How to Feel More Optimistic in Uncertain Times

With so many of us wondering if life will ever go back to “normal,” it’s more important than ever to find ways to feel optimistic. We don’t know what the future holds; to enjoy our life, we need to create mental and emotional wellness behaviors to carry us through the continued uncertainty.

We don’t need complicated exercises or time-consuming practices to stay well. Healthy eating, exercise, and quality sleep are mainstays for our physical well-being, helping to build resilience and vitality.

But what about our mindset? The chatter in our head can make or break our attitude and outlook in life. If you haven’t already figured out how to get your mind on your side, this is the moment to start.

Three ways to boost feelings of optimism

Here are three ways to build simple, daily habits that nourish and nurture your mind and spirit with more optimism.

1. Recognize fear

These last two years, there’s been an epidemic not only of illness, but of fear. Fear is near the bottom of the scale of emotions, only above shame, guilt, and apathy. At the high end are peace, joy, and love. Knowing our days are never promised, on which end of the scale do you want to fall?

Recognizing when you’re allowing fear to run your emotions is crucial to mindfully enjoying life, despite the challenges. When you feel consumed with fear, step up the emotions scale and move yourself into feeling courage or neutrality. Even anger is a more productive, optimistic emotion than fear! Consider that you have the power to kick fear to the curb and choose how you feel.

2. Simplify

Clutter and overwhelm do not nurture optimism. When you feel the events around you dragging you down, clean out a closet or tidy your daily planner. Weed your garden, sweep your garage, cancel non-urgent appointments on your calendar. When you simplify your life, even in seemingly small ways, it invites serenity. There is much to be gained in the joy of tidying your home, workspace, and schedule. With less clutter and busyness in your life, you may be surprised to find you feel more mental clarity, positive energy, hope, and even joie de vivre!

3. Curate your crowd

Misery loves company, but do you want to be in that kind of company? Joyfulness also loves company. If you can, avoid people who bring negativity and unnecessary drama to your life. If you can’t, minimize how much complaining, whining, and pessimism you will tolerate.

Learn to be compassionate without absorbing the pain of others. Someone else’s worries or complaints are not your own, so don’t soak up the mood of those who bring you down. Instead, seek out those friends and family members who feel like sunshine. Spend time with people who smile, laugh, and look on the bright side. Enjoy time with others who refuse to be miserable, and it will rub off on your energy and mindset.

Uncertainty has always been with us. We can’t control the external events of the world, but we can control our response. Follow these suggestions and see how more optimistic you feel.

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