OPINION | Attitude makes a difference

Kaya Newman, a freshman from Herriman, studies in the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons. Maintaining a positive attitude while studying and taking hard classes can help students to thrive, Emma Brown says. Photo by Izzy Johnson.

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In a daily schedule of classes, homework and jobs, your life experience will come down to one factor: Your attitude.

A positive attitude is not ignoring life’s struggles but instead taking them in full stride and finding positive outcomes. Essentially, the saying of taking lemons and turning them into lemonade is exactly what I am referring to.

The National Library of Medicine cited a study about the impact of stress on physical health, stating, “People who assessed their lives as ‘stressful’ or reported intrusive negative thoughts had a significant reduction in natural killer cells — whose job is to target and eliminate virus and tumor infected cells.”

To sum it up, the people who have negative attitudes about their life are physically less able to fight off sickness than those who have labeled themselves as not having stressful lives.

A good attitude is reflected in our self-talk and the same applies to students. If you label your semester as a waste of time then you will treat it as so.

This is not to say that struggles will cease when you label your life as good. It only refers to how you will feel when you don’t allow the struggles to overcome your attitude.

The importance of being happy while in school is to enjoy yourself while you are there. Can this happiness that comes with a good attitude lead to success while in school? Yes, a good attitude is how one can reach success because if you weren’t happy, you wouldn’t be truly successful.

According to the American Psychological Association, a study found that “happiness, as well as the concomitant experience of frequent positive affect, likely plays a role in health through its effects on social relationships, healthy behavior, stress, accident and suicide rates, and coping, as well as possible effects on immune function.”

This study used a scale of happiness and related it to the success of the subjects. The conclusion was that a good attitude is more often connected to a person who is successful in relationships, career and health.

A bad attitude can make a college experience unsuccessful, unhealthy and not enjoyable.

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, made an analogy to how negative attitudes can narrow your mind. If you were to see a tiger step in front of your path you would run away instantly as this negative emotion of fear takes over.

Clear stated: “In other words, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts. At that same moment, you might have the option to climb a tree, pick up a leaf, or grab a stick — but your brain ignores all of those options because they seem irrelevant when a tiger is standing in front of you.

This relates to students when they have a negative emotion about homework, tests or jobs. They become narrow-minded. While feeling this way, it can be hard to see any other option than to complain.

By opening your mind with positive thinking, you can have the space to get the work done in a way where you can manage your time, think creatively, and give your best to the assignment.

This seems as if it’s common sense, but highlighting the benefits of positive thinking in everyday tasks can be very eye-opening and hopefully it can be something you learn from.