Friday, August 14, 2009

Do You See the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

On this Fitness Friday post, I'd like to talk about attitude. That's right; you heard me ...attitude!

So, here's a question for you. Are you a naturally positive or a negative person?

We each have natural inclinations that may be influenced by:

  • Upbringing
  • Genetics
  • Circumstances
  • Social surroundings
  • Environmental surroundings

Are you naturally optimistic and see the glass as half full?

Or do you have a tendency to be more pessimistic and see the glass as half empty?

The latest news is that ...your attitude may impact your health.

The American Heart Association's medical journal called Circulation recently reported on a new research study. The results were that:

Women who were optimistic have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from any cause ...when compared to pessimistic women.

The lead physician in this study was Dr. Hilary A. Tindle, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Here's a quote of hers regarding the study:

"The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health."

Hmm ...that's something to pay attention to, especially if you happen to be one of the women who tend towards being more negative. The method of defining optimism versus pessimism involved answering questions.

Optimists tended to answer yes to: "In unclear times, I usually ...expect the best."

Pessimists tended to answer yes to: "If something can go
wrong for me ...it will."

Now, the world may say that you can't change who you are. But I say that with God ALL things are possible.

I love the book of Proverbs. Here are a few verses to consider from chapter 15:

Verse 30 "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones."

Verse 13: "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit."


There may be lots of negative things going on in our world today. But we do have a choice as to ...how we respond.

In the midst of trying times, may I offer a few suggestions?

  • Be on the lookout for what you can be thankful for. For me, writing a weekly Thankful Thursday post has helped me to look for the positive.
  • Keep a sense of humor. My mom used to always have a new joke to tell us. It was so good to laugh.
  • Take time out to journal your feelings of frustration or sadness or joy
  • Pray and tell God all that's on your heart. He knows anyway but wants us to come to Him.
  • Spend time with a friend who is positive.
  • Go for a walk and notice the beauty of nature
  • Swim laps
  • Hike up a mountain
  • Watch comedies

OK, now it's your turn. My list isn't complete but maybe you could help me out?

How do you keep positive? If you are naturally pessimistic how do you handle this? Do you have any tips to share?


And by the way, don't forget to SMILE! You'll be surprised how smiling can change the way you feel and your attitude. And I've heard ...it can be very contagious.

And don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today for another one of her Fitness Friday posts. You'll be glad you did. She's writing about eating healthy on a tight budget. And I think we can all learn something from Sandy on this topic.


16 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Debbie, and very inspiring, too. Thanks for sharing this to us. God bless you.

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  2. Debbie,

    This is sooo where I have been this week. I received an email about attitude and choosing to be positive in ALL situations no matter what!! It is so true that having a positive attitude will carry you so much farther than in you choose not to. The Lord tells us to think on whatever is true, right, noble, pure, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy, admirable.....thinking on these things would certainly cause us to have a great attitude :)

    blessings to you

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  3. Oh I am such a pessimistic person, and my husband is such an optimistic person. I guess we equal each other out!

    I have been struggling with my bad attitude lately. When I'm stressed I feel like I have a whirlwind of emotions and it completely affects my attitude. I loved reading this post it reassured me of how much I need a good change!

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  4. Such an encouraging post. I look on the sunny side of life, not the cloudy.

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  5. You know I think I fall somewhere in between. I do tend to see the glass as half full (I think) but I generally tend to consider worse case scenarios in order to be prepared. But I love to laugh and laugh a lot.

    I encourage my granddaughters to memorize scripture. Last week the verse was from Proverbs 17:22 - A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

    Lots of good thoughts in here Debbie!

    Thanks for signing my guestbook! :)
    Much love!

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  6. Debbie this is an awesome word for today. Thank you for your encouragement. Our attitude means everything and sometimes we neglect to recognize that. Have an incredible day! Blessings!

