Halfway through the semester, it can feel like the days are never ending. Especially in the weeks leading up to spring break, the projects, presentations, and exams all start to pile up and everything happens at the same time. As frustrating as that is, it makes me all that much more excited for the break, when I hopefully don’t have to worry about too much. However, before we get there, we have a lot to overcome. Sometimes, there will be days when you literally want to give up. All of those goals for the semester just don’t seem possible anymore, and you just feel tired all the time. A lot of people hit this point, but there has to be a way to come back from it, right?
When the stress builds up and you literally feel like your head is going to explode, it almost feels like you’re actually drowning. The pressure to keep up your grades, stay on top of your homework, stay healthy, and still remain sane is a daunting task, but it’s still an achievable one (I think)! Sometimes, the breakdown is necessary in order to have the comeback. Sometimes, we have to fall apart to put ourselves back together. Sometimes, a mistake in the present can catapult future success. It may seem out of context, but Big Sean had it right when he said, “Last night I took an L, but tonight I bounce back.” College is a continuous stream of days in which students are forced to bounce back from a series of obstacles. That’s easier said then done, but sometimes, when you feel you’re sinking, you just need to try positive thinking.
Positive thinking can seem cliche to so many people, but attitude is the key to overcoming most situations. Most people don’t consider the effect that optimism can have on their performance. At least for me, I place a lot of the stress on myself, and in trying to perfect things, I can lose track of what is important. Stepping back and evaluating situations for what they are, instead of how it feels, can be crucial at times. Positive thinking can be more than just this “fluff” idea that people can dismiss.
Positive thinking promotes work ethic and persistence. Barbara Fredrickson, from the University of North Carolina, is a positive psychology researcher looking into these aspects. Fear, stress and negative thoughts can paralyze us, and prevent us from doing anything if we let it. It can make us narrow minded when we negative thinkers, whereas Fredrickson has noted the “broaden and build” theory through her research. The theory suggests that positive emotions broaden a person’s sense of possibilities, which allow them to build new skills for application in various jobs and life situations. Maybe that’s what we all need: a positive perspective. However, that’s very much easier said than done.
Often times, we determine our happiness or mood based on our success. Feeling great after a test you did well on or feeling miserable after failing one are not uncommon experiences for people. There is something more to consider though. Does happiness always bring success? Does success always make us happy Putting off happiness until we achieve some relative goal is a common mistake for most people, but what if happiness is our key to success? So when you feel you’re sinking, try positive sinking.