The MHS Journals

Our blog archive of insights and intel


How to Stay Positive During Times of Crisis

Apr 9, 2021







What You’ll Learn:

As you read about how to stay positive during times of crisis, you’ll learn:

  • Maintaining positive mental health amid a crisis can be difficult.
  • MHS DBT & Mental Health Services can help you learn skills to make the best of adversity.

Living through a pandemic as we’ve experienced with the coronavirus is something most people never expected to participate in. However, even when the whole world is not in crisis, and there are no masks or social distancing, day-to-day life still has its challenges. Health problems, financial worries, family and relationship trouble all have a way of cropping up. With all the negative emotions buzzing around you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, frightened, and anything but positive. Here are some tips to stay positive in a crisis.

Choose Your Words Carefully

The ways you talk and think about yourself matters when it comes to staying positive. The words you choose to describe your situation and yourself make a difference in your self-image. For example, when facing adversity, rather than asking, “Why did this happen to me?”, think that it happened for you. When you look at difficult times as opportunities to learn, try, or experience something new, it’s easier to put a positive spin on them.

Learn From Adversity

Most of the things that people worry about never happen. However, that doesn’t stop people from feeling overwhelmed and stuck. One tactic for staying positive is to look for a way to let adversity propel you toward something more significant. Look for a way to turn it into an opportunity; sometimes, it will be more challenging than others, but it’s always worth the effort. The best news is that many very successful people believe their most outstanding achievements began when facing their most tremendous adversity.

Take Up Journaling

It may seem cliche, but writing your feelings in a journal can help bring them into greater clarity. When you understand what you’re feeling, it’s easier to maintain a positive attitude about them. Journal entries focused on gratitude are one particularly effective tool for preventing depression. Journaling also gives you something to look back on one day in the future for encouragement and a reminder of how far you’ve come.

Let People Who Love You Lift You Up

While it’s essential to understand who you are as an individual, too much time alone can lead to negative thinking. The community of friends and family who care about you wants you to be mentally healthy and well. Turn off the news, and spend more time with loved ones who bring you joy and make you laugh. Reach out to them when you feel sad or overwhelmed. Hugs can be excellent medicine, and for many people, the human touch is healing.

Know What You Can Control

Rarely is any situation entirely within your control. You can’t force friends and relatives to act the way you want, and you can’t control everything about the environment around you. Sometimes, your attitudes, thoughts, and reactions are the only things you can manage effectively. Focus on the things that you can control. It might even help make a written list of those things so you have something concrete that you can touch as a reminder of where to focus more of your energy.

Give Yourself Grace

Self-care is more than a buzzword. It’s an essential component in maintaining positive mental health when facing difficulties. Self-care comes in many forms and is different for everyone. Some people read a book, take a nap, bake cookies, or work out. Others garden or spend time with their children and grandchildren. The key is finding something that you enjoy that doesn’t cause you stress. Self-care is essential not just for your mental health but for your physical health as well. Many studies have demonstrated that the health of your immune system and how your body copes with illness are directly related to your emotional condition.

Serve Others

When you reach out to help with a project in your community or help someone you encounter through a difficult time, it’s hard to stay focused on yourself. Organizations and people always need help with something, and assisting others helps you as well. Service to each other as humans gives us a sense of purpose and reminds us that every person can do something to make the world a little better.

Understand That Bad Days Will Happen

Remind yourself that, at times, it’s okay to be sad or upset when bad things happen. Those feelings are as normal as happy feelings are, and expressing them is healthy. If crying is cathartic for you, go ahead and cry. Some people go outdoors and shout to the sky. Wearing your favorite articles of clothing is comforting for some. Finding healthy ways to express negative emotions is one of the keys to your well-being.

Unplug Regularly

Cell phones, computers, and other devices help us in many ways, but the constant exposure to the news media and other people’s lives can be overwhelming. Regularly, take a week, a day, or even just a few hours to unplug from all your electronics. Get away from social media; go outside and take a walk. Enjoy the sun and the air and think of all the things for which you are grateful. Spending time away from all the electronic connections can result in an improved mood and better overall mental health.

Practice Gratitude as a Way of Life

Gratitude is the state of being thankful. It has also been defined as a positive emotional response to receiving something from someone else. When you look for all the things you have to be grateful for each day and make an effort to thank those who contribute to those gifts, you not only bless yourself but those around you as well. When your friends, family, coworkers, and others hear that you appreciate them, you are both lifted.

Seek Help When You Need It

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to maintain a positive attitude, we find ourselves facing a depression we can’t shake. When that happens, reach out to the team at MHS DBT & Mental Health Services. We offer evidence-based therapy services for adolescents and adults dealing with a myriad of mental health challenges. Contact us today to schedule your appointment; you and your mental health are worth it!

Featured Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock