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How to Stay Focused and Positive in Stressful Times

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School is starting back, and some folks are returning to work. However, there is still a lot up in the air. Will you be working from home or in the office? Will you be attending school virtually or in the classroom? We all have a lot of questions and feelings of uncertainty, and that can be stressful. But, we at the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) like to stay positive and recognize the bright side of circumstances, even when it is tough. So, how do you stay positive during these strange times?

One way to remain optimistic is to practice positive thinking. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. Try to focus on the good, rather than expect the bad. This may not come naturally, especially during these unusual times, but with practice this will become second nature.

Be proactive! Proactive coping reduces the likelihood of experiencing future stressors. Think ahead and determine how you might be able to avoid potential stressors in your everyday life. For example, can you ask your co-workers for help on projects or take small steps to ease your workload later in the week? Being proactive can improve your overall quality of life, lower levels of stress and lower levels of depression.

Lastly, be sure to acknowledge the things that do go right. One way to do this, is to take inventory of your day and recognize something new that you learned, are grateful for or something you accomplished. If we do not stop to look around, there is a lot that we miss – including so many positives around us. So, during these stressful times, remember to keep a positive outlook, plan ahead and take inventory of the good all around.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist