Have you ever complained about the weather? Being tired? School lunches, or perhaps school in general? Maybe it was the first day of the week that became the target of your disgust. I'll be the first to confess that I have been guilty of all of these at some point. I recently saw a T-shirt that said, " There is nothing wrong with Mondays... you just hate your job". This got me thinking. Did I really hate my job? Nope. I love my job! In fact teaching is what I have always wanted to do, and I feel at home here at GYMY. Why was it then that I have occasionally caught myself falling prey to negativity?
Negativity is like a contagious disease, and it spreads like a wild fire. It works something like this; you show up to work, school, the disco, or the My Little Pony convention that you have been waiting all year for, and somebody throws out the seemingly innocent complaint about the muddy puddle that they stepped in. This, of course, opens the door for someone to complain about the hideous weather that we have been having that caused said puddle and so on. By the time this ugly discussion is through, you might have wasted an hour of your life, or worse, you might have wasted your only chance to a meet and greet with your favorite pony Pinky Pie.
It could be argued that this complaining, or "venting", as we like to call it in the wonderful world of psychology, is a good coping mechanism. To me it sounds more like an evil ploy to help someone justify their problem with complaining. I think that this negative thinking is more a reflection of one’s lack of happiness or the need to bring others down to their level. If these people were cartoons, they'd be the ones that the rain cloud follows. What a sad way to live.
Please don't get me wrong. I am by know means the "everything is perfect, awesome, wonderful, or whatever superlative you can spout off” American. No… I have lived in The Slovak republic much too long for that. I am an optimist, yes, but I am also a realist. We will have nice days and days that suck. Am I perfect? Nope. Do I always pour out my magical positivity vibe? Heck no! I'm just saying that I'm willing to give positivity a try and I hope you will, too.
There have been a number of clinical studies in the field of psychology called " self talk" that say that if you force yourself to think, talk and act positive (think about smiling) even when you are feeling down, that it can actually start to make you feel better. I think about this every time I receive an email from my good friend Jaro. At the bottom of every email he sends it says "P.S. You are what you think about". Amen brother!
So the next time you feel the need to grumble and groan about school, your job, the government, fill in the blank, either ask yourself; what am I doing to make it better, and fix it, or think of pretty pink unicorns or something that makes you smile. Just please don’t bring me down with your rainy-day thinking. As for me, I fully intend to do my best to practice what I preach.
by Matt Haarman
Year 2, Issue 2