Negativity and it's Impact: the difference one person can make

by Irene Smith of Writing Wrongs

Negativity takes a toll not only on the negative person, but spreading to others like an infectious disease, if allowed. While commuting to work one morning, a woman boarded her bus, gave the driver a big smile as she wished her a good morning. Looking very grim, the driver did not respond. The woman sat in front next to the stairs, thinking perhaps the driver had a bad morning already. After the last passenger had boarded and the driver had gone a block or two she said "Good morning, how are you? I'm sorry I did not answer you when you greeted me, that was rude." The passenger told her it was no problem, she realized the job is not easy. The driver revealed that at one time she had greeted each passenger upon boarding, day in, day out. One morning a man got on and she wished him a good morning. He told her to shut up, he did not want to be her friend, all she had to do was drive the bus, all he had to do was sit down and not disturb others. After that, the driver never greeted anyone, only gave information if asked. The two women shared their theories as to why that man behaved that way. The women chatted, laughed, shared holiday stories and when the passenger was leaving her stop, the driver thanked her for changing her opinion. She thought the prospect of some positive interactions for eight hours far outweighed the risk of coming across another grouch. Neither woman was extraordinary by any means. But if either had reacted to the other in a negative manner on that morning, the "disease" of negativity would be spread by the driver to every passenger on that very long run of hers, each day.

A hospital did a study once on the effect of negativity on our well being. They monitored blood pressure and heart rate of people while giving them comedies to watch, followed by horror. Of course both were at normal rates during the comedy viewing, and accelerated during the horror. The next day those studied returned to answer questions about how the remainder of their day had gone. Then they viewed horror first, followed by comedy, returning the next day to answer the same questions. Not all subjects had a negative day when horror was viewed last, or vice versa. But the numbers showed most simply were not as positive or cheerful directly after the horror and those who remembered their dreams recalled similar negative/positive reactions. Many people enjoy the thrill of a good horror movie with no negative effect on their mood. But it is something to think about. Graphic crime documentaries on TV have very high ratings, but some people feel life is too short to spend an evening winding down with gruesome factual murders on the brain before retiring for the evening. Some view it as educational and fascinating.

Our beloved canine and feline companions are very intuitive when it comes to our moods. They know when we are sad or grieving. They know when we are speaking to them in our happy voices with our happy faces. More importantly, they are often the ones changing our lives for the better, spreading positive energy. Elderly people who are on medications will sometimes not even have the motivation to take their medicines or eat properly. In a retirement community, most of the people who were not taking care of themselves started to improve, take their medications and eat well after they were given the gift of dog or cat as a companion. For then they had a reason to be well, someone needed them, loved them. Petting an animal lowers blood pressure also and releases endorphins creating happiness.

Negativity not only effects one's health, but takes a toll on one's outer appearance. Wrinkles far too early in life, eyes no longer holding their original sparkle, lips pressed into a flat line grimace. Whether negativity invaded due to prolonged fear, loneliness, death of a loved one or simply a career one is unhappy in, beauty and health are compromised. This week we remember one of our nation's worst tragedies, but it is the stories of those who saved others, that inspire positive thoughts to heal the incredible grief. Think of all the rescue personnel who saved countless lives, later losing their own, leaving their families devastated, but so proud. And the survivors, the widows and widowers have formed bonds that reinforce the power and beauty of all positive action, even in the face of unimaginable tragedy. If everyone had only thought of themselves, the number of beautiful people lost would have been quite higher.

So no matter what life brings you, it is how you deal with it that will change your everyday life, your health and your sparkling beauty. What we must endure will not be erased by worry, fear or sadness. Take care of yourself, rise each morning and before you leave put the very pretty outfit on, take a minute longer to expertly apply your make up, wear the expensive perfume, the gorgeous heels (stuff flats in your bag just in case) give the cab driver, bus driver or gas station attendant your loveliest smile. Work hard, taking pride at day's end. Go home, eat well, use the good bubble bath. as you listen to that new CD, then watch a nice comedy before retiring. Please do not forget loving the husband, laughing with the little ones and petting those precious furry ones. Sparkle.


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