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10 Ways to Stay Positive in Tough Times

Staying positive in tough times
Spending time outside in your preferred setting can be invigorating, to clear the mind and regain mental balance. (Jill Wellington/Pixabay)

The pandemic crisis created by the Wuhan Coronavirus has caused waves of anxiety, fear, and traumatic stress for countless individuals. It is imperative to discover different ways to stay positive in tough times.

It is depressing to read about the infection spreading like wild fire, the death tolls, and uncertainties about the vaccines. Many ordinary folks are losing hope and faith. It is heart wrenching.

However, there are ways to stay positive and see a silver lining in every cloud, in the midst of the myriad of snowballing issues during tough times. You have a choice to think, talk, and feel positive.

10 Ways to Stay Positive

Here’s my list of 10 ways to stay positive in tough times.

  1. Smile. Even when you wear a mask! When you smile broadly and radiantly, your smile lights up your eyes. As you know, the eyes are the windows of your soul; people can feel your glow and warmth. Smiling is uplifting and contagious. It makes you and others feel good. Smiling is an effortless way to stay positive.
  2. Say hello. Reach out to others, including family, friends, and even strangers, more so during the lockdown. Greet or wave to people during your walk or out for grocery shopping. Make a call, or send a text message, or an email if they are across the globe. Reaching out to others is easy way to help us stay positive.
  3. Show kindness. The Buddha once said, “As the rain falls on the just and unjust alike, let your heart be untroubled by judgments and let your kindness rain down on all.” Being kind not only makes others feel good. It also has an uplifting impact on you. Thus, showing kindness helps you and others to stay positive. Studies have shown that performing random acts of kindness and being kind to others, even strangers, help people feel happier and more optimistic.
  4. Practice gratitude. The Buddha once stated, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little; and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick; and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Here’s what you can do each day to show gratitude: Recognize and jot down the names of three persons and three things you are thankful for. You will find practicing gratitude will do wonders by helping you to stay positive, hopeful, and thankful.
  5. Cultivate positive thoughts with positive self-talk and affirmations. Or read some spiritual teachings daily that will surely uplift and inspire you! A recent investigative study showed that reciting the Falun Gong mantra: “Falun Dafa Hao; Zhen-Shan-Ren Hao” is effective to combat against the COVID-19 virus.
In traditional societies, the ritual of having a cup of tea is calming, uplifting, and meditative. (Congerdesign/Pixabay)
  1. Have a cup of tea. This is another easy way to stay positive by taking time out to make yourself a cup of relaxing herbal tea. I personally like organic Tulsi or Holy Basil tea. You might prefer regular organic black tea, coffee, or organic roasted chicory drink. Devote a moment for yourself each day, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people. Positive states of mind and emotions can be infectious. So, do your best to be around people with a positive attitude toward life and everything.
  3. Avoid engaging. The reality is that you cannot always be around positive people. And you cannot control other people’s words, moods, or actions. But you can control your reactions and actions by disengaging to avoid stressful and unpleasant encounters.
  4. Self-care as strategy. During tough times, self-care is more important than ever to help us stay positive. Make time for activities that bring you joy, inner peace, or happiness. This can be reading a book, cooking something new, reconnecting with nature, listening to relaxing music, or watching a funny movie.
  5. Try meditation. Meditation is one of best way to stay positive and calm during tough times. When you can’t go out due to the lockdown, go within. Numerous researches have reported the amazing benefits of meditation for overall mind-body and spiritual wellbeing. Some studies have shown that even 15 minutes of meditation can make a world of difference.
A Falun Gong practitioner doing the 15-minute righteous thoughts meditation. (

Meditation as a Way to Stay Positive

You might like to discover this ancient Chinese spiritual practice called Falun Gong—also known as Falun Dafa. Dubbed as Chinese yoga, the exercises of Falun Gong are less daunting than Indian yoga.

Falun Gong has only five exercises to learn—four simple standing exercises and a sitting meditation. There is no specific breathing technique that you have follow when doing the meditative exercises. As a researcher and author of two books on Falun Gong, I recommend you to give it a try.

A woman doing the Falun Gong tranquil sitting meditation. (

Other Ways to Stay Positive

The above are my recommended 10 ways to stay positive in tough times. There are, however, many ways to stay positive that are unique for each individual. Getting enough sleep and eating well are some of the basics to help us stay on top of any situation.

It is really up to you to discover what other ways to stay positive that best suit you. I invite you to create your own positive and therapeutic list of things you can do during this dark night of the soul period.

Please do leave a comment to let my readers and myself know what works best for you. Let me know whether you have tried all of the above-mentioned 10 ways to stay positive in tough times.

In a follow-up article, I will talk about what it entails to learn and practice Falun Gong meditation practice. Meanwhile, for more information about the practice, please visit

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Sarah Annalise
1 year ago

Love this blog post. It is so positive! Thanks for this uplifting post.

1 year ago

Thank you so much Margaret for writing and sharing these helpful ways to cultivate during this challenging time! Best Wishes!