Looking at the bright side - Lessons for a positive attitude

In times like these watching the news doesn't really keep you in a bright mood. Global quarantaine, economic downfall, and a lot of stress on the national health systems and it's workers.

A quick overview on what helps to stay positive, might be usefull! And 'positive psychology' has answers.

  1. Positivity is contagious! So surround yourself with positive minded people (and don't watch (too much of) the news!)
  2. Take it lightly (life, yourself, the situation).
  3. Humor! Watch comedy's, cat videos or whatever makes you laugh.
  4. Feel in control (even if you're not)
  5. Try to see your problems from a different perspective ('Omdenken'). The fact that you can't visit your grandma, is also a chance to help her get more digitally literate!
  6. Be present in the now (breathe!). Try some mindfulness practices (there are so many apps and practices online, but the easiest is to take 3 deep breaths and become aware of your body).
  7. Don't fight the negative thoughts. If you feel anxious, tired, worried, angry, etc. Try not to push the feeling away, but experience the floating state of these emotions.
  8. Connect to others! Although a physical visit to friends and family members is not possible for many at the moment, you can send them a message, a photo, or call! It can also be a time to connect with your neighbours or volunteer online.
  9. Find yourself a hobby - learn something new, do something you like (but didn't make time for) and enjoy the progress you make or the new skills!
  10. Go outside. Nature has a relaxing effect (but within the boundaries of the current situation, so enjoy the nearby park, your garden or the view from your balcony).

Think positive thoughts. About yourself, the world and others, the future. By feeling positive you'll also feel better and act accordingly. A simple way to practice this: write down 3 positive thoughts, situations or events on a daily basis.

Some extra advice on staying positive

  • treat yourself as you would a friend
  • imagine a bright future
  • focus on the positive aspects of experiences and situtaions
  • keep an open mind
  • forgive (yourself, others, and start now!)

Source: Positieve psychologie - Dijkstra & Smeets

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