A Realistic Attempt at a Week of Positivity

As a nation, every time we turn on the news or go onto social media sites, terror, war and disease fill our screens. Rarely is there a story majorly publicized about happiness or good deeds. Even when there are stories of love and hope, people suddenly forget about them when something terrible happens. In a world surrounded by and focused on negativity, it would do people good to find the positives in life.

After I put some deep thought into this concept, I decided that I should spend my week trying to be more positive as well. Don’t laugh, Mom and Dad. If you know me, you will know that I might not always be the most positive person. My family and friends may even call me cynical, but I’d like to think of myself as just being realistic. There is nothing I like more than seeing pictures and videos that “restore faith in humanity,” so I figured I would give positivity a go, and took my friends on the trip with me.

Alyssa Healy, a junior health studies major said, “I always try and make sure to smile at people and go out of my way to say hi. Giving people compliments and saying hello really does make people happy, it really is the little things,” says Alyssa Healy, a Junior Health Studies major.

“If someone is struggling with something, I try to help them as much as I can and always just try to believe that everything happens for a reason.”

Chrissy DiLiberti, a senior communication major, made an effort to stay positive at work throughout the week. “My waitressing job can be hectic and customers can be rude a lot of the time, but I realized smiling through it helps.”

“There is an old saying that goes kill them with kindness and doing this is a way I can remain positive throughout the rest of my shift and not let my attitude be negatively affected. In the end, it helps me do my job the best I can,” said DiLiberti.

Associate professor of communication, Doctor Eleanor Novek said, “I do non-violence work in prisons and community settings. I’ve met so many people that have done very bad things but want to change themselves around, and that is very uplifting to be around.”

As I ventured through my first full week of classes and work and other responsibilities, I tried to stay positive and not over stress. I would take everything day-by-day, hour-by-hour, and feel relieved whenever I accomplished another task without stressing out. Whenever things got too overwhelming, I would sit down and take a breather. I would walk around and get a snack or text a friend who I knew would make me laugh. I was determined to keep a positive and happy head on my shoulders.

Then I had another thought as I was scrolling through Instagram investigating the “100 happy days challenge.” There were pictures of friends and family laughing and smiling. There were pictures of food and drinks. There were pictures of jewelry and clothes and sunsets and concerts and cars. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy that my family and friends found things to be happy about for 100 days straight. But is that really believable? Does everyone just want to appear happy and positive on social media for the likes? As a normal, everyday person, is it possible for someone to truly be positive and happy all day, everyday for 100 days straight?

I think not. But then I realized, that’s okay. It’s okay to not always be positive. It’s okay to have a bad day, to be angry about a bad grade or a parking ticket or being stuck in traffic. That’s what makes us human. If we all tried to bundle up being upset or angry and just tried to be positive about everything, we would likely all explode.

Being positive all the time is hard at any age, whether you’re in middle school or college or a full time adult with a nine-five job. Being positive at school can be hard, being positive at home can be hard, being positive at work can be hard. It’s normal if things make you upset or make you angry or make you stressed out. No one’s life is perfect, we all have little ups and downs throughout each day.

You may now be agreeing with my friends and family that I am cynical. I still think I’m just being realistic. I do have to admit that I did find a lot of things in everyday that made me happy and kept me positive. I do also have to admit that though I tried, there were still things that happened each day that made me upset or stressed out. Being a constantly positive person is not something that happens overnight, and that’s okay.

I may not have learned how to be positive every hour of everyday and I’m not sure I ever will, but attempting a positivity challenge did teach me a little more about life. And at the end of the day, life isn’t so bad. No matter what happens, there really are many things to smile and be positive about.

PHOTO COURTESY of blogspot.com