Publisher - March 2018
A negative mind will never give you a positive life.
— Ziad K. Abdelnour -
Look on the bright side…it’s bright. If it’s that simple, why doesn’t everyone look on the bright side, think positive and hope for the best? Numerous studies have proven those who think positive thoughts experience better health, greater prosperity and more happiness than those who dwell in negativity.
Unfortunately, many people still choose to approach life with a grim outlook—always expecting the worst and downplaying good fortune. Some people can’t see the silver lining in anything.
I equate negative people with grumpy, and what burden it must be to go through each day grumpy. I started a conversation with a lady at a luncheon, and within 17 seconds, I regretted it. She was a total downer—an energy drain. I tuned her out because her negativity drowned out her credibility. Although I felt for her, I couldn’t tolerate the physical effect her negativity had on me. I should have noticed her nametag before I spoke to her—Eeyore.
Seriously, Eeyore, from the Winnie the Pooh series, is probably the most famous pessimist. Wikipedia describes him as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old, grey stuffed donkey. If that’s not a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is. If I were looked upon in the same dreadful light, I would make a conscious effort to quit being a pessimist. Not for others, but for myself, because if I were all those things, I wouldn’t like me anymore.
Negative people have a knack of casting dark clouds over people, events and situations. There is power in negativity; it is energy, albeit down trodden. Pessimists turn joy into sadness, hope into worry, discussions into arguments and laughter into awkward silence. The result is people tiptoeing on eggshells. Yet, no matter how lightly one treads, the pessimist will still cast shadows.
What these lonely, dark cloud dwellers forfeit in exchange for raining on everyone’s parade are deep friendships, true connections, joyous moments and their own happiness. The faultfinding approach actually is damaging both physically and emotionally. Often pessimism leads to loneliness, sadness and depression—a very high price to pay for something that provides no luxury or joy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are tremendous health benefits in being a positive thinker. Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. The benefits positive thinking may provide include:
> Increased life span > Better psychological and physical well-being
> Lower rates of depression > Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
> Lower levels of distress > Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
> Greater resistance to the common cold
The good news is I run into more positive people than negative. For the naysayers out there let’s get one thing straight: Being positive doesn’t mean being oblivious to bad things, or believing everything is perfect. It simply means choosing to shift focus from seeing imperfections to finding good, from dwelling on what could go wrong to what could go right and from fearing failure to embracing chance. It is more frightening to be an optimist, but it’s so worth the ride.
Author Marianne Williamson claims, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Instead of pondering the classic “Is the glass half-empty or half-full,” I want to know: How good are you willing to let it get? “It” refers to your life, career, dreams, body, marriage, friendships, etc. Your answer will quickly reveal your degree of optimism or pessimism. If you’re tipping the meter toward pessimism, do yourself a favor, and start working to change that.
It can be risky to allow things to be good. Many believe the more positive you think, the farther you have to fall. However, if you stay in the negative, and never expect anything to work out, then you’ll never be disappointed. Right?
Wrong. You will go though your entire life without joy, and that is the biggest disappointment of all. You will arrive at your grave and realize you were the biggest loser. It’s OK to be happy. It’s OK to hope and dream and dare. It’s even OK if the rug is pulled out from under you and you fail miserably. One miserable failure is far better than one miserable life.
Don’t waste another minute dwelling deep within dismay. It’s heavy. It’s tired. It’s old and you deserve better. Even if you don’t see it, here is your first positive thought: You’ve been through many rough days—some days when you couldn’t stop crying, some when you felt as though your heart would break, some when you wondered if the sun would ever shine again, some wondering why me. Now, realize that so far your track record of getting through those bad days is 100 percent! Congratulations! You can breathe and smile here.
You were born to shine. It’s time to lighten up, dethrone negativity and reclaim your sparkling crown. In doing so, you will lighten your load and release the massive burden of negative thoughts. You are the ruler of your attitude, and don’t you ever forget it. Happy Optimism Month! Think positive and watch yourself blossom with joy. After all, spring is in the air.