Positive Attitudes

Nothing can be more difficult or annoying than being told to have a positive attitude when things are really tough.  It is hard to muster up this kind of optimism when things aren’t going well despite all of one’s efforts.  Actually, recent studies have shown that a bit of pessimism isn’t as bad as being overly optimistic, which often leads to increased disappointment.

During the most challenging times, I have learned that sometimes the only thing that really helps is to have a sense of humor.   It can help to release pent-up emotions and may even bring about some much-needed tears.  This is clearly illustrated by the amount of laughter that is going on in twelve step meetings and various supports groups around the country.  When one has lost everything, sometimes the only thing left is to surrender and be able to laugh with those who understand.  Perhaps that is why we enjoy the comedies that highlight people’s trials and shortcomings so much.

I just watched 50/50 last night.  It is a movie about a young man who is diagnosed with a serious form of cancer and upon researching it on the internet finds that he has a 50/50% chance of survival.   I wasn’t sure how they were going to make this movie work as a comedy, but they managed to do so while also illustrating some serious emotions that he and his loved ones experienced in the process of dealing with his illness.  Anyone who has had a loved one with a chronic or severe illness understands the importance of a good laugh and also a good cry!

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