Although our world has come a long way since the Dark Ages, we live in times that can be quite uncomfortable or even frightening. The weather is acting strangely. Horrific events, natural and man-made, seem to occur with increasing frequency. It is as if the world is letting out a psychic cry for help or a collective wail of despair. Moreover, everyone is worried about money. Jobs are hard to find and wages are falling.
These deeply felt worries cause teeth-grinding at night and awaken at 4AM, unable to sleep. In times of trouble, love seems so far away. Hope dims. It may seem you are having less fun than you used to have. When the light at the end of the tunnel seems particularly dim, how can you find the silver lining on a dark storm cloud?
Following are some practices that can flip on the happy switch inside of you. It is very important to adjust your attitude for yourself and others. Your lust for life can be damaged by negativity over time. Stress dampens your natural hopefulness and youthful zeal. Don’t let life harden you. Seek and find the silver lining. Then bask in its glistening rays.
I. Flip a coin.
- It’s quite simple actually. Flip a coin and see if it comes up heads or tails. Then do it again. Did you get a head or a tail? Then again. Luck is a very important factor in our lives. It is a force that we cannot control, only appreciate. Luck is what it is. You cannot improve your luck. All you can do is watch its ebb and flow. You can chart its pattern but you cannot change its force. The coin toss is a very quick and simple reminder that luck is always changing. The coin toss offers Hope. When the coin toss is coming up tails, rest assured that in another toss, it will probably land heads up.
II. A Night Sky Full of Stars
- When the landlord is pounding on the door for rent, your boyfriend is missing and you just broke your smartphone, lift your chin and look up at the sky. A big blue expanse full of fluffy clouds or a night sky full of stars is guaranteed to change your perspective. The world is still turning and a new day will dawn. You have a place in the universe.
Go outside into the daylight. Find a leaf, a tree or a flower and simply observe its detail. Gaze slowly as you would study a beautiful and awesome work of art. Look at the shape and texture and contour. You are a part of this nature. You are part of something powerful and vast. Your religion or belief system will help you grasp this endless beauty.
Some believe we are all made of stars. As the universe was being created and expanding, stars burst and exploded, sending their atomic sub particles and chemical properties across space into clouds of gasses. And in this incubator, life, earth and the planets were born. You are part of the miracle.
III. Turn off the Data
- Quite simply, we are getting too much information crammed into our ears and eyes. It is exhausting. Turn off your smartphone, email and electronic devices. Shut off the cackle of interference and just listen. Let your mind meander, naturally.
IV. Appreciate the Love That You Have
- In your home, you have framed pictures of loved ones. Is it time to dust them off, literally and figuratively? You have gotten so used to seeing the frame and photo that you have stopped looking at it. Appreciate the love you have. Think about it until it has placed a smile on your face.
Don’t think about the boyfriend you don’t have. Or the one that got away. No good will come of it. There is always a love in your life. Just open your eyes and your heart to let it in.
V. Be Polite
- When life is at its darkest and there is no hope in sight, be polite. This happy little trick is a test that will always present the same conclusion: Hope does exist.
As you go about your day, practice politeness. Give enthusiastic thanks to the barista who makes your coffee. Express your gratitude. Lay it on thick. Be bold. Be genuine. Say “Hello”with a wide smile on your face. Really look at someone, deep into his or her eyes and ask, “How are you doing?”
Doing this for whole day would be therapeutic, but ten minutes is all you need to start to feel the energetic shift inside you. Your fresh outlook will feed others, like water to a thirsty plant. You will see people blossom and react in beautiful ways. You will find your power and most importantly, you will confirm the existence of Hope. The proof of Hope can be found in the reaction of the people with whom you have contact. You will discover that you have given them Hope.
The shiny silver lining can be very hard to see sometimes. We hope it’s there when we cannot see it. When the storms of life rage, don’t forget take deliberate steps to find your Hope.