Are you reeling from the news of the world? You’re hardly alone. But how can we stay positive in uncertain times? To start, it helps to:
- stay connected to the people we love,
- be kind to each other, and
- take concrete steps every day to boost feelings of happiness.
Here are four things you can do feel more positive – starting today:
1. Stop doomscrolling
Doomscrolling refers to the habit of compulsively reaching out for news as a coping mechanism. Staying informed during difficult times is important. But consuming too much bad news can trigger unhealthy side effects.
Ditch the unrelenting diet of bad news. Be more intentional about what you’re reading and watching. Try picking up a book or watching shows that take you far away from the headlines. When you do turn to the news, listen to credible sources.
2. Distract yourself with hobbies that make you happy
Dwelling on negative thoughts or information — particularly things we cannot change — exacerbates stress. A temporary distraction can be a great medicine for troubled times.
Distracting yourself can mean finding a new hobby or returning to one you used to enjoy. Consider the activities that used to bring you joy and give them another shot. Or, try something new, such as:
- a new language,
- a physical activity like running or walking, or
- drawing or painting.
Can't decide what to take up? There are online groups for practically everything. So research an activity you always wondered about and give it a try.
3. Spend time outdoors to improve your mood
One of the best antidotes to stress is being out in natural surroundings.
Study after study demonstrates the stress-relieving impact of a simple stroll in a park. Even just looking at photographs of nature can induce calming effects and a quicker recovery from stress.
A simple walk around the block can also improve our mood.
Physical activity can distract you from your worries and lift your spirits. Get out there — even a few minutes a day can do wonders.
4. Reduce financial stress and take control of your future
We’re all learning to live with a certain amount of uncertainty. Still, you can lessen some of the stress of the unknown. Start by:
- identifying the things you can control, and
- taking steps to prepare.
Feeling financially secure can counteract uncertainty about your future. So, reviewing and organizing your finances can help you feel less stressed about the future. Having or building an emergency fund is a good place to start. It can help offset things like job losses, reduced hours or other unexpected costs. Being prepared to face financial setbacks can help boost feelings of well-being.
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This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical advice, or a substitute for that advice.