April Jeppson: It’s not easy to be upbeat, but it’s doable

Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I try really hard to be nice — to everyone, every time. I have found that it’s better for my mental health to just be nice. It may initially be easier to argue, gossip or get upset but in the long run, it drains me.

April Jeppson

Some people are just grouchy or rude, and that has nothing to do with me. Thankfully I was brought up to realize the world doesn’t revolve around me and to not take things too personal. There are days when it’s easier said than done, however.

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

Like motivation and showering, my positive energy or niceness requires consistent effort to maintain.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people don’t realize that. The comments I hear make it sound like it’s easy for me to be positive and upbeat all the time. As if it was as simple as taking a sip of water or turning on a light switch. But let me set the record straight. It is not.

It’s been over 10 years since I’ve taken ownership of my attitude and made a conscious effort to be a light. I learned that what you feed your mind is just as important as what you feed your body. I stopped watching the news and stressful television shows. In fact, I took a major step back from TV in general. Unless it was teaching me something or improving my mood, I tried to stay away from it.

One could say I was like an ostrich putting its head in the sand. But I beg to differ. When you wake up in the morning and fill your mind with all the chaos and negativity from the news, how does that make you feel? Or better yet, are you able to fix the problems that you see or are they just stressing you out? Some people are able to handle the onslaught of information, but I could not. My daily mood dramatically improved when I was more purposeful with what I was watching.

It’s not just what you watch or listen to, but also what you choose to talk about. It serves no purpose for me to speculate or complain about something that I have no control over. And I think that’s the key for me. I choose to focus on the things that I can control. If I’m able to impact a positive change on something, then by all means let’s discuss. I think it was Theodore Roosevelt that said “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” And I agree.

I like to visualize that there is a protective shield around me that prevents negativity from getting in. Just like all superheroes, I have to do my part so that my powers work when I need them to. It’s not easy to be nice and upbeat all the time, but with some focused intention, it’s doable. And I speak from experience, it’s very much worth it.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.