Wars, natural disasters, economic catastrophes, global warming, nuclear proliferation. If one dwells on all the bad things going on these days, one can't help but feel like things are becoming a little bleak. When will this all end, and how is it even possible to recover?
If you look back throughout history, there's always been periods where things have looked pretty grim. Imagine if you lived in Europe during World War II. Even though the US wasn't involved until 1941, most of Europe had been battling it out for years before we joined in the game. Many probably thought their worlds would completely end. Yes, many lives were lost, and much was destroyed, but those who survived rebuilt their lives. Today, most of Europe is prospering and thriving. The same sort of feelings consumed those who lived through the Great Depression, too. They thought that the rest of their lives would be fraught with poverty and despair. Lo and behold, we pulled through, and many of those who suffered eventually recovered and, in some cases, even became wealthy.
So, how can we remind ourselves that the world hasn't ended yet, and that things will inevitably get better? Here's a few tips that have helped me forget about the world's woes.
Stop Watching the News!
I had to install an add-on to Firefox that blocks certain websites and I added CNN.com and MSNBC.com to the list. It had become such a habit for me to check the news that I didn't even think about it. I've cut myself off now, and it really helps. Money might be tight and everything, but constantly being reminded of it doesn't help matters whatsoever.
Step outside and take a deep breath. Sure, temperatures might be rising and the air might be polluted, but Mother Nature's not going anywhere anytime soon. It always helps me to take a walk or sit outside under the shade of a large tree and watch the squirrels scavenge for snacks. The squirrels don't have a care in the world, other than finding a good snack and a mate. It reminds me of how simple life really is beneath all of our modern human clutter.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
Humans are social creatures. Even the most antisocial people would be miserable if they were truly alone in the world. Surrounding yourself by people you enjoy will bring smiles to everyone's faces, and put a little extra joy in your hearts.
If you feel helpless to better the world around you, you can at least do something to better yourself. Read books about topics that interest you. Maybe tackle a few of the classics, or brush up on some philosophy. The phrase 'Knowledge is power!' might be used in jest, but it's really true.
Dreaming about things you'd like to do is a great way to start making goals for yourself. Sure, there are always outside forces that might interfere, but it is up to you to at least give it a shot, right? If you want to own a house and not get mixed up in a mortgage mess like many others have, do your research and save every penny so you can accomplish that goal. If you hate your job, try going back to school to do something you'd really enjoy. Money might be tight, but that shouldn't stop you from giving your life direction.
These tips might not be for everybody, but if any of them are able to alleviate some weight off your shoulders, then it's always worth it. We'll never get out of these messes if we're all weighed down by them. No matter what your situation, if you can keep your hopes up even through these difficult days, you can rest assured that there will be a brighter future ahead.