When we are struggling with staying sober, and if we are also battling the symptoms of anxiety or depression, it might be easy to lose a sense of optimism. Certainly, when feeling sad or depressed, life can easily lose its sense of vitality. It might be easy to lose sight of hope.
However, it’s interesting to note that once we begin to see things in a new way, the old way doesn’t seem to be all that important anymore. This is true even though that old way of seeing the world was the only way we knew. Author Wayne Dyer puts it this way: When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
How Attitude and Perception Can Change Your World
Change your attitude and perception and your world will change. It might change from hopeless to hopeful, from boring to exciting, from burdensome to manageable. It’s interesting to note that when our inner experience changes so does our outer one. Here are some tips to stay optimistic even when life gets challenging:
- Be grateful for what you have. It’s easy to take for granted the people, places, and pleasures you have in your life. Perhaps you have a quaint home on the river. Or maybe you have a library of books. Or perhaps you have a loving family that supports your well being. When we put our hearts into a state of gratitude, we immediately shift our experience of life and step right into optimism.
- Start your day in a positive way. How you start your day usually sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you need to go to work right away, try to get up earlier so that you have time to exercise or read or meet a friend for coffee. Starting your day in a relaxed and easy going way can help give you the sense of ease to face the day’s challenges.
- Take good care of your physical body. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well. Another important aspect of physical well being is taking in plenty of vitamin D. This means spending time in the sun and near the ocean. Both the ocean and the sun not only nourish our physical enjoyment but can feed our spiritual well being as well.
- Take the focus off you and put your attention on the lives of others. Add value and positivity to someone else’s life.
- Find the gold inside the coal mine. Life will always bring its share of difficult circumstances. However, find a way to continue to ask yourself – what is the positive in all this? What is the opportunity here?
- Face the fears that are holding you back. If you notice that fear tends to keep you stuck or stagnant, find the support you need to move through those fears. It’s important to ask for help from time to time. This is especially true if we find ourselves in similar situations time and again. And if we are stuck then it might mean that our perception is fixed. However, working with others, particularly to move through fear, can help us shift out of our fixed perception and open our viewpoint to something greater and more expansive.
- Let go of old grievances. Sometimes what holds us back without our noticing is what we have hung onto in our hearts. If there is a friend or a family member who has hurt us in the past, finding a way to let it go can provide a sense of great freedom.
- Share your story. Although it might be difficult to share your full story, there are most certainly parts to your personal story that include achievement, victory, and courage. There are probably moments of success, enjoyment, and even hope. Telling our story can not only bring hope to others, but it can also bring a sense of hope to ourselves as well. Just by telling the moments in our lives, we recognize how we’ve moved through the fears and challenges in our life.
- Remember that the past does not need to predict the future. Another element of hope is knowing that the future is not going to be like the past. The future is contingent upon the choices, thoughts, and actions you take now.
- Listen deeply. When you really listen to the cares, worries, and stories of others, you might recognize that you’re not alone. No matter what you’ve been through, there are others who are likely going through similar hardships, and this too can be hopeful.
If you’re having trouble seeing the light in a dark moment, use the above tips to stay positive and optimistic.