only: Do not believe everything you hear and see, and post responsibly in order to avoid spreading false information.
- Keep giving: Even in the toughest of times, try to find a way to care a little more for others. Being selfless is one of the greatest ways to discover your own strength.
- Focus on what you can control, leave what you can’t: Steve Maraboli said that “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t” and he is right. Don’t waste your time, focus and energy on the outcomes that you don’t have influence over, rather identify what you can have power over and make the best out of it in the present.
- keep planning for the future and don’t be affected by the negativity, rumors and the fears that may haunt you. Planning helps you stay focused, on track, and achieve your objectives. While you may not know what your future involves, as long as you are optimistic about your goals and you are working towards what you would like to achieve for yourself and your family, then you will most likely find a way.
- Reach out to others by maintaining strong and supportive relationships, both on the personal and professional level. Build a caring, supportive and optimistic community of friends, colleagues or family members around you in times of crisis. Socialization helps YOU feel stronger and determined.
- Maintain Your Routine: In times of crisis, maintaining your daily routine can help you feel more in control of your life and help you prioritize what is important. Routine supports your mental health and helps you cope with change, form healthy habits, and reduce your stress levels.
- Take care of yourself: Take time to see your friends, exercise, and practice your hobbies. Watch your favorite movies, listen to your favorite playlist, get enough sleep, move your body every day and as much as you can, get outside in nature. Cultivating a positive mood boosts your ability to cope and to move forward.
According to research in positive psychology, we can go from a state of helplessness to a state of optimism where we feel like we have some level of control. It is possible to learn optimism and make it useful for us when we face adversity.
The world is full of people who have found that spark of inspiration and hope in the dark cave of adversity. They have been able to stay optimistic during tough times. So can YOU.
Just remember that Tough times do not last. Tough people do. Most of us are tougher than we think.
By, Linda Chaccour, Positive Psychology Practitioner, Founder @ Emerge Coaching.