Life isn't always the way we want it to be. Simply glimpse at the headlines to see that we are in very uncertain times. The career we thought was safe might not be there tomorrow. There's always some natural disaster somewhere. And people seem to be more vile than kind.
It's easy to get caught up in a defeatist spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. How do you stay hopeful and optimistic when all you see are negativity and fear everywhere you look?
Be Present, Be here Now.
When you focus on the present, you'll find it less challenging to take a step back and be an observer. When you practice mindfulness, you'll see you can enjoy the simple things in life, no matter how bad things may seem. All worries, fears, and uncertainty can melt away if you focus on the present. Look for something for which you are grateful.
Practice compassion and empathy.
Spreading hope needs to start somewhere. Begin with yourself; You are the one person you can control. Look for opportunities to pay it forward through random acts of kindness, and you will inspire others to do the same. Your ability to walk in another's shoes and practicing compassion will be the guide to those around you. And what if it is not? At least you will have changed one heart - your own.
Without hope, we become stagnant and prefer to hide from the world. If you find that's the case, then it's time to compel yourself into action, even if you may not feel like it. Get out of the house. Call a friend and suggest getting together or go by yourself. Find a green space somewhere as they have been found to instill calm and contentment even when we spend just a few minutes there. The goal is to find a positive action and embrace it, whatever that might be. Pick up litter, hug a child, do something that makes you feel good inside, and there you will find hope blossoming.
It's so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world around you. Only by actively seeking hope will you find it. By practicing these three steps regularly, you'll find yourself able to look forward to each day, no matter what's going on around you.