Do you remember the cartoon “Winnie the Pooh?”
If so, you might remember a character named Eeyore. Eeyore was known as a negative, gloomy, depressed donkey who always expected the worst.
Do you know anyone like that?
If you remember Eeyore than you probably also remember Tigger. Tigger was the exact opposite. Tigger was happy, exuberant and loved to share his positivity with others.
Have you ever met anyone like that?
It may seem funny to compare people to cartoon characters but Eeyore and Tigger represent two very opposing attitudes that people have- pessimism and optimism.
Pessimism expects bad and optimism expects good. Pessimism sees the glass as half empty and optimism sees it as half full. Pessimism believes the worst about people and situations and optimism believes the best.
Which attitude would you rather have?
Here’s some additional food for thought on this topic. Harvard University completed an 8 year study of over 70,000 women and they found that on average, optimistic people have a 30% lower chance of dying from several common diseases. Researchers believe they would have found the same thing in men.
In this study they saw that the most optimistic people had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer; 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke; 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection.
I’d say that’s a good reason to be like Tigger, wouldn’t you?!
Now, I know that it’s not easy to stay optimistic in the midst of difficult situations. I’ve been through many myself and I know the struggle. However, anything and everything you can do to keep your faith strong and your attitude positive will help you immensely.
You can start by taking a minute and thinking about 3 (or more) things you are grateful for. I sometimes like to start by thanking God for keeping my heart beating and my lungs breathing. Then I’ll thank Him for all the men and women who died for the freedom I enjoy. Then I work my way out from there.
I encourage you to find what works for you and try and be consistent with implementation. You will be glad you did!