The current economic climate has caused much alarm. Many of us are being faced with job losses, foreclosures, shrinking retirement accounts, credit crunches and an overall increase in costs for food, fuel, healthcare and housing. While it is easy to get discouraged and feel a sense of despair, it is important to remember that you are never powerless. You always have the power of choice. You can choose how to think and respond to the circumstances and events going on around you. You are in charge of your own state of mind and only you can choose to think positively or drown in sea of negativity. So, how will you choose to respond? Will you immediately panic, think dreadful thoughts and be immobilized by fear, anxiety and depression? Or, will you recognize your own power to change your thinking, explore your options, and take the necessary actions to improve your situation?

One way to counter the effects of all the doom and gloom media reports is to remain hopeful.

Oh sure…I can hear you say! How can I expect to stay hopeful in the midst of all this chaos? Well, you can start by developing a clear vision of your future and staying focused on it.

You cannot expect to change your present situation by focusing on what is. Giving attention to negativity, stress and panic only keeps you immobilized. Yes, it is important to acknowledge your fears and concerns but you must move beyond these feelings if you want to bring about the changes you desire. Accept where you are at the moment but make a conscious decision to do something about it! Having a clear vision for your future is vital. A powerful vision gives you the bigger picture. It is the driving force that propels you forward. Once you are clear about your vision, you can take the necessary actions that will lead you to its fulfillment. Having a strong vision gives you a greater sense of hope which supports you in the pursuit of your goals.

In addition to hope, I would add faith and joy as other essential ingredients. When you have faith, you know that things can and will change for the better. Faith also empowers you to take more risks.

Joy always makes us feel good and ultimately, that’s what we all want. So seek out as much joy as you can and enjoy the process. Know that you can always improve any situation and remember there are many valuable life lessons to be learned along the way.

Separate what you can control from that which is out of your control. Worrying about things you cannot control will only lead to increased stress, tension, fear, and anxiety. Focus on the things you can control. Change your thoughts and the way you talk to yourself. Seek out support and assistance from others whenever necessary, and do whatever you can do to improve your situation.

Finally, take a broader perspective. There is a natural ebb and flow to everything in life. Things are constantly changing and you can always take positive steps to improve any situation. Above all, remember that you are not your bank account, your credit score or your job title.

~ You are a magnificent and powerful being.
~ You have value and worth just as you are.

So, stay hopeful, keep the faith and move forward in joyful optimism!

Author's Bio: 

Paul Novello, LCSW is a licensed Therapist and Life Coach who has been practicing in New York City and Long Island for over fifteen years.

Paul has always been passionate about personal growth and development, and he loves to explore the possibilities! He enjoys inspiring others to discover their true selves, reach for their goals and dreams and live the life they truly desire. Paul created and developed Life Solutions for Gay Men as a resource to support gay men in the achievement of their personal success. Additionally, Paul has an extensive background in the performing arts and has studied and applied various techniques throughout the years including Meditation, Progressive Relaxation, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and the Alexander Technique.