We are living in a world where there is way too much bad news bombarding us, 24 hours a day. At times it really does get hard to stay positive and focused when it feels like the world is going crazy.
Of course apart from retaining our sanity, we also need to maintain our productivity. We can't slide into depression, throw our hands up in the air and run away. I'm not saying we should live in denial, or ignore what is going on in the world, but like all information coming in, we need to manage it, learn from it and move on.
These are 7 strategies I use to cope in a crazy world:
1. Proactively protect your mind--don't just sit back and absorb the negativity
Interestingly enough, according to Seth Godin, the world has grown less violent every decade for the past 1000 years. It sure doesn't feel that way. What has changed though is the sheer volume of news that we are being bombarded with every minute of every day, so when something bad happens, we certainly know about it. It makes really good sense to protect your mind by being extremely discerning with what you watch, what you read and what you listen to. Sure, find out what is going on, but then that is enough. Do we really need to read or listen to 100 articles about the same murder?
2. Look for the good--not for the bad
When the world seems to be going crazy, it can be hard to see the good. But rest assured it is there and in fact there is far more good going on than crazy, it's just that you have to know where to find it. This means we need to consciously hunt down the things that make us feel good, the websites, the articles, the radio, the television shows, the people, the places. A lot of people complain about cute pet videos on social media, but really, I would much rather watch them than videos of violent crime that have been aired on every medium a thousand times.
3. Do as many kind deeds as you can
In the darkest of times the smallest acts of kindness have the greatest impact. Whenever the world seems dark and gloomy, I find that the more kind deeds I can do for others the better I feel. Little things like giving someone a parking space, donating to a charity, carrying a bag or reaching out to help someone who needs some support. Do what nurtures you, do it selflessly and do it as often as you can.
4. Avoid the situations where negativity rules
It's interesting to see how quickly conversations turn to negative topics, and of course it is quite natural when the topic is current. But we all play a role in keeping these conversations alive. I find that I have to make a conscious decision not to participate in the conversations that are all about doom and gloom. Whenever they take that direction, I leave or disconnect. I also make a point of avoiding those people who seem to revel in talking about the latest bad news story, they can't wait to dive straight in and get to the nitty gritty of the latest calamity.
5. Do more of the things that make you smile inside and out
We all have those things that make us feel good, and I mean good right to our core. I know that if I am feeling down, spending a few minutes playing with my little dog, being bombarded with her cheeky demands to play fetch, and her demands to be cuddled--all melt my heart and make me feel such love and adoration for her. The world is a very nice place when she is snuggled up on my lap. I get the same feeling going for a long walk in the rainforest or on a beach or even reading a great book. We all have those special things that evoke a wonderful sense of inner peace, contentment and gratitude. The key is to remember what they are and do them often, especially when it feels like the world is going crazy.
6. Get excited about your future
It is easy to lose hope when there doesn't appear to be a lot of good news around. But these are the times that we have to focus inwards, appreciate our businesses, the difference we make to others, the opportunities ahead and the way we can make the world a better place--and focus on all of this. Visualize where you are heading and what you are going to achieve--and that excitement is contagious in a good way.
7. Treat this as a daily practice
We know that if we want to be fit, we need to exercise daily. If we want to grow our business, we need to work on it daily. Well the same principle applies with building a strong and positive outlook on life, we need to work on it daily. Many of us have developed bad habits around what we watch, what we listen to, what we read and what we say. I work at this every day, to be as positive a person as I can be, the help others be more positive and to hopefully, do my part to make the world a better place. My advice is to make this approach to life a conscious decision and even more importantly a philosophy to live by.