How to remain positive in the age of negativity

Emma Crnich, Staff Writer

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The alarm clock threatens you with rage to scramble out of your warm and cozy bed. Another Monday, another bland routine, another math test; and another day of feeling drowsy. The fog outside of your bedroom window has sneakily made its way to your brain. Slump around no further! There’s a simple solution to combat that persistent pesky Monday morning drowsiness. When you arrive to your second home –Sandburg– someone is bound to greet you and ask how you’re doing. Stop and think. You make so many decisions everyday, and this response should be simple and positive, “Fantastic! How are you?” You are doing fantastic because you are here in an amazing school, and you’re surrounded by so many friendly and supportive people that care about your success. Never, ever, respond glumly with, “I’m tired… How about you?…” Yes, you may not have gotten the recommended eight hours of sleep. However, being tired does not define you, and talking about this negative feeling may be detrimental to your health and to the health of those around you.

Reflect on the wise words of former Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive –to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Your miniscule sense of fatigue should not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you are getting prepared for your miraculous day ahead. Being tired is a happy little product of discipline. You are a hard working student because you have the opportunity to be. Education and extracurricular programs should never be taken for granted. Many people are not fortunate enough to eventually earn a career that they choose, and spend time being apart of a team, club, or cause that they truly care about. Usually when people say that they are tired, they are subconsciously expressing that they are tired of their situation, and not from lack of sleep. Be grateful for the opportunities given to you everyday, and your sense of boredom from your routine will fade and bliss will overcome it. Marcus Aurelius also advised, “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” By telling people that you are tired, exhausted from your life of opportunity, you are convincing yourself that you do not want to be at school. Ignore and quiet that weak voice in your head that tells you to give up caring about school, because eventually a booming positive voice will always win the daily battle in your head. Allow yourself to be happy with where you are right now, and be present. People function better when they believe they have had sufficient rest, and when they think positive thoughts.

Let’s consider this common situation: you’re sitting at lunch with your friends and suddenly the flow of the conversation hits a dull lull. Someone by reflex utters the dreaded words, “I’m tired…”, and the negativity drags everyone’s moods down. Then, the most interesting topics you are given to work with is how many hours of sleep everyone in the lunch table has had. To be frank, no one really cares. No exciting or stimulating conversation has ever been ignited through talk of drowsiness. A simple solution to assuage conversation doldrums is to use the “F.O.R.D.” method. Instead of complaining, try asking your friends about their “F.O.R.D.”: family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. In other words, explore their world by tapping into their family life, job, hobbies, and their future goals. I guarantee that everyone involved in the conversation will be much more content and engaged because the conversation was initiated through the well trusted method.

When you take a second to really listen to the patterns of conversation among your peers and yourself, you may notice that the epidemic of proclaiming exhaustion is much more prominent than you. would expect. Now, it’s up to you to add some spice to those bland conversations, and to lift everyone around you up by speaking with positivity. Eventually, you will rewire your brain to become happier overall.

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