It may be hard to stay positive with all that’s going on in our world. Try these practices from The Centene Center for Health Transformation* for help in coping.
Even when the world around us is scary and there are a lot of unknowns, we can thrive in our day-to-day lives. The key is staying grounded which means taking charge of our own thoughts and feelings. To help ground yourself, here are three practices to work on so that you can choose your own path and not let the world decide how you feel.
- Express Gratitude.Take a moment to think of something you’re grateful for. Then put that feeling into words. To help, try gratitude journaling. Writing helps to organize and process your thoughts. Doing so means you will have a calm and clear mind because you’re choosing to focus on the positive in your life and less on the negative. There are so many ways that you can do it. For example, write down a few people who you’re thankful for and why. Share it out loud with them if you’d like! Remember there’s no right or wrong time to journal. The goal is to be consistent, so if you prefer the mornings, then commit to write one to three times a week.
- Practice Self-Compassion. When bad things happen to others, we feel sorry for them and do what we can to help. Treat yourself the same way! This means to stop criticizing yourself for normal mistakes. Instead, try being kind and forgiving. One way is by learning how to view negative events in a self-compassionate manner. First, think of an event that resulted in evaluating yourself in a negative manner. Next, write down ways in which others have experienced a similar event that you went through, and how you would express compassion to that friend. You can do it right at the moment when you recognize you’re being overly harsh, or at a later time. It takes time to have self-compassion so the more you practice the better you can quiet your inner critic.
- Be Mindful. Mindfulness is about living in the now, not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Being mindful lets us focus our attention on what matters. There are many ways to be mindful in our everyday lives, like mindful breathing. To get a guided sense of mindfulness, try free apps such as Smiling Mind or UCLA Mindful. You can practice mindful breathing anywhere! Try incorporating it into your everyday activities like showering or walking. If you feel yourself having negative thoughts, sit down and take slow deep breaths. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help give you peace of mind. Mindfulness takes practice so try to do it on a daily basis. The more you do it, the better you get at it. For best results, take at least five minutes each day to practice mindful breathing.
*About The Centene Center for Health Transformation
The Centene Center for Health Transformation™ is a community-corporate-academic healthcare partnership that advances life-centric health research to improve lives so that communities can thrive. For more information, visit https://www.centenecenter.wustl.edu.