Publisher - July 2024

Photography by
Cassidy Dunn Photography

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”

— Joyce Meyer

There is nothing quite as powerful as thinking positive, other than thinking negative. Both ways of thinking have an endgame in mind, which are as far apart from each other as night and day. In fact, one of them brightens everything up, while the other cloaks you in darkness. So, as the world turns and churns, I encourage you to think positive.

Research has proven time and again that those who think positive thoughts achieve better health, greater prosperity, and more happiness than those who dwell in the negative. Nonetheless, many people still choose to approach life with a grim, dismal outlook, always expecting the worst and even downplaying good fortune. Being negative is a choice, a bad habit you can count on to turn joy into worry, hope into fear, discussions into arguments, and laughter into silence.

Negative thinking tricks you into believing it’s a safer space. It is a reminder of the crushing disappointment you may experience if you think positive and it doesn’t work out. Why, you might look like a fool, having set yourself up to believe the bright side and hope for the best, only to be let down and left swallowed by pain, shame, or disappointment. Negativity beckons you to wallow in these things before the outcome, and that way, there is nowhere to fall.

How exhausting it must be to go through every situation believing the worst. I started a conversation with a lady at a luncheon, and within 13 seconds, I regretted it. She was a negative Nelly—an energy drain. I tuned her out because her negativity not only drowned her credibility, it also drowned me. I felt for her, but I could not tolerate the physical effect her negativity had on me. I should have noticed her name tag before I engaged: 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 dim, morose light as Eeyore, I would make a conscious decision to practice positivity—not for others, but for myself. I don’t want spend my one wild and precious life in the dark with minimum joy. It’s OK to be happy! It’s OK to hope and dream and dare! Even in these times! 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!

Are you ready to give negativity the boot I hope so, because there’s something in it for you if you do! According to the Mayo Clinic, there are health benefits in being a positive thinker, including:
> Increased life span
> Lower rates of depression
> Lower levels of distress
> Greater resistance to the common cold
> Better psychological and physical well-being
> Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
> Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Have I convinced you to shift your focus from seeing imperfections to finding good, from dwelling on what could go wrong to getting excited about what could go right, and from fearing failure to embracing chance? It’s definitely more frightening to be an optimist, but so worth the ride.

> Thought Exercise: Instead of pondering the classic “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?” give this question deep thought: How good are you willing to let it get? 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.

How? Become aware of your negativity. Catch your stinkin’ thinkin’! Have a positive mantra at the ready, perhaps “I find the good in life!” Say these words to sweep away the negative thoughts. Say it out loud! Make yourself look for the positive side of something. Get grateful! Coach yourself up, and get in the game. Don’t let negativity leave you all alone sitting the bench, wasting minutes of your life dwelling in dismay? You deserve better, right now!

Even if you can’t see it yet, 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 in half, some when you wondered if the sun would ever shine again. Now, realize that so far your track record of getting through those bad days is 100 percent. Hooray! That’s is fabulous...and positive!

It’s time to lighten up in spite of it all, dethrone negativity, and reclaim your sparkle, your twinkle, your joy, your hope, your light. In doing so, you will lighten your load, leaving the heavy burden of negativity behind. You are the ruler of your happiness—and your thoughts—and don’t ever forget it. Happy July 4th, Ms. Independent!

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen