Friday, March 7, 2014

Down with Negativity

Bad reviews. Negative political campaigns. Grouchy people. Facebook intimidations. Youtube videos of things-gone-wrong. Widespread negativity.


I read a post on negativity by Sandra Warren recently in her Grateful Writer blog this week. With a blog named Grateful Writer, how could she ever claim to have negative thoughts? Easy. Writers all do. We go through periods of self doubt that are reinforced (or begun) by not so flattering, but very public, book reviews.

Been there. Done that. Survived.

Sandra mentioned research by Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist delving into how negativity affects the brain. His recently released book, Hardwiring Happiness, sounds like something I want to read. Negative events remain imprinted in our brains for a reason, he says.


Positive events take a lesser role in memory, he says. They're usually overshadowed or repressed by the negative.

But wait. I interviewed nearly a hundred former students and teachers at this school. They told me the positive first, and not just to warm up to the negative, either. Most people had to search their brains for the negative and when they came up with less than happy stories, they were told as lessons learned rather than as tattle-tale reportings.

Perhaps time mellowed their feelings. I'm talking at least fifty years, usually sixty or more. Goodness might take time, but it wins, at least at Pilot Mountain School it did.

In the moment, though, negative statements hurt. Lessons learned is little consolation for hurt feelings. So I decided this Lent period to rid my life of negativity rather than my usual. Chocolate. I will be positive, think positive thoughts, emit positive vibes, surround myself with Pollyannas.

Lent started for me the moment I felt the minister at my church draw the sign of the cross on my forehead. That was Wednesday. Thursday I was writing a post on facebook about the sleet and snow that was falling yet again. "Will this winter never end???" I wailed.

I lasted barely a day without being negative. Forty days looks like a long stretch ahead...ooh, that even sounds negative. Instead I'll say that I have forty days of opportunities ahead to turn my attitude from the negative to the positive. I will.

I'm positive I can.

Catch of the day,


1 comment:

  1. Love this spin on using the negative for positive. You say it well, dear friend. It's only when we concentrate on the positive that we realize how negative the many thoughts running though our brains have become. You'll get there and I will get there too. Here's to the positive!