It’s easy to take one look at the news (or the comments section on a YouTube video) and instantly lose hope for humanity.
We’re constantly hearing stories about terrorist attacks, murderers, and plain old dishonest individuals who seem hell-bent on tearing down any sort of progress being made across the world.
It’s difficult to know how to stay positive when it seems like we have so much to be feel down about.
It’s difficult – but it’s not impossible.
It’s up to you to improve your outlook on life, and on the world in general. In doing so, you’ll put yourself in a better position to make the world a better place.
Accept the Inevitable
You’re probably familiar with the Serenity Prayer, but how often do you actually live by it?
It takes energy to not get frustrated by the negative we see in the world. It can leave you exhausted if you pay too much attention to it.
But, as the verses in the link above say, there are some things you can’t change. So why waste time and energy worrying about them?
There will always be evil, stubbornness, and stupidity in the world. Believing these things can be completely eradicated is foolish.
Instead of losing precious moments of your life worrying about the things that you have no power over, accept that you’re powerless – and move on.
You have much better things to do with your time.
Shift Your Focus
If you’ve ever uttered the phrase “There’s so much evil in this world,” you’re right.
But you’d also be right if you said “There’s so much good in this world.”
Both exist. It’s just much harder to see the good because the media, along with your Facebook feed, is constantly discussing the evil. Tragic headlines sell. You wouldn’t click a link that said “Absolutely nothing bad happened today!”, would you? (Although, now that I think about it, such a headline would be so incredible that it would be hard to resist…)
Do yourself a favor: Every time you hear about some tragic event unfolding, go to the Good News Network and spend at least ten minutes reading the stories posted there.
The truth is, there are many more good things happening around us than bad. You just need to shift your focus and actively look for them.
Engage In Wholesome Hobbies
When you’re constantly hearing about all the awful things going on in the world, you might be tempted to grab a drink or reach to a similar vice to calm your nerves.
But deep down you know this will only make you feel better temporarily. Substance abuse is a cyclical problem: You feel like crap, so you take another drink, then you wake up, feel like crap, and grab another one. Meanwhile, the problems that got you to drink in the first place never actually went away.
Be productive with your time. Occupy your mind and body with hobbies that will improve your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Go for a bike ride. Learn a new song on guitar. Read a new book. Just like when using drugs or alcohol, you’ll take your mind off of what’s bothering you about the world – but you’ll be doing so in a much healthier way.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
While his sentiment had to do with success and ability, it also pertains to emotional outlook as well.
If you’ve surrounded yourself with people who are constantly complaining about every little thing, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing the same.
On the other hand, if you surround yourself with people who are always looking on the bright side of things, you’d be the odd man out if you maintained a negative outlook on life.
Surround yourself with people who will build you up and keep you focused on doing the best you can every day of your life.
Along with changing your focus on worldly events, do so in your personal life, as well.
Everyone has something to complain about.
But, no matter how bad you think you have it, you have lots to be thankful for, too.
Heck, you’re probably reading this on a WiFi-enabled laptop while you sip coffee from a Starbucks cup. Do you know how many people will never get to experience that level of comfort?
Once you’ve changed your focus to see all the good things in this world, go one step further: Be thankful for these things. Don’t take them for granted.
You’ll start to realize just how much there is in your life that you have to be grateful for.
Once You Understand How To Stay Positive, Be The Change
Okay, I know I said there are some things you need to accept because they’re much too great of a problem for one person to take on. But there are ways you can do your part to make the world a better place.
Be more giving of yourself. Forgive others for minor transgressions. Don’t take life so seriously.
One small act of kindness can start a chain reaction that, in some small way, will change the world for the better.