Wildcat Wellness: Positivity


Stephen A. Dukker

Kyra Fleischman '17, Writer

Do you consider yourself a positive person? Do you strive to be? If you don’t put much thought into positivity, you may want to consider rethinking your mindset. According to The Pursuit of Happiness Organization, optimism has been proven to improve the immune system, prevent chronic disease, increase recovery rates and life longevity, and decrease the likelihood of substance addiction, depression, and anxiety.

That being said, don’t freak out if you tend to look at the “glass half empty”. Although some people may have a predisposition to lower positivity levels, everyone has the potential to become more positive. Psychology experts Gillham, Reivich, Jaycox, & Seligman performed a study on middle school students in which they implemented a program in schools to help students deal with pessimistic thoughts. The students who were chosen for the program were randomly selected to eliminate possible variables. As hypothesized, they found that the students participating in the program had lower rates of depression in the following three years than those who did not, suggesting that optimism can be learned. This shows that people are not merely “optimists or pessimists”, rather that levels of positivity can fluctuate as people have life experiences, learn, and grow.

Therefore, it is clear that positivity is beneficial to one’s health, happiness, and life quality, but to many becoming more positive sounds like a daunting task. Luckily, some of your shiningly positive peers have given us some insight to accompany us on our journey.

Positivity according to…

Juniors Caroline Brockman and Summer Hohmann:

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“Positivity is not your first thought, but your second thought.”

“Positivity is an optimistic state of mind.”

“Positivity is focusing on things you are grateful for. For example, every night I write down five good things that happened that day.”

“Good music helps me stay positive.”

Sophomore Tony Napoli:

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“Positivity is looking on the bright side.”

“Positivity is not getting caught up on a decision.”

“Surrounding myself with positive people helps me stay happy.”

“Being positive gives me more opportunities.”

Junior Mariana Flores:

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“Positivity starts with getting enough sleep. In order to be positive you have to take care of yourself. You have to take care of yourself to help others.”

Overall, positivity starts with striving to see the good in people and situations. Even in the face of an unfortunate event, recognizing that your life is not over and you have the power to survive and become stronger can do wonders for your mental health. Surrounding yourself with other people that make you happy, working on being accepting and grateful, doing activities you enjoy, and taking care of your body can all help you make your life a more positive one.