The economic downturn is real. Unemployment is high, business is down, people are grappling with horrible realities of home loss – these are scary times. Sometimes it just feels like there’s an overall tone of gloom surrounding us. But, this Hanukkah, we can fight for “mood independence” by refusing to walk down the gloom road.

When we think about things like job loss and unemployment numbers, melancholy and worry can easily become some of our main default settings. So, try to remember you are not socially obligated to feel lousy all the time! This moment, as you’re reading this article right now, is fine. And all the moments of today have been fine. Try thinking like this as a mental practice to keep yourself in a positive place (especially if you are someone who tends to take on the feelings of others like an absorbent sponge).

Here are some other ways to fight the urge to be bummed about the economy:

  • Watch Your Language

“These are tough times” may be true, but it’s a bummer of a sentence. It typically doesn’t come from a happy place in your soul and it’s not worth reinforcing. These are also the best of times and having our words reflect that creates a positive spiral!

  • Be Careful What You Read

Focus on consciously staying away from “trend pieces” about the direction of the economy. It may feel like you’re burying your head in the sand, but the experts don’t always know any better than you do which “direction we’re headed.” Most of the stuff on TV, radio, online, and in print are sheer, time-and page-filling speculation. Do they have more information than us? Sure, and once in a while it’s useful to catch up. However, there’s no need to bathe in the negativity soup.

  • Deliberately Disconnect

Sitting on public transport, or in a waiting room, it’s incredibly easy to take in all the sullen faces and begin to match our mood to theirs (especially if you’re an emotional chameleon like many of us). We can catch ourselves by asking: Is this my sadness? If not, nip it–certainly we have enough of our own actual feelings to handle.

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