STAYING POSITIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS
I saw this quote the other day and it reminded me of the current state of the world.
“WE ARE NOT GIVEN A
GOOD OR BAD LIFE.
WE ARE GIVEN A LIFE.
IT’S UP TO US TO
MAKE IT GOOD OR BAD”
There are a lot of things that happen in our life that makes us feel like the victim.
Someone lies to you. Uses you. Does not show the compassion you were hoping for. Things don’t go the way you were hoping and expecting for it to go. Things that leave you feeling irritated, anxious, disappointed or angry.
With all the challenges you go through in your life and in the world as a whole, it’s so easy to think that life is just simply bad.
But you have to remember: YOU have the power to make your own life good or bad.
At the end of the day, it is you who has to make the decision to act. Like the saying goes, “I can’t drink water for you“
So if you’re feeling discouraged with life right now, take some small steps to start shifting your focus from negativity, and open your eyes to all the good things in life. Here are some suggestions for staying positive in the middle of chaos:
- Stop or limit how much time you spend watching the news.
- Limit social media use. Unless you follow mostly positive/inspirational things.
- Practice gratitude. Although the world is in chaos, there are probably good things that you have going for yourself. Be grateful for your job, your loved ones, your car, health, that you have clean water, electricity, being in a position to help and speak up for others, no drama in your life, etc. Whatever you have going good in your life, give that attention. Click here to read a post on facts that could help you feel more grateful.
- Practice self-care. When you are doing good, now you’re in a position to be there for others.
- Fill your mind with uplifting things such as inspirational or educational books, podcasts, music, etc.
- Focus and act on the things that you have control over. When upset, ask yourself “What do I have control over in this situation?” Then take small action steps to problem-solve. If you don’t have any control over it, ask yourself, “Is there another way to look at this?” Other questions to ask yourself to shift your focus are; “What can I learn from this?”and “What is one good thing about this situation?”
- Watch a comedy or funny videos to laugh. Laughing releases a lot of tension from your body.
- Spend more time with the people who lift you up, not bring you down.
- Take care of your body by drinking a lot of water and getting your body moving.
- Start your day on a positive note. If the first thought in your head as soon as you awake up in the morning is negative, how do you think your day is going to go?! Simply say “thank you” as not everyone woke up this morning. Or just enjoy how comfortable you feel laying in your bed. Starting your day reading something uplifting like a quote or positive story before you get out of bed also helps.
Now, doing these things does not mean that you are ignoring the problem. You are simply consciously placing your attention on things that make you feel better, instead of unconsciously reacting.
When you care about others, the best thing you can do for them is to make sure you are in an emotionally good place, so that you can be there for them.
Being more positive takes time if you’re not used to having a positive attitude. You might be good for two days then back to being pessimistic the rest of the week. Just keep trying and over time it will become easier and easier until it become a way of living for you.
About the author.
Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves adolescents, adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.