By Jackie White
The question today is what is the secret ingredient to a happy life? Johnny Mercer sang about it in 1945 and his message rings true today. You need to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”. One prominent character in literature, Ebenezer Scrooge, epitomized the negative and illustrated the disastrous results of living a life of negativity. Let’s examine the Scrooges of the world for a moment.
Eliminate the Negative:
Those who are negative people, like Scrooge are described in a multitude of ways: curmudgeons, bears, bellyachers, complainers, crabs, cranks, croakers, crosspatches, fussers, gripers, grouches, grousers, growlers, grumblers, grumps, murmurers, mutterers, sourpusses and whiners!
Seriously! Can you believe the number of descriptors there are just to describe an unhappy person? We have all met those kind of people. They are ornery, negative complainers of life. They generally make people uncomfortable and repel people around them.
Latch on to the Affirmative:
So, what about people who are happy in life? What do we call them? It is interesting that descriptors for people who are happy in life are few and far between. An optimist is probably the only stand alone word there is to describe a positive person, but isn’t it funny that there is only one word to describe a positive person when there are so many to describe a negative person? Do you think people discount the importance of being a positive happy person? Do they think it’s just fluffy and squishy and really isn’t an important attribute to have?
But, here’s the secret: it’s the fuel for living a happy life...
It really truly is. If you need more hard evidence, science backs the fact that people who are positive live a much fuller and more fulfilled life than those who choose to see life in a negative light.The optimists are people that attract others. Their positive outlook on life is something most of us appreciate when we are in the company of them. Positive people live a life full of growth, creativity and resilience.
Don't mess with Mister In-Between:
The importance of being positive in your life is something you should take seriously. Don’t sit on the fence about this. Don’t be indifferent or neutral – that’s not embracing a positive lifestyle. Positivity is something you should lean into. According to Barbara L. Frederickson in her book “Positivity”, there are six facts about positivity that we should consider:
1. Positivity feels good. The feel-good nature of positivity awakens your motivation to change and
to want more of feeling this way.
2. Positivity changes how your mind works: Positivity expands your mind to see the possibilities
3. Positivity transforms your future: Being in a state of positivity literally can change you
physically, psychologically and socially because it brings out the best in you. You react to
situations in a more positive manner.
4. Positivity puts the brakes on negativity: Positivity can calm you, whereas negativity can spike
your blood pressure. You will make the best of circumstances and ultimately will become more
5. Positivity obeys a tipping point: What this means is that even the smallest change in a positive
direction can make a big difference.
6. You can increase your positivity: You have a choice to be negative or be positive. You can
choose positivity and begin to transform your life!
Let’s get real, this is not about telling you to be a Pollyanna about all that is negative in the world. That isn’t realistic. Moments of heart-felt positivity don’t last long, but the point is, you can find ways to infuse your life with more of those moments. That’s the key.
How to Find Yourself on the Sunny Side of the Street
The following are forms of positivity. You have a variety of options to choose from:
Joy: According to Ingrid Fetell in her book “Joyful”, joy is defined as “an intense momentary experience of positive emotion, one that makes us smile and laugh and feel like we want to jump up and down.” Who doesn’t want more of this in their life?
Gratitude: Gratitude is unbelievably powerful. It opens your heart and inspires you to give thanks or give back to others.
Serenity: Serenity is the feeling of fulfillment and calm as a result of contentment in your life.
Interest: Interest or curiosity of the world is how you keep learning and growing. This expands your horizons and can spark new interests and energy about life.
Hope: Hope is the belief that things can change. It expresses that possibilities exist, and hope can sustain you in rough times.
Pride: Pride is what you feel when you recognize yourself for achieving something. Pride can help foster belief in bigger and better achievements.
Amusement: Amusement and laughter with others builds connections and lighthearted feelings.
Inspiration: Inspiration many times comes from witnessing true human excellence in some form or another. It makes you want to express your best for yourself and others.
Awe: Awe is a feeling of being overcome by greatness on a grand scale. It could be nature or the feeling of a power greater than yourself.
Love: Love encompasses much of the previous forms of positivity. It can be a combination of several of them. The feeling of love pulses in our bodies and changes the inner chemistry of our bodies in many ways.
The bottom line here is that you have a choice to live in a positive state of mind. It’s up to you. Choosing to accentuate the positive will change your life in so many positive ways. Isn’t is awesome that a happier and more fulfilling life is just one decision away? So, what do you think? Will you make the choice?
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.