It’s one thing to have a positive mindset when there’s no turmoil and life is chugging along at status quo. But it’s a lot harder when times are tough. And guess what? That’s OK. Give yourself some grace, and use these strategies to turn stress into strength.
1. Schedule both social time and alone time.
You should make a strong effort to connect with people. That being said, if you’re overscheduling yourself, you might be avoiding the feelings that you need to work through to grow. So take some time to yourself. And not with your phone. Meditate or journal instead.
2. Find activities that make you feel optimistic.
While it’s OK to worry (remember we’re facing our feelings, not avoiding them), the idea is to not feel trapped by worry. When you catch yourself worrying, acknowledge it’s there, and then choose to focus on something you’re grateful for — fun, laughter, a specific activity.
3. Think twice before you keep scrolling.
Social media is a great resource of information, entertainment, and connection. But you know the saying you are what you eat? In a lot of ways, you’re also what you consume on social media. What are you feeding yourself? Are you feeding yourself negative stuff or positive stuff?
4. Journal about the positive moments in your life.
Engaging in negative self-talk? If you can recognize it, you can choose to shift. Take five or 10 minutes to journal and reflect on all the positive moments in your life. Think of this as creating a mental trophy room that you can go back to whenever you need to feel uplifted or empowered.
5. Practice gratitude and exercise kindness.
Research shows that practicing gratitude can increase optimism, make you more forgiving, and improve immunity and sleep. So if you’re down, go out and do something good for somebody — a stranger, a neighbor, or write down what you’re grateful when you’re feeling negative.