Maintaining a positive outlook can greatly improve life during hard times

Michael Santoro, Observation Station
February 14, 2013
Filed under Opinion

Sometimes it seems as if our world runs on negativity. Whenever you turn on the news, be it domestic or international, something unpleasant seems to be catching our attention. Even if you walk around in a crowded place you can hear people perplexed and frustrated over situations. It gets harder and harder to maintain a positive attitude in our own lives, too. Work can get on your nerves, completing schoolwork becomes monotonous and your friends and family can instill a poor attitude at times. We all face it. I just wanted to try and highlight a few points to think about in adopting a more positive outlook. Trust me, I need to convince myself just as much if not more than anybody else.

First, the situation could be a lot worse. I’m not saying this is true in every single instance, but usually it is. There’s probably a single area or aspect of your life that’s beginning to wear you down. If not one, maybe a few. Try and look at the aspects of your life that aren’t suffering.

Also, look at the way you handle those aspects and apply it to your frustrating situations. Give yourself some credit for keeping those areas in check.

Depending on the issue, remember that you have your health, your friends, your family, etc. Whatever is positive in your life, remember you have that.

Your realm of support can sometimes stretch a lot farther than you would initially believe.

This leads me to another point: ask for help. Those around you that you associate with take time to spend their life with you. Obviously they care about you in some capacity. Why not extend some trust and open up?

Another perspective on something you’ve looked at hundreds of times can shed light where you couldn’t see. Sometimes our friends are skilled at certain areas that we aren’t, and that can be enough to take an example from.

Be humble and realize if the situation is dire, you might not be able to do it on your own. Your friends won’t be annoyed. Solid, long-lasting relationships can be born and nurtured through this way.

Another point that may be a bit harder to apply is the step-away method. If something is consuming your thoughts and you never get a chance to put your mind on something else, it just takes over. Step away from whatever is bothering you for a day. Of course, if it’s life-or-death, by all means handle it fervently. But if you can walk away for a bit, do it. I know I have a problem with over-thinking things and looking deeper when nothing is there. There’s no better way to psych yourself out and maybe fall into the wrong line of logic and questioning.

Finally, you can do it. Simple, right? But it’s true! You’ve been living your own life for how many years now? Over the course of that life how many situations have arose where you were scared, frustrated, angry, etc. You made it through those situations! Use yourself as a reference point. I’m sure similar confounding situations have come up in the past. What did you do there? What worked and what didn’t work? Also, do you remember how you felt about the situation? You probably were feeling the same way as you are now, and I hope everything worked out well. That should motivate you to stop, take control, and handle whatever business is necessary.

Now I’m not saying I’m a qualified psychiatrist or therapist. Also, I can’t say I’m immune from being negative. I suffer from it more times than I can count. I just know that on a campus this size, I’m sure there’s somebody going through something that just seems to be way too much for them. Hopefully an article like this can give a new perspective, and at its best, help someone. Or maybe a person reading this has a great life. That life achieved greatness somehow, and it wasn’t without the ups and downs. As you go through them, try and think about these points and possibly apply them to your life. A positive outlook can change everything.

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