Glass Half Empty


glass half emptyThe following post about depression and what to do about it, was written by Grade 7 Somerset College student Joe McElhone (12yrs).

Imagine if it was raining outside, your clothes on the line had just been soaked by the rain, you stepped in a mud puddle and now you can’t go to your friend’s place because of the rain! Would you be a glass half empty person, or would you be a glass half full person. If you were a glass half full person, you could play some board games with your family, try on your new clothes, throw out the muddy shoes because they were old anyway and do your homework and catch up with your friend another day.

One of the main reasons we think negatively, is because of the brain’s ‘Negative Bias’. Have you ever eaten a delicious burger, but thought about something negative like how the burger you were eating was very fattening. Well, you are not alone. This is because of the way we think. We have two different kinds of memory: The first, ‘explicit’ that refers to your memory of things like where you left your keys and what your friend’s names are. The second is ‘implicit’ which are emotional feelings like the time when you were lying down on the beach very relaxed or the memory could be when you got a bad mark at school or you getting hurt, both in which you felt sad.

Your implicit memory acts almost immediately to negative events whether positive events register from around 5-20 seconds. This is because the human brain is designed to overcome dangers, solve problems and protect us from pain, so we think about how we can solve the negative things and don’t think about the positive things.

 Does this mean we are all doomed to depression? No, we can alter our brain to adapt to positive things but you mainly have to have the intention and be focused about being happy. We should pay attention to what good things do happen in life instead of the bad things, and when you are happy you tend to be energetic and vigorous.
 Being an optimist doesn’t just make you happy but it gives you many opportunities. Research has found that it also makes you healthier and wealthier. A study by Psychologist Susan Segerstrom found that ten years after graduation, law students who were optimistic earned an average of $32,667 more than their glass half empty peers.

Expecting good things to happen will make you take actions that produce positive results. If you expect to have bad things happen then thinking negatively will lead you into minimizing your chance of something good happening. People may say that some people are naturally either an optimist or a pessimist. But the truth is that we all get to wake up and choose if we are going to be a glass half full person or glass half empty person.

Here are just some tips on how you can make the best out of your life by being a glass half full person and not a half glass empty person. You have got to have courage in taking risks into doing something that you have never tried before, like confronting an issue with your boss or inviting someone to dinner. Doing this will build your self-confidence and will make you not think about worrying or being anxious. When there is a problem, being an optimist would allow you to find a new perspective and solve the problem. Einstein once said “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which they were created’’. If you want to keep being a happy person, then hanging around people who always give you their complaints, isn’t in your interest. You may not know this, but using your body language in a good way can make you feel more powerful and confident and even save you in a job interview!

Whenever you are feeling down, humour is one of the best cures to lighten you up. The joke may be that the glass is half full and half empty, but the waiter is just hurrying to replace the glass with a full one! You may have heard it before but yes, exercise is good for you. As your heart rate goes up your body releases endorphins which make your outlook on life more positive. I guarantee that if you try any one of these things, that you will be a happier person.

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The Mind Centre was a counselling and meditation centre for several years before morphing into an information centre for people seeking to know more about mind and body health.

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