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  7. Hi Debbie, Friday Blessings to you!
    This post stops and makes me think-naturally, in the flesh, I think I can be a negative gal but I've tried to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Just this morning while toasting some bread under the broil, the element died and sparks flew everywhere-it was quite scarey and immediately I thought "is this how the day will be" but I stopped and started thanking the Lord that I only had one spark land on me and that the throw rug in front of the oven didn't catch fire....so I work hard at being positive.
    Hugs, Noreen

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  8. Great post, Debbie. Your new blog format makes it so readable. I love the way quotes are put in red boxes.
    I'm not sure which kind of person I am. Sometimes I'm one way and sometimes the other. I think most of the time I'm optimistic I hope so.
    Hugs,
    Charlotte

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  9. Awesome post today, Debbie :)

    I actually needed to hear that. I'm so glad you chose to post on this - it really made such a difference in my day. Thank you :)

    Have a great weekend,
    Kate :)

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  10. Hi precious,

    I loved this message and I like your suggestions especially being on the lookout for what we can be thankful for.

    I'm definitely a cup is half full mindset BUT I wasn't always that way coming out of a negative history.

    Our attitudes have so much to do with our overall health and I've learned that more and more over the years even to the extent that I had to REMOVE toxic type personalities from my life because those individuals will drain the life out of you and affect your attitude and your health.

    I love you!

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  11. Dear Debbie,
    About the glass, I see it as half, period.
    That may be a linguistic issue.
    I would never say I want a half full cup of coffee, or or my glass is half empty, I need more.

    My mother tongue is Norwegian, so maybe that's why I never think in half full/empty terms.
    I go for; hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

    My experiences from my father with brain hemorrhage and mother with a brain stroke, tell me instinctively to avoid buying or building houses with staircases or small bathrooms.
    When I see my favorite program on BBC's Channel 4, Grand Designs, all the intricate, sculptures staircases dominating a home, i inevitably think; "don't those people believe they'll ever get old?"
    If that is being negative, well, I am partly that.
    The last twenty years have brought so many unexpected events, so I don't make plans about next year anymore.
    Nevertheless I every autumn gather seed in my garden for next spring's arrival, I fill my freezer with fresh fruit and berries, and even save money for a rainy day.
    I also study to find the best nutrition, and best way for me to control my weight.
    Oh, no, I'm neither black or white, but a work under construction.
    Isn't that amazing?
    I'll be 60 this year and still finding new ways of improving my life.
    But I will not plan anything for my "big" day.
    I never know what December might bring.

    I am working with the contagious smile. I'm familiar its wonderful effect, but I have European teeth.
    Most times I prefer to not mind; a smile is the best thing, teeth or no teeth.
    From Felisol

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  12. I've never known why 'pessimism' has always got such a bad wrap. In everything there are opposites. People think it is bad to be 'angry' but in order to experience 'happy' you need to know anger (and vice versa). Even the Lord got angry. Anger is a gift from god that enables us to defend ourselves and stick up for our rights. But of course there is a right way and a wrong way to use anger. The trick is to learn to use it in the right way. The same with pessimism.

    I've worked as a stage manger for most of my career and one of the things that keeps the environment safe for everyone is I look for things that can go wrong - things that could hurt people, hazards, potential accidents. I look for the bad. This is so I can fix them and keep the environment safe for everyone. So pessimism can also be harnessed for good. If I always expect that the bad could happen it makes me more aware of the dangerous possibilities in my workplace and then makes me better at my job keeping people safe. So pessimism is kind of expecting the worse but hoping for the best. Without it you can not fully experience optimism, can you?

    Another thought: If a cup has already been filled up half way do you fill it more? There is usually a reason why the cup is only half full and that's because the person only wanted half a drink. But when a cup has been half emptied, it means it started out full and a person is more than happy to have their drink refilled.

    I know that this is really supposed to be a discussion about 'attitude' but I think it is interesting how analogies can change when perspective is added. It shows that things can never be black or white but many shades of grey ;)

    Thanks for the post!

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  13. I am not naturally optimistic so I do have to work at it, but I tell myself not to worry about the things I can't change and exercise or a good walk always clears my head.

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  14. That is interesting research. My husband and I have talked recently about how we don't like being around "toxic" people.

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  15. What a great post! It is so easy to get down and look at everything with a "half empty" attitude. I find that being aware of the many blessings I have been given by God and spending time with Him are some of the best ways for me to turn my attitude to one of "half full".

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  16. Yay! For happy hearts and sunny smiles! It definitely makes a difference!

    I love when my hubby talks with his brother on the phone...their conversations are filled from start to finish with lots of laughter... I crack up and don't even know what about :o)

    And how awesome to be greeted or helped with a smile!

    Blessings & Aloha!

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I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA