We all go through times where we feel stressed or overwhelmed, but coping with those feelings starts with recognizing them first, and then shifting our mindset to one that’s more hopeful and optimistic. And when you feel negativity take over, it’s important to have tools that can help you reframe. 

Below, four retail and healthcare workers open up about the tips that help them reframe a negative mindset and improve their well-being:

Swap your “can’t” thoughts with “can” thoughts

“I feel like my overall spirit has changed. I’ve finally removed the word ‘can’t’ from my vocabulary. Now that I’ve gotten out of my own way, I tell myself, ‘I can do this.’ The sky’s the limit.”

— Jennifer Wiens, McPherson, KS

Think of a time you overcame an obstacle

“One Microstep that helps me is, ‘Think of a specific time when you overcame an obstacle.’ When I first read it, I thought about my dad, who has survived cancer twice. He got better and he is still with us today. So I said to myself, ‘If I feel like I’m drowning in a glass of water, I’ll think about what he went through.’ I now know that nothing that feels hard in the moment is going to affect my happiness.”

—Yamil Cruz, Toa Baja, PR

Pause and take a deep breath

“I work with veterans and helped to establish our COVID vaccine clinic. Work can be stressful and I use Microsteps to stay calm, like pausing for a deep breath. Sitting at my desk with my feet flat on the floor and deep breathing for even 20 seconds helps me refocus. ‘Me time’ is important. I pray as soon as my feet hit the ground.”

— Arvis Abban, Fredericksburg, VA

Take a moment for gratitude

“My dad passed away unexpectedly in 2006 and I cried for months. One day, my son, who was 6 at the time, asked if we could have a happy day. It was like a switch flicked on. I knew I couldn’t continue being sad, and I knew my dad wouldn’t want that. From that moment on, I have focused on being thankful for what I have and every day that I am given.”

— Jocelyn Bown, Woodstock, NB