By Eric Thompson

It seems that you can not have a day without hearing a comment, an observation,

a report or an article highlighting the political crisis in Brazil.

How can we maintain a positive attitude during difficult times?

I remember when I lived in the US during the economic crisis.

Everyone began to despair of the bursting of the real estate bubble.

The loss in the houses financed reached more than 50% of their values.

People close to me have been hit.

In every corner had house for sale for half the value.

The people went into despair.

The logic was that everything was getting worse and I should feel bad too.

But I got into this?

Do not.

I was positive.

Because?

What can I change, getting worried, anxious or nervous?

Anything.

Complaining or feeling anxiety does not lead me to anything.

Remember: where we focus our energy, it expands.

We attract more than we think, talk and listen. When I focus on fear,

I am more afraid, and find more reason to be fearful.

It is a bottomless downward spiral until I consciously and proactively stop

this pattern and deliberately choose to focus on something more productive and

conducive to my well-being.

First, recognize that there are many things beyond our control;

the climate, the past, other people and the economy.

Anxiety, worry and fear usually come when we focus on these external things that we can not control.

Remember the last time you were really worried or nervous about something.

What were you focused on? Was it something external that was beyond your control?

Second, recognize that we have choices.

We always have choices. We may feel that we do not have a choice because we do not want to face the options – our pride and ego being wounded.

There is only one thing we definitely have control over: the meaning we give to things and circumstances.

We have a choice in the perspective that we use to interpret a given situation.

When we change what something means to us, we change our interpretation about it, and therefore change our emotions. So we have the key to our own emotional well-being.

For me, it also helps to remember that regardless of what is happening to me financially or emotionally, the most precious thing is my true inner self, (the essence of my being within me that occasionally reveals itself with infinite wisdom will never be threatened ).

It is a blessing to remember that we are not our labels of work, the things we have, our circumstances, and our thoughts. And we certainly are not the fear that is in our minds.

A full life is rich in experiences.

Opportunities for deeply rewarding and high-growth experiences often arise in the form of adversity.

It is through overcoming these adversities and challenges that we develop personal strengths, character and wisdom – without which our lives would be bland and we would be very bored.

What if we see this opponent as an opportunity?

Try asking different questions. Instead of asking yourself

“Why me?”

Or complaining

“Poor me,”

consider asking these questions:

• What can I learn from this situation?
• How can I use this difficulty to become a better person?
• How can I use this opportunity to serve others and myself?
• What can I do to get to where I want to be?
• What can I do to get the clarity I need?
• How can I benefit from this situation?

What if we focus on things that really matter to us, instead of things beyond our control that “could” happen in some distant future?

Focusing on the fear of something that can happen is a waste of resources in many ways.

For one thing, the thing you fear may never happen, and the times you spent worrying about it become a waste of energy, a waste of emotion, a waste of attention.

On the other hand, the energy used in worrying could have been spent on doing something more proactive and really useful for your situation.

Instead of spending time reading negative news, how about using that time and energy to do something more meaningful to you and who can really benefit you?

Things like, if you devote yourself to developing relationships with the people you love,

to connect with other human beings, to fellowship with nature, to read something that elevates you,

to hear something empowering, to learn a new skill, or to enhance an old skill.

You are the author of your life story.

Make it worth it!

1. Focus on what you can control

What we focus on can drastically change the way we think.

I know how hard it can be to focus on something other than the pain that is present in front of us.

I know, it’s hard!

But it is possible to change our focus, with the intention of changing our emotional state.

It is worth noting that it is almost impossible to skip emotional levels.

For example, we can not suddenly go from resentment to excitement.

Emotionally, it is easier to change from resentment to anger, from anger to disruption,

from being upset to indifference, from indifference to caring, and so on.

With baby steps, gradually, we can really change what we feel.

Acknowledge that you are in control. You can choose to focus on a perspective that helps you.

See how you can change the meaning of an external circumstance to the one that will benefit you ?

For example, we can not control the upward and downward movement of a given share

on the Stock Exchange, but we can choose to see that this action is just money,

and money is a resource we can replenish and we are able to do more.

We can choose to see that our health is worth more than insisting

on something we can not control.

2. Eliminate or dramatically reduce media consumption

When was the last time that popular media sources reported something edifying,

empowering, and conflict-free?

This rarely happens because it is not “interesting”,

and almost never you will find positive news on the first page.

What the newspaper thinks deserves: conflicts, wars, gossip, suffering and fear.

It may not be the intention of a news agency to instill fear within us,

but it is the job of reporters to create content that highlights issues and exaggerates the stress of current situations.

If it were not emotionally disturbing, people would not read

or see the news, and the agencies would soon be bankrupt.

When was the last time you felt good after watching the evening news or reading the first page stories?

How can we read constantly about the economic crisis, the housing crisis,

or the recession and empower us, raise us or increase our well-being?

How does this help us?

Constant reminders keep us focused on fear, rather than seeing solutions and hope.

Even people who should not be worried are worried unnecessarily.

3. Gratitude

What are the most important things in your life?

What are you grateful for?

Who you love?

Make a list on a piece of paper.

Then close your eyes and see them in your imagination.

Feel the feelings of gratitude.

Do this regularly.
What matters most to me is my relationships with my closest friends and family.

The intimate moments of connection with another soul are

the most precious and rewarding we can experience.

Concentrating on the priceless and intangible things that adorn my life helps me put things into perspective.

When put into perspective, I realize that I would trade all my material possessions for my health and relationships.

And even if I lost all my money and possessions, I know that with the support of the people I love, with health and determination, I could always go back.

See how a change of perspective can suddenly make you feel rich.

4. Stop Spreading Fear

Stop complaining about your economic pains, stop sharing fear news articles with your friends,

stop talking about it, and start doing things within your control.

If your immediate basic needs are threatened (loss of employment, shelter and food),

take an effective, action-oriented attitude to help yourself.

The only exception to talk about your economic situation is when you ask for the help of others during a time of need.

5. Things will recover

You are not alone.

We’re all in this together.

History repeats itself and our economy will recover.

Winter will come and eventually pass.

Hold tight! In the meantime, do whatever it takes

to support yourself.

6. Choose Joy

Choosing joy does not mean becoming vulnerable or oblivious to the issues of the world.

That does not mean putting a fake smile on our faces.

It simply means that we are deliberately choosing to focus on things that are beautiful,

that give us joy, that make us smile, and that make us feel grateful to be alive.

Every day, we are surrounded by these miracles and opportunities for joy.

Like fear, the ability to experience joy and recognition of miracles is also a choice.

Which one do you choose?

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