How To Stay Positive in Stressful Situations
When we are in the midst of stressful situations and the world is spiraling into chaos around us, it can be difficult to remember how to stay positive. It is so easy to feel completely out of control and helpless. But here’s the thing – when we give into a sense of powerlessness and of pending doom, we are actually spiraling ourselves into anxiety, fear and depression. How is that going to serve you, your kids, the medical staff or the people battling for their lives?
It’s not! We need to strengthen our mental health and our optimism because we’re the leaders of our families and our children are relying on us. Your panic, anxiety and depression only depletes you and your own ability to stay positive during this time!
Want to learn how? Watch the video below, or keep reading!
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Staying Positive When Trying to Cope with Stress
So how do we counterbalance all of the tragedies and the pain with a sense of optimism and staying positive? We cope with stress by understanding that the facts are just the facts, they are just the reality. Right now, the facts might be:
- There is a worldwide pandemic.
- Someone has lost their job.
- A pregnant mom, with young kids and no help is in lockdown.
- Someone close to us is in hospital, battling for their lives.
We are not going to argue with the facts. But we are going to realize that humans are adaptable and they overcome extreme adversity, but only if they are mentally strong. Only if they realize that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger💪. And only if we maintain a sense of agency, a sense of creativity, and a sense of control.
How to Become Optimistic
So how do we do that? We remind ourselves that:
We may not be able to control the facts of our reality, but we do get to control the stories that we tell ourselves about them.
So if the fact is that we lost our job, we can fear that we are going to starve, that we will never find another job, that we will run out of money, there will be no way to support our families, and so on.
Or I can look at the fact that I’ve lost my job, and I can find the silver linings, finding the optimistic way of spinning this story to somehow serve me better. Maybe this is exactly the opportunity I was needing to start my own business! Or maybe I actually really wanted to simplify my life, pair things down a bit, lower my expenses, and live a more simple life where I can spend more time with my children.
Now, both paths are justified and okay, but only one of these options is going to lead me to a sense of agency and lead me to feel mentally strong during this time.
Optimism When Dealing with Uncertainty
Feeling optimism when we are dealing with uncertainty is not some woo woo idea 🔮, and not some happy clappy unrealistic view of the world🌍.
Optimism is an equally available interpretation of the realistic and logical facts.
The way we interpret what the facts mean is up to us. You can assign meaning to this stressful situation that is positive, uplifting, and that teaches you about your strengths, your resilience and adaptability, or you can assign meaning to it that is depressing and anxiety provoking. The choice is yours.
Reframing Our Dialogue
Another reframe that I love to do is when I say I have to do something, I switch that around and I say I get to do something.
I have to take care of my kids today. I get to take care of my kids today. I have to fit in some work today. I get to fit in some work today.
Right?! 🤯 It feels completely different realizing that the things that we see as burdens, as chores, are actually privileges that other people would fight tooth and nail for!
The ability to take care of our children 👶, the ability to stay safe and sheltered 🏡, the ability to clean up our beautiful homes 🧹… these are privileges that other people wish for, and shifting that perspective reframes it so that we get to root ourselves in gratitude and optimism 🙌.
CHALLENGE: Find Ways to Stay Positive in these Stressful Situations
In these challenging, stressful situations we are experiencing, I challenge you to go from I can’t do it, to I am doing it. From I have to, to I get to. From this is suffering, to this is opportunity. Write out the negative thought you had before ✏️, cross it out ❌, and write your new positive thought✔️. Post a picture 📸, use the #PlayPandemic and @tag me on social – I can’t wait to see how you reframe your negative thoughts and stay positive!