My 15-year old son said something today that resonated with me.

“It’s a weird time for our country,” he said.

He may be a teen, but he’s got ears to hear. Eyes to read and watch the news. One doesn’t have to pay attention for long to see that our country is divided in so many ways. And the dividing factions only seem to be growing.

In a time of division, of uncertainty and discomfort, it’s more important than ever to maintain a sense of well-being and grounding. One of the best methods I know of doing so is to know two key facts about yourself:

  1. What mires you?
  2. What inspires you?

Fire the Mire

If you can recognize the things that bring you down, that mire you in the muck of yuck, then all you have to do is fire it. Get it out of your life to the extent you can. Remember, you do have choices. For example, you’ve been invited to an outing with a group of people, including one person who is well known to push buttons. Just. Say. No. Don’t subject yourself to the angst. Instead, find a peaceful past-time. Try a yoga class or go to a book reading

Just. Say. No.

Don’t subject yourself to the angst. Instead, find a peaceful past-time. Try a yoga class or go to a book reading.

Because our family is politically divided, I object to the news being on during dinner. Instead of political debates and arguments, we have family time. For anyone wanting news, they can go onto their respective laptop at their convenience and read whatever they missed.

Media is everywhere. Like me, you have choices of where, when, and how to consume. Do it in the way that feels best for you.

Hire what Inspires

At the same time you are eliminating the stuff that brings yuck into your life, proactively look for more of what feels good. Do you like art? Join an art class. Want to learn a new creative outlet such as dancing or writing? Look for beginner classes in your area. I’ve found Meet Up a great place for finding venues that support my inspirational needs, including dance and writing. Read your favorite kinds of books, listen to music that moves you.

Maintaining good physical health leads to good mental health as well. Join a gym, whether at work or in the community and keep your body healthy. I’ve recently joined a gym that offers a pool with lap lanes open 24/7. 

The one thing that keeps me grounded, without fail, is being in nature. Whether it’s a short walk or just sitting on the front porch listening to the birds and watching the lizards scurrying by, being in nature eases my mind.

Fill Your Mind with Good Thoughts

It may sound simplistic, but the truth is what you focus on expands. If you spend your days thinking and talking about how bad everything is, the bad is what you will see first and foremost. On the other hand, if you look for what feels good and surround yourself with more of that, then you will feel better!

My son is right that this is an interesting time in our lives — especially if you are an American. But you don’t have to let it bring you down. Just make a conscious effort to surround yourself with what feels right and dump everything else. It will make a huge difference in your level of stress and happiness!

For more inspiration, join Sheila and the Braveheart community on Facebook and Twitter!