Finding the good when things are bad is important for your mental and physical health.
Life is full of surprises.
Some are positive; some can prove to be more challenging.
It’s the reaction to the unknown that defines us.
Crises are subjective and unplanned and can range from a small occurrence to something catastrophic.
Although we may not know when change is coming, we can be prepared for some of it with just a little bit of forethought.
Hardships are a part of life. Planning ahead and bettering yourself will drastically increase your chances of success in finding the good when things are bad and managing a crisis if it comes your way.
Changing Your Mindset: Attitude is Everything
The first piece to finding the good when things are bad is to always keep a positive outlook.
Keeping a positive outlook can be a struggle during times of uncertainty and understandably so.
Making things even more difficult is the constant flood of information coming from the news and social media sites.
It’s important to take your mental health seriously, and mindset seems to be a key piece in finding the good in the bad.
There are two camps out there when it comes to mindset during challenging times.
Some people are able to focus on the positives, while others seem to be more challenged to keep a positive mentality.
And, that’s where attitude comes in.
Attitude can really be everything when it comes to a healthy mindset.
Maybe you find yourself unexpectedly out of work and at home with the kids.
You could give in to the worry and let it stress you out. Or you can use this extra time spent with children and bring the family closer.
Try making it a fun experience to remember! Not all learning is done in the classroom or behind a computer screen.
How about taking the kids outside for a nature walk to collect leaves or flowers and then labeling them?
Or, try a homemade weather station, where they measure and record the daily temperature, rainfall, and humidity.
There are plenty of resources out there for fun and active learning ideas, and spending more time with your kids and connecting with them is just one example of how to find the good in a bad situation.
Another way to keep positive is to try and unplug.
It’s necessary to take a conscious step back from the TV or computer screen.
Try not to let yourself be inundated with negative news 24/7.
Remember, there are still good things happening in the world!
Maybe search for some funny cat videos to watch or video chat with friends and family. Do something to make yourself smile.
If you need more ideas you can check out my list of 100 things to make you happy!
Because sometimes something as small as watching the sunrise or going out for brunch with friends can make all the difference in how you feel.
Remember, no one is perfect. No mom is perfect, no dad is perfect, no employee is perfect.
No one is perfect.
Say it again, because it’s important: no one is perfect.
Everyone makes mistakes and struggles at some point in life…even if you don’t think they do.
So, if you feel yourself starting to slip into negative thinking patterns, try making a conscious effort to rearrange your mindset.
Remember, a positive attitude can go a long way!
Managing Your Mental State When Things Are Bad
A positive attitude is just a small piece of managing your mental state, which is an ongoing and complex job.
There are so many things that can negatively affect us daily.
Ranging from small inconveniences to larger, more involved problems.
Our state of mind is a compilation of our past, present, and future thoughts and feelings.
When things are tough, whatever the reasons may be, managing your mental state is more important than ever.
Self-awareness is first when it comes to managing mental state.
When you understand how you feel, where those feelings are coming from, and why you have those particular feelings, then can you begin to manage your mental state.
This is much easier said than done for most people and that’s perfectly normal.
A counselor or psychologist may be able to help you understand your feelings more in-depth.
Talking with someone objectively to help put your feelings in perspective is extremely beneficial as well.
Once you identify why you feel a certain way, you can begin to understand your feelings and manage them in a positive way.
Mindfully breathing is a powerful calming tool that can help you relax and find the good.
Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth will slow heart rate and curb anxiousness.
Moreover, meditation will aid in clarity of mind.
Fifteen minutes per day to sit in silence and clear your head does wonders for your mental state.
Positive affirmations also enhance one’s state of mind and are an excellent way of finding the good.
Positive affirmations are positive phrases you repeat to yourself daily.
Try talking to yourself in the mirror in the morning. Tell yourself things like, “I am confident” or “I am relaxed and at peace.”
Keep them short and say them over and over again.
These positive affirmations will sink into your subconscious mind.
Over time, you will start to believe the positive statements you have repeated to yourself, and you can change your cognitive patterns away from negative thinking.
An important tip in managing your mental state during difficult times is to avoid the quick fix of self-medication.
Using alcohol or drugs is not uncommon when people want to make themselves feel better.
Trust me, after a hard day I’ve been there and all I want is a glass of wine sometimes.
But when faced with adversity, adding mind-altering substances can actually enhance negative feelings.
So it’s important to not make that jump to grab a glass of wine too often.
Stay sharp and in tune with yourself so that you are able to be positive and consciously manage your feelings.
Staying on top of your mental health is not an easy task. When faced with challenges throughout life, remember there are tools that can be utilized.
Actively managing your mental state will result in a more self-aware, calm, and happier you!
Managing Your Physical State
The next piece to finding the good when things are bad is taking care of your body and overall well-being.
In fact, physical health and mental health are closely related and tend to affect one another. Optimal physical health is difficult to achieve without mental health and vice versa.
Physical health not only refers to exercise, it includes conscious choices that one can make to avoid diseases and live a balanced life.
When times are hard, stress, anxiety, and fear can weaken us physically and mentally. So lifestyle choices are essential for managing your physical health during times of crisis.
Staying physically active is a lifestyle choice that is beneficial in many ways.
Not only does exercise make your body stronger, but it can also lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and prevent osteoporosis. All of which, theoretically, help you live longer.
As stated, physical activity can also lead to mental health improvements such as energy and mood boosts, improvement in self-image, better sleep, and stress management.
Each of these aid in overall health making you more equipped to take on the tension that tough times bring.
Eating right and staying hydrated will positively influence your physical health as well.
Stay away from fast food and prepackaged or overly processed foods as much as possible.
Although it’s tempting to eat junk food when things are bad, try to focus on fresh food with an array of colors instead.
Colorful fruits and vegetables offer the antioxidants needed to help your body fight against cancers, heart disease, and hypertension. Choose foods like leafy greens, berries, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, cabbage.
Eating a “rainbow” of foods will help your body stay physically strong and boost your immune system.
Drinking ample amounts of water will also help aid in weight management, kidney function, and overall mood.
Finally, and in my opinion, the most important, get a good night’s sleep.
It’s recommended that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
As a parent, this is sometimes easier said than done, but you should make sleep a priority in your household (for you, your partner, and your kids).
Staying on a sleep schedule helps everyone.
The body relies on sleep as a time to repair muscles and organs as well as to reset and file away memories. So, being well-rested helps with cognitive and immune system function.
It’s clear that managing physical health has many components and is closely related to mental health.
Both are equally necessary for us to be in the best shape possible to take on life’s stressors.
Whatever the crisis may be, if physical health is managed properly, you have a better chance of dealing with it and finding the good to ensure you come out of your crisis in the best position possible.
Half the battle in making it through tough times and finding the good is dealing with your mind.
When things get challenging, it’s easy to give in to anxiety, stress, and easy fixes.
Our fear response kicks in when our livelihood, health, or happiness are threatened.
During times like this, it’s more important than ever to work on managing stress and dealing with anxiety.
Make sure you always prioritize both mental and physical health and above all else, work on having a positive attitude that will help carry you through those bad times.
What things do you do to manage the good when things are bad? Share your ideas and tips in the comments!