Staying positive important for healthy lifestyle

Staying positive important for healthy lifestyle

“Look on the bright side” and “every cloud has a silver lining” are common expressions that aren’t used frequently enough. Let’s face it – we are usually prone to negativity more often than positivity. If it was raining, you couldn’t get a parking spot and were 10 minutes late to class, you’ll be most likely to remember that rather than the fact that you made an A on a quiz or that someone complimented your new top.

Why is that? Why are we automatically negative? It really is a process to be more positive but with a bit of brain rewiring, it can be done. Recently, on a trip to the grocery store, my son fell asleep so I had to carry him while maneuvering the cart. The lines were long, and I was hungry and cranky. While I was unloading my bags into the trunk, an older man stopped next to my car. He offered to wait while I put away my groceries and return my cart to the store for me. In an era when more people slam doors than open them, this was a welcomed kindness. I smiled and thanked him, and when I got in my car I realized that it was possible for one good act to overshadow several negative ones.

Did you know that optimists are generally in better health than pessimists? According to WebMD, people with sunny outlooks are more likely to heal faster, live longer and enjoy their lives more. Laughter boosts your heart rate and helps you breathe easier. Being stressed and negative can make your muscles constrict, run you down faster, and generally make you feel tired and drained.

It seems like being optimistic would be the easier route, but most people are inclined to be pessimists. Also, people who are positive all the time seem like they are bottling up their emotions, yet people who are cranky a lot never seem to smile or be in a good mood. There has to be a happy (pun intended) medium. We live in a fast-paced world where small kindnesses and thoughtful acts get lost in the maelstrom of daily activity.

Try not to let the little things go unnoticed. And when someone does something nice for you, remember to “pay it forward” to someone else. A little positivity can turn someone’s whole day around. So next time you’re having a bad day, relish the “good job” comment from your hardest professor, a smile and hug from your best friend or a beautiful sunny November day when Northerners are wearing coats and we are still in flip flops. There are so many little things every day to be grateful for. So when someone asks “How was your day?” remember to go to the good, not the bad.

Christi Aldridge is a senior strategic communication major from Hillsboro.