Learn 4 ways to be positive in the midst of a world gone mad from Tony Swartz (via Fast Company)

If there is anything this nasty, fear-driven, dispiriting political season has demonstrated, it’s that no politician—Democrat, Republican, or otherwise—has any compelling solutions to what ails us. Even as partisan a figure as Jeb Bush is suggesting voters are feeling “disgust with the political class.”

We live in a world that has grown increasingly complex and contradictory, angry and fearful, polarized but utterly interdependent.

How, then, to feel more control over our destiny amid so many daunting challenges and so few clear answers?

Here are four very personal behaviors to consider, offered in a spirit of hopefulness and humility:

1. Practice Realistic Optimism.

There is a powerful principle in psychology called “bad is stronger than good.” We’re quicker to notice threats to our well-being than we are to focus on what’s working well. …

2. Build More Bridges

In an era marked by fractiousness and extremes, what connects us rather than divides us? Where can we find common ground? Certainly, there are universal desires we all share: a safe and secure world, people we can love and who love us, a hopeful future for our children. …

3. Add Value Every Day

After three years of a recession that shows all too few signs of abating, it’s no surprise that people are feeling the full range of negative emotions from terror to rage. But to what end? …

4. Give Yourself a Break

The greater the performance demand, the greater the need for recovery. As the world speeds up, we need to keep a balance between doing and not doing. By building in a true renewal break at least every 90 minutes, you’ll feel better, think more clearly, be less reactive and ultimately you’ll get better, more considered results. …

Reprinted from TonySchwartz.com