Positive Thinking

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life is full of stress. Students have to deal with the stress of school assignments, college applications, and whatever is going on in their personal lives. Adults have to deal financial stress, the workload they're getting at their jobs and sometimes the stress of raising children, so it's easy to get consumed by the stress and think negatively. As I was thinking about tips to manage stress, I got stuck because what works for me may not work for everyone, and I am no expert on managing stress myself. Instead, I am going to write about the benefits of positive thinking.   

We can all assume that once positive thoughts replace negative thoughts, the overall mood will change for the better. Positive thinking is deeper than changing the mood. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson,   negative thoughts/stimuli process much faster than  positive thoughts/stimuli and last longer. So that probably explains why the negative thoughts linger rather than the positive ones.  

Recently, the senior class got our rankings, and my fellow peers and I were upset because we wanted to be higher. Instead of thinking about the good things that achieved in the school year, and how my ranking was still fairly high, I dwelled on negative thoughts. These negative thoughts caused a headache, and slowed down my productivity in the classroom.  

I'm not trying to say positive thinking reduces stress, or that the world would be better if we ignore things in life, but the way we see things affect our lives. I challenge myself, and anyone who is reading this to look at the challenges life throws with a positive spirit. Let’s increase our positive stimuli, so negative stimuli will no longer linger.

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”  
 - Alphonse Karr

Morgan is a rising senior at Westlake High School. As a former editor of the Westlake Paw Print, Morgan gained experience in writing. She hopes to continue to tell stories in the future as she moves forward in high school and on to college.