When you’re in a bad mood or in a “low place,” positive thinking sounds like a bunch of crap, if you’re being honest. That, however, is just your mind playing tricks on you. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that being optimistic can actually have many health benefits.

The Mayo Clinic notes that if you happen to be a pessimistic person, you can learn positive thinking skills. Research shows that positive thinking can provide health benefits such as better coping skills, better cardiovascular health, lower rates of depression, a healthier immune system, and even a longer lifespan.

Want to be better at thinking positively? Admittedly, it can be especially difficult during the COVID-19 outbreak, which makes it even more important to get some practice doing it. Check out the following tips for thinking positively during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Make time to be away from social media and news outlets

In an article published by Sanford Health entitled “Keeping a positive mindset amid COVID-19 pandemic”, trusting “fact-based sources” and ignoring social media (where fear-based rumors spread like wildfire) can ease anxiety.

For example, instead of paying attention to things your scared friends share on social media, look up safety recommendations and statistics from reliable sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

Stop and smell the (insert favorite smell here)

Whether it’s your favorite flower, favorite candle, or the smell of fresh-cut grass, it’s essential to make time to enjoy the little things. According to the Sandford Article, observing things in nature (such as plant life, a sunset, or even animals) can give us hope in these trying times.

Make a list of things to be thankful for

Listing the things we are grateful for shouldn’t be a practice saved only for Thanksgiving. It should be something we’re focusing on regularly, especially in tough times like right now.

Remember to laugh a little

The Mayo Clinic notes that being able to find humor and laugh in difficult times can be a great way to feel less stressed.

Make time for self-care

It’s vital to make time for yourself to focus on your moods and your health. It’s hard to be optimistic when you’re running on no energy and constant stress. Be sure to make time to unwind and focus on the positive things that are still happening in your life despite the epidemic. Also, be sure to be eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.

Keeping your mental health in check is a vital part of keeping your sobriety in check. Never hesitate to seek help when you need it. For more information on help with your individual mental health and sobriety needs, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.