Why a Positive Attitude Matters

Yesterday, a series of things happened that bummed me out.  A few friends came to the rescue, and by this morning, the energy is back and all is well with the world.  Just like the research says, a good night’s sleep can change everything.  It made me think about how important those little boosts we get from friends are.

I know some people who have a very pessimistic and down attitude about everything.  They are the people who seem to never have a nice thing to say about anything.  More than snarky, they are just wet blankets.  They can’t stand you being happy, and are the first ones to announce bad news and spread their evil tempers around- not unlike Dementors in the Harry Potter books.  These people seem to thrive on drama, and only seem happy when something is going to heck in a handbasket.

Positive people, on the other hand, have the opposite effect.  While they might try overly hard to cheer you up when you’re in a bad mood, or say things like “It’ll be better soon”, just when you’re not sure this is what you need to hear- they’re probably right.  And by being positive rather than dumping fuel on your “poor me” fire, they encourage you do what needs to be done.  Stand up, put on those big person pants, and get back in the game.

And sure enough, a day ends, another begins, and the tide begins to turn in your favor.  Things do start to improve.  You get a note or email from friends, and understand the set backs are only temporary, and often for the best.  Many a hidden blessing is found in what seems like bad news at first.

There’s a ton of science behind why bad moods are catching; the rise in cortisol levels in your body; the rise in stress and how this seems to flow down hill through processes ranging from  kicking the dog syndrome, also known as transference or displaced aggression, and projection, where you displace your own fears, worries and concerns on another.  It turns out part of it might be evolutionarily beneficial.  When you’re concerned or worried, the rest of the “tribe” should be able to sense this and decide whether or not those concerns deserve further investigation, especially if you’re concerned about that predator just over the hill.

While recent studies show bad moods may make you a better witness to details,  it doesn’t make them any more fun.  Mystery moods may be linked to reaching or not reaching unconscious goals, and this certainly can explain some of my mood shifts as well.

But all in all, I much prefer people who are upbeat and silver-lining types.  Not irrationally so, but those who are willing to say- hey look, we can do this, take my hand and let’s go have some fun!  These are friends both in need and in deed.  So thank you to all my tweeps and everyone who gave me a boost when life gave me some lemons.  The Lemonade truck showed up this morning, and life continues unabated.

Thanks again!

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