People sure seem to be unhappy these days. Upside down smiles seem to be the norm no matter where you are except for, maybe, if you’re packed into a comedy club and the comedian is half good. Most of the posts I see on Facebook are pretty positive, though, and it seems that is one of the few places I visit nowadays where there is any sort of an upbeat vibe going on. But most places you go, like work, out and about in the car, in front of your TV or just walking around town, seem to have some dark, ominous cloud hanging overhead. It seems like many people are mostly stuck in this semi-bad mood for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the gloomy economy, the lack of daylight because it’s winter, the overall feeling of helplessness when it comes to how the country is run or what, but it just seems to be there.
That’s why when even the tiniest rays of sunshine find their way through those dark clouds of doom, I stand up and take notice. I thought the Coke “Security Camera” ad during the Super Bowl last night was a nice thing. But someone had to go and ruin it. Many people missed the gist of that spot, instead taking it as a reinforcement that security cameras are everywhere, with Big Brother watching our every move. It never fails, there is always someone or some organization that has to put a negative spin on something intended as a positive.
Are you a “glass is half full” person? Can you find that silver lining in any cloud, no matter how dark it is? Are you able to find a win in every loss or a needle of hope in any haystack? If you’re one of those people, you have a big lead in the Big Race. You’re the type of person most people like to be around and unfortunately, you’re the person that pisses off the frowney faces.
If you are a frowney face, fear not! All hope is not lost. If you know you are one of those people who are generally negative, you have already subconsciously admitted to yourself you’d like to change that. As always, realizing you have a problem is the first step toward fixing it. Those who lean on the side of negativity can start the process of turning that frown upside down right away, with no drugs, medications or therapy sessions. Well, I mean, unless you’ve been clinically diagnosed with something that only those things can manage.
You can take that leap toward levity simply by changing the way you look at many things. A lot of it starts with having good self-esteem. If there is something you don’t like about yourself, take the steps to change it. If you think you drink too much, try drinking one less drink when you do drink. If you think you’re overweight, try eating smaller portions or healthier food. You don’t have to join a gym or a diet club. Just take baby steps, one at a time, and eventually you’ll begin to see positive results that will point you in the right direction toward the smiley face folk.
If getting out of bed most mornings puts you in a bad mood, find something nice about greeting the new day. I don’t have a problem with getting out of bed each morning because I am a morning person and I like the start of the day. But what makes it extra special for me is when I look out the window and see a beautiful sunrise. There is something about the natural, unpredictability of a sunrise that forces me to stand in awe, gazing at something really cool, handmade by nature and it doesn’t cost a cent to behold.
If you find yourself getting irritated at work, take a step back for a minute. Lean on your fellow humans a little bit by saying hello to them or asking how they’re doing. If a co-worker is stuck on something (other than the gum some clown put on their chair when they weren’t looking), ask if you can help them. By taking the work out of work and turning it more toward helping people or achieving a common goal you feel like less of a number and more of an important piece needed to create the whole.
Do you know what I do to avoid the negativity of the news? You’re right – I don’t watch the news! I used to, and it just wore me down. Story after story of nothing but negativity that chipped away at my happy face. I don’t know how news anchors keep from going crazy. My television watching leans more toward things that entertain versus things that inform. I visit a web page that lists news headlines and that’s pretty bad, too, but at least I can pick and choose which stories I want to dive into for more detail.
If all of that seems to be a bit too much work, there is another alternative and it’s probably the easiest way to un-frown your down. All you have to do is surround yourself with happier people. Happy faces tend to radiate a certain something that is contagious. It’s like a happy virus. If you’re surrounded by the frownies, chances are you’ll become one, too. A bad attitude is like a cancer. It festers and it spreads and it’s just plain unhealthy. Hangin’ with the happys will turn your negative into a positive!
Having a happy face naturally lends itself to better things. You get better overall health, better friends, work is better, you sleep better, I’d bet food even tastes better and the sun shines a little warmer. If you’re a frowney face, you need to break down that cloud because that’s what you’re seeing life through – a cloud of negativity. As that cloud becomes thinner you’ll begin to see through it easier, things will become clearer, and you will become naturally happier.
And when you turn that frowney face upside down, all the smiley faces will smile with you!