Make All of This a Little Easier – Spend More Time Visiting Optimism

 In Focusing on the positive, Negative emotions, Uncategorized

Have you noticed how easy it is to bounce between emotions these days? Maybe it’s anxiety for the state of the economy and our finances, helplessness for the end of the pandemic, gratitude for the medical professionals taking care of our sick, optimism that things will get better soon . . .

I would like to invite you to visit optimism more often. It may be hard to stay there, but you can intentionally make a few extra trips.

There is a concept introduced by the father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, call “learned optimism.” Interestingly, Prof. Seligman had been working on learned helplessness at the time. But he wondered why some people didn’t feel helpless, even when a stressful situation reinforced their lack of control. So he started to look into how individuals could become be more optimistic.

One key practice he found is to change how we talk to ourselves. To spend more time in optimism, we can remind ourselves that –

  1. The current situation is temporary, not permanent. Things will get better. They may be different than before but they will improve over how they are now.
  2. We are strong and resilient. We’ve been through difficult times before and we have survived. In fact, our struggles have taught us a lot about ourselves and have made us stronger. This will too.
  3. There is still a lot we can control. We can control how much we watch the news, what we do with our spare time (for those who have some), and what we focus on.
  4. We are all in this together. Although our situations may be different, we are all affected in a variety of ways.
  5. There is good news related to the pandemic. Even though you might now see much of it in the regular news, just search “good news” and coronavirus or COVID-19.

It’s totally normal to feel stressed and frustrated with all that’s happening, but take this challenge to purposely add more optimism to your day. It’s so good for your physical, mental, and emotional health! AND it makes all of this a little easier.

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