According to a USA Today poll conducted in 2021, the one thing Americans can agree on is that we’re having trouble staying sane! That’s a bit startling, isn’t it?
Between the pandemic, the political polarization, and the inflation rate, the generalized feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, depression, and loneliness have all increased. Everywhere we turn, stress seems to be crackling in the air. How do we, as believers, cultivate positivity in a world gone bonkers? How do we maintain an inner stream of joy when we might be walking through grief or suffering? Is that even possible, or authentic?
I’ve been thinking about all these questions this past week.
3 Tips to Cultivate a Positive Attitude in a World Gone Wonky
Stay Connected. Jesus, the night before he would be crucified, instructed his disciples to abide or remain in Him (John 15:5-6). A life of joy despite our circumstances is simply not possible without remaining deeply rooted in the vine. Jesus knew the next few days in the lives of the disciples were going to be sheer terror. Talk about uncertainty! The disciples were going to face challenges they never dreamed possible. Jesus’ instruction to them was, to stay connected! They were to remain planted in the vine – Jesus Christ – no matter how uncertain and chaotic the days ahead would be.
Not only are we to stay connected to Christ, but we are also to stay connected in community with one another.
Praise. When feelings of fear, anxiety, or loneliness overwhelm you, shift your focus to God’s character. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). Who has every one of those qualities? The Lord, Himself. As you shift your focus and turn on your praise, anxiety is going to subside. Instead, the Holy Spirit will quiet your heart with His peace. Try it.
What if you made it your goal to praise God for 10 minutes every day this week? It’s easy. Use your car time. As you’re driving to Starbucks, work, an appointment, or to pick up kids from school, turn on some praise music and sing along. As you praise God, I guarantee your attitude will be lifted.
Encourage. The boomerang effect of encouraging others is astonishing. Take a few minutes and leave an encouraging message on a friend’s Facebook wall, or send an encouraging text message, or if you really want to brighten someone’s day, hand write an encouraging note and drop it in the mailbox. Taking the time to encourage others actually encourages your heart as well.
Friends, these are wonky days we are living in. However, I firmly believe that it is possible to stay positive. It’s not that you have to be happy all the time. There are seasons of deep grieving and suffering that all of us will experience. However, as we remain connected, unleash the power of praise, and choose to encourage others, we will possess a confidence that is unexplainable other than the power of the Holy Spirit. He is our inner source of steady joy.
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast our special guest is Carol Kent. We’ll be having a conversation about letting go of mom guilt! Be sure to listen in on Apple podcasts, Spotify podcasts, or Google podcasts.