How to Remain Optimistic During Difficult Times

Woman looking out the window

We all experience low points in life, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. The current lockdown situation is likely causing extra feelings of anxiety and stress. Here, Bogdan Wawrzaszek, Health Coach at Zevo Health, shares advice on how to remain optimistic during difficult times like these.

Sometimes, there’s a reason behind feeling low, like life transitions, but other times there’s no reason at all. Challenging times highlight a simple truth that life rarely goes the way we plan. And when it doesn’t, the last thing we need to hear is one of those clich├ęs like, “everything will be okay” or, “you just need to stay positive”. Just because you’re feeling negative about your current difficulties does not make you a pessimist. Acknowledging that you’re in a difficult place could be a good starting point in turning around your experience. Giving yourself permission to feel out of control can be the beginning to your empowerment.

Getting a Plan in Place

 Negative feelings can create a vicious circle and often require an active intervention. Creating a plan that will carry you through difficult times might be a better idea than passively waiting for the worst to be over. Here are a few things you might consider while creating your personal plan: 

1.    Cultivate Gratitude

Make a conscious decision to spend a couple of minutes every day to name people, things and situations you’re grateful for. You might be surprised what you find. Making this your daily routine might take effort, but it will be worth it. Some people start a gratitude journal that helps them track all positives in their lives. They can return to it anytime when they feel particularly overwhelmed or negative.

Man taking notes in his journal at home

2.    Limit Bad News Intake

Notice your habits when it comes to reading, listening and watching bad news. Hearing them once is enough and you don’t need to read them from every device you own.

3.    Practice Mindfulness

Research shows meditation helps rewire the brain. People who meditate learn to distinguish real worries from imaginary ones. They are not stuck with the feelings or worry and can move on to the stage of solving the problem.

4.    Reach Out to Others

Have a think about people that you know and who might be struggling. Ask yourself a question - how can you make their situation better? Helping others who are less fortunate will allow you to see things in perspective. And they might be even in a position to help you too.

5.    Get Enough Sleep and Food

When under pressure we tend to lose sleep and not eat well. That can make us feel even worse. Looking after your sleep and food needs in a difficult time might require an extra effort, but it’s well worth it.

6.    Seek Professional Help

Making a decision to work on your difficulties with a professional therapist or counsellor can be hugely beneficial. You’ll feel less overwhelmed by adversities, and learn some lessons and build resilience that will be useful in the future.

Find out more about the author and Zevo Health here.