Power of positive thinking imperative to successful year

Erica Beebe

More stories from Erica Beebe

Is the cup half full or half empty? Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed or do they have a sunshine state-of-mind? Research has shown that people with more optimistic views have lifelong benefits. They are also more likely to make those around them happier as well.

After the first or second week of school, optimistic views are abandoned and reality sets in. The “glory days” are far from glorious. According to usatoday.org, teens have a higher level of stress in school than adults have year round. This stress can lead to behavioral problems, poor health, poor relationships and even a shorter life span. Research also shows that optimists and pessimists approach problems differently; therefore, they produce different outcomes. With that being said, going the extra mile could be the separation from optimism and pessimism.

Greatergood.berkeley.edu shows two recent studies that suggest giving to others gives people more joy than giving to themselves, and that kindness could create a virtuous circle of happiness. This means engaging in one kind deed could produce happiness for both you and the person you helped, and in turn produce more kind deeds.

Not everyone can be happy and friendly 24/7, but it is not difficult to help a scared freshman find their class, or notice the sunrise while walking into school. Positive thinking on a daily basis can result in a healthier mind and increased productivity. Long term positivity promotes better relationships, a healthier mind and body and increased longevity.

With a new school year comes a new list of stressors that can be turned good or bad. Negative stress is harmful for your body and mind, whereas positive stress, or eustress, can increase productivity and give you a different outlook on problems. Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” It takes one person to start a circle of positivity that can extend from the school out into the world.