How to Stay Optimistic

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Optimism isn’t about ignoring negative feelings. It’s about being hopeful about the future, even when the present seems wholly negative.

“One of the keys to becoming more resilient is to practice compassion both toward ourselves as well as toward others,” Ms. Marston said. “One of the keys to doing so is to interrupt recurring cycles of negative inner dialogue.”

With narrow options on how to spend your time during quarantine, you might find that some otherwise mundane activities, like making tea or feeding the dog, have become oddly enjoyable. Lean into that: These seemingly dull, day-to-day activities can be a welcome distraction from the stream of bad news.

It’s easy to spiral into a pit of existential despair, and who could blame you? But if you can construct some kind of meaning during a crisis, it may go a long way toward coping with the stress.

“When you hear of people struggling with the virus, can you allow this to enhance your sense of being part of a global community?” Ms. Marston asked. “Can you imagine yourself in their situation and say, ‘This is how it feels to be a human being right now?’”

Negative feelings serve a purpose, and you shouldn’t ignore them. Our negative emotions tell us something’s wrong, making us more likely to give the problem the attention required to solve it.

Source: NY Times

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