By Sunny Simon

As I plunked down my groceries during an early morning food run, the clerk apparently full of caffeine and a dose of the daily news began his tirade. He proceeded to bombard me with a laundry list of negative world happenings as my grocery items were scanned and tallied. I scrutinized his troubled face as I mentally cringed from the blows of his pessimistic newsflash. When the grocer stopped to take a breath I suggested he stop taking in all the negative news. He looked at me as if my brain were as blonde as my hair and crisply informed me that bad news was the only kind available. My answer was to propose he create some good news. Offering up some sincere gratitude for his service and my brightest smile I left him to ponder what I meant.

Admittedly my neighborhood grocer wasn’t all wrong when he informed me of the bad news ratio. According to Psychology Today, media studies show bad news far outweighs good news by as much as seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report. Taking in all this negativity, we tend to get fearful. When that happens, our stress hormone, cortisol kicks in. When overextended, we can drown in that hormone causing harm to our bodies. Focus on this fact: cortisol deactivates your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and raises your blood sugar.

As a society, we need to stop obsessing over negative news and start finding a reason to smile. My morning interlude could have been so much brighter if the clerk shared a positive quote or flashed a winning grin and told me a joke. Humor is contagious. I could have left the store on a high note and paid it forward by telling the joke to my next client.

In 1975 Paul Simon had a hit song entitled, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Certainly there must at least 50 positive ways to positively kick-start your day thus leaving behind the morning habit of filling up on downbeat information. For example you can get up ten minutes early to meditate, pray, read a funny story, write in a gratitude journal, repeat positive affirmations, or listen to an uplifting podcast. Buddha reminds us that “Every morning we are born again.” Remember that tomorrow morning. If you must flip on CNN before your feet hit the floor, train your brain to remain positive.

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Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com