Life is unpredictable. Today you may experience bliss and joy only to wake up tomorrow to disappointment and pain. That is how life is. But can you look at a bleak day with gratitude and hold strong to the belief that things will get better?
Recently there have been increased reports of natural disasters, unthinkable crimes and growing threats to national security across the globe. Perhaps understandably social media then explodes with cries of how messed up the country / the world / men / religion / women / governments / civilians are. It is really easy to get swept up by the rapid flow of doomsayers, especially when so much of what you read and hear says that you should be fearful.
So how can you stay positive in the face of disaster, and indeed, is there even any benefit in holding such optimism?
Well, here’s the thing: having a positive outlook on life (and therefore also the world) is a choice, not a result. Sometimes you have to work hard at exercising that choice, but when you are committed to finding evidence of goodness in every scene of your life, the evidence will present itself and reassure you when you need it.
And according to the Mayo Clinic, the health benefits may also include:
– Increased life span
– Lower rates of depression
– Lower levels of distress
– Greater resistance to the common cold
– Better psychological and physical well-being
– Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
– Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Additionally, it’s not only you who gets to benefit from keeping a positive outlook, but also the people you deal with on a regular basis. Moods are infectious, so why not be that person who leaves everyone they meet feeling good about themselves, the world and their place in it? The world can definitely use more people like that.
This is not to say you should pretend this is Heaven on Earth, but rather don’t lose sight that for every crime reported there are hundreds of good news stories that aren’t. Keep in mind media outlets know fear and gore sells, and the more of this they show the more money they make. (You might be interested to read our blog post
‘Wouldn’t You Rather See No Evil?’ which discusses the publication of ‘disturbing content’ by media outlets)
This is tough to do when you are thinking of families affected by some of the crises occurring in the world today. But wishing you could wave a magic wand and solve all the world’s problems does nothing except render you feeling helpless or angry, and there is no good that can come of you feeling this way.
One way you can change the outside world is by changing your inner world. For example this could be the situation you have at home, with your loved ones, your work, your friends or yourself. Master the things that you DO have control over, and watch the positive side effects trickle also into the lives of the people you care about.
Find that silver lining and hold on to it, reminding yourself that ‘this too shall pass’. If you consciously look for evidence of goodness around you, you will find it. With practice you will see wonders and beauty in front of your eyes that you hadn’t noticed before.
Finding reasons to be grateful increases our enjoyment of them, and opens the door for even more reasons for gratitude! Make a habit of noticing what your blessings have been that day and express your gratitude for them. You are guaranteed a more peaceful sleep when you retire to bed feeling you have much to feel thankful for.
Being quick to judge a person or situation before the facts have been presented leads to people getting unnecessarily hurt, even if it is only the judger by the weight of their belief. For help on how to stay clear from premature judgments, read our article “How to Stay Calm & Not Jump to Conclusions“. It is worth reminding yourself that you really only have pieces of a picture, not the picture itself. And until the facts present themselves you’re going to keep a positive outlook, much to the disdain of the doomsayers!
– Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”
About The Author
Kate Barton is a Sydney based ‘lightworker’ – a person who intentionally works to bring healing, love and light to the world. A lifelong student of metaphysics Kate also publishes Basking In Light, a website and online community sharing uplifting news, inspirational true stories and accessible tools for self empowerment and soothing. For more information on Basking In Light visit www.baskinginlight.com or see Facebook page facebook.com/baskinginlight.