10 ways to find peace in a troubled world

Looking at the world through the eyes of hope is crucial to chasing away feelings of gloom and doom. Here are a few suggestions to help that happen.

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  • When you look at the headlines and feel a pit in your stomach, kick it out and let hope take its place in your heart instead. Here are a few ways to help you achieve this.

  • 1. Take a look at history and be comforted

  • Our world has weathered worse storms, and came out on top. Think about the Great Depression. Those who held on through that storm made it and walked into a brighter future. Look at WW II. When the world feared the tyrant Hitler, good people held on and inspired decisions were made that saved millions from tyranny. Remember New Orleans. This city was so devastated no one imagined it could come back, and yet 10 years later it thrives.

  • 2. Look around you and notice the good in life

  • The world is full of kind and caring people. A story in "Reader's Digest" told of a woman driving home in a blizzard. Her tire blew and she pulled off the road. The man in the car behind her pulled off, too. He quickly jumped out and fixed her flat.

  • "I was going to get off two miles back," he said. "But I didn't think that tire looked good." The world is full of people who care. Notice them. Be one of them. It diminishes feelings of despair.

  • 3. Stay positive

  • Recently a woman reported that when she was a young child, her family lived in London. It was during the war, and bombs were being dropped too close to home. After hunkering down in a bomb shelter with his family, her father came out with them, hugged them and said, "All is well. I have my family. And look; the roses are still blooming." She said his positive attitude became her own, and she has been able to find joy throughout her life.

  • 4. Be thankful for what you have

  • If you have food to eat and a place to live, count your blessings. Look at your family and cherish them. Being genuinely thankful for what really matters takes away feelings of gloom.

  • 5. Share your bounty with others

  • We became aware of a doctor friend who had taken his wife out for a dinner date. In the restaurant he saw a young couple, holding hands at a nearby table. He thought they might be young married students at the local college. He had the server give him the young couple's bill. He secretly paid it and left. He and his wife smiled all the way home, and we can only imagine that the young couple did, too. Sharing what you have is a great way to chase a dark cloud away.

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  • 6. Be a light in someone else's life

  • If you're worried about the terrible things that are happening in the world, bring a little light into someone else's life. Our widowed aunt was good at this. In her later years she spent time visiting the elderly at care centers and playing the piano for the patients there. She knew all the old favorites, and they loved it. They loved her. A nurse reported that it was the best medicine ever. And our aunt was happier as a result. Fill your life with good deeds and you'll spend less time worrying about the dire situations that are going on in the world.

  • 7. Turn a deaf ear to the doomsday proclaimers

  • Sometimes that may mean turning off the news. When those who declare bad tidings show up in your life, turn away. Be selective in your listening. You never have to listen to someone who is threatening that the world is coming to an end on a certain date. These doomsday folks have been coming and going for years, and guess what? The world is still here.

  • 8. Keep on having fun

  • Fill your life with good times. Life can't feel gloomy if you're having good, wholesome fun. It takes a conscious effort to plan these times. Enjoy a concert, have lunch with friends, take your family on an outing, go for a walk and enjoy nature's beauty. There are so many things you can do to have fun in life. It's pretty hard to feel gloomy if you're having a good time.

  • 9. Be prepared for emergencies

  • Emergencies come — job losses, illnesses, stock market crashes and raging wars. They have been going on for as long as any of us can remember. They are part of life, but rarely worthy of panic if you plan ahead. Anxieties can be minimized when we are prepared with a few life-sustaining items on hand. Having some food and other necessary commodities in the pantry can bring peace to your mind. A nice little nest-egg savings can help, too.

  • 10. Keep your faith in God alive

  • People who realize that God has a plan for them feel much more secure during troubled times. There is nothing quite like having faith in a Heavenly Father who loves you. Knowing that He is watching over you is significantly comforting. Plant that in the minds of your children and they will feel less fear. Faith chases away fear. Keep it alive in your own heart and in the hearts of those you love.

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  • Doing these 10 things can do wonders to eliminate feelings of gloom and doom. Give them a try and you'll find yourself smiling. To clinch the deal, click here and sing along with music legend Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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