Optimism has to be one of the most valuable traits that you can cultivate and it's something that will make you happier, more popular and even potentially 'luckier' if you can maintain that attitude; and never is this more important than when you are going through hard times and when you are facing up to challenges. Of course it's more difficult to remain optimistic when it feels like everything is crashing down around you, but if you can do it then you will be sure to reap serious rewards.
The Power of Positivity
You see being positive is something that brings about a 'virtuous cycle' (the opposite of a vicious circle) that in turn results in numerous happy changes in your life. Being positive means that you will attract more people around you as you'll find that they enjoy spending time in your company (it will make them feel good about themselves and like everything is going to work out okay). This makes things better for you as you will have the support of all your friends, but it also makes things better for them as your friends and family feel better about themselves and use you as a beacon of confidence.
At the same time if you are able to remain optimistic then you will be happier because you will genuinely believe that things are going to get better which will mean that the situation genuinely isn't as bad as if you were in the same scenario but feeling threatened by it. And then there's the fact that being positive means you are more likely to take the good types of risks and to attempt to get yourself out of the situation rather than giving in and experiencing the 'helplessness response' by just curling up in a ball.
How to Remain Positive
Recognize the Value of Positivity: To remain positive then you first of all need to realize the importance of all the above points. In other words you need to recognize just how valuable it is to be positive and how unhelpful it is to be negative. This will then give you the determination that you need in order to remain positive and to consciously try to drive out negative thoughts.
Have a Plan: Next you need to have a plan. If you have a plan then this will help you to see a way out, and that in turn will give you hope leading to optimism. Don't be a passive passenger, but rather make sure that you are making steps to improve matters. Meanwhile have contingency plans for each outcome so that whatever happens you are ready to deal with matters.
Face the Worst Case Scenario: Meanwhile, play through the worst possible scenario in your mind. Most likely you will find when you do this that it's not actually as bad as you thought it would be and that you would still be able to cope. Suddenly then a lot of the fear will leave you.
Look for Positive Elements: Most clouds have a silver lining, even if it's simply the fact that you are going to be growing as a person from the events, while in other cases it might be that your loss is another person's gain, or that it will open up other opportunities. Look for that nugget of good tidings in all the bad news and try to focus a bit on that.
Appreciate the Little Things: You can also look for the positives that will remain, and sometimes the best way to do this is to appreciate the little things in life. Sometimes I think to myself that as long as I have a good bowl of cereal in the mornings, it will always worth be getting up in the morning no matter what else is going on in my life. While we stand to lose a lot potentially throughout our lives, there are some things that you really can rely upon.
Understand the Nature of Change: It can also help to think about the nature of change in a more positive light. It is inevitable first of all, so don't waste too much energy trying to fight it, but at the same time it is also something that only lasts so long. We go through stages of flux in our lives and chaos, but these simply use up too much energy to persist and eventually they 'settle down' one way or another. Often it's just a matter of waiting for that point.