2020 has definitely brought its fair share of curveballs to the world. Many of us are experiencing unexpected changes in our lives and routines in Santa Ana because of it. Any type of change, even positive change, adds a great deal of stress to our bodies, and it’s easy to get bogged down. To combat these negative emotions, here are four ways to stay positive amidst uncertainty and change:

1. Exercise Gratitude

During challenging times, it’s easy to focus on the negative. But focusing on all the things you have to be grateful for is a wonderful strategy for staying positive. The research shows that “people who kept track of their gratitude once a week were more upbeat and had fewer physical complaints than others.” This is such a simple activity with powerful and long-lasting effects. Buy yourself a new notebook or find a gratitude app to help you reflect.

2. Focus on Your Physical Health

It’s widely accepted that mental and physical health are greatly intertwined. If one gets out-of-balance, the other can suffer as well. That’s why, if your mind is struggling to stay positive, you may be able to counteract some effects by taking extra care of your body.

Getting enough sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and eating nutritiously balanced meals are all physically-focused strategies for boosting your mental health. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing care regimen either. Simply make small, positive changes to your self-care routine, and the benefits will be enough to keep you pressing forward.

3. Plan for the Future

When you’re trying to remain positive, choose to broaden your vision to see the bigger picture. “This too shall pass,” as the old adage teaches us. Believe that great things are ahead, dream big about what they could be, and then set goals to make them happen. According to Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD, “Progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.” It sounds like a great way to move ahead during tough times.

4. Find a Healthy Escape

Another way to stay positive is to find an enjoyable hobby as a healthy way to escape from the daily grind. If you already have a hobby you enjoy, great! Pursue it and reap the stress-reducing benefits. If you aren’t sure what hobby to pursue, take a look at this “Top 10 Stress-Relieving Hobbies” list and select one that both interests you and fits your lifestyle.

There have been many changes in our world and individual lives this year. Seek to remain positive by testing out these four ideas. Once this has finally passed, you’ll be able to look forward to the future with the confidence in knowing you can effectively tackle your obstacles. That sounds like a good move in a positive direction.