If what you see leaves you despondent, perhaps an adjustment in what you look for can be an investment in your mental health. Jane Anne Staw has this Perspective.
Waking up to disturbing news each morning has left nearly everyone I know anxious and depressed. Many wise people have suggested antidotes to this state of generalized and heightened anxiety: Join action groups, send postcards to Congress, call politicians to express your opinions, sign petitions, and, of course, demonstrate.
These are excellent and essential suggestions. Action makes all of us feel better. But I have an additional proposal, one that might at first seem ironic in the face of such large problems: Before we act, we need to dispel our increasing despair. I recommend thinking and seeing small.
By small, I mean changing our perspective, taking a few seconds to notice the tiniest bits of beauty in our lives: a fallen leaf curled gracefully on the sidewalk, a bird trilling his heart out on a nearby branch, a smile sent our way by a passerby, an older couple holding hands as they walk down the street.
Before I learned to see small, I was frequently anxious and depressed. Any little thing that went wrong — a harsh word, a frown in my direction — disturbed me. I magnified each misstep or mishap until it took over my life.