High Five – Positive Friends and Healthy Adventures

“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” – Winnie the Pooh.

Sometimes there are friends we’ve had for decades. Sometimes there are the friends we’ve had for a few months or years. Sometimes we just met them but we know they would be friends for a long time! It has been often said about me that I “collect people.” And I suppose I do. I’m an extrovert and I am most proud of my have 500+ connections on LinkedIn (Twitter and Facebook fall a bit behind this!). Which is quite fitting, I collected most of my friends from previous jobs! No matter how we were separated after working together we would exchange emails, phone numbers and social media accounts. So, I promise, if I work with you, I will be connected with you!


Thanks to my positive, adventurous, healthy, exciting, inspiring friends.

When I lived in a larger city (I’m living rural now!), we would throw huge parties (our New Year’s Eve dinners were legendary) and I would connect everyone from different backgrounds with one another. Most common question at the party – and an icebreaker, if you will – would be: “So, how do you know Stephanie?”

Connecting with others, I learned, promotes positive thinking. Not just positive thinking but it adds encouragement and confidence-building, risk taking, and resilience to the list. Lower rates of depression, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and greater resistance to the common cold have been cited as health benefits as well.

Consider the positive benefits to both of you  of having a friend and go take them on an adventure with you.


High Five – Be the Positive Change

It only takes one person.


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I was having a particularly bad day and had to – once again – go to Walmart for something-that-didn’t-make-it-onto-the-huge-list-I-had-earlier-in-the-week-that-was-supposed-to-keep-me-from-needing-to-stop-at-Walmart-before-the-weekend! I was not happy about this trip and not happy about my bad day.

The cashier, as soon as I walked up with my items, completely ignoring my scowl, says in a most cheery tone, “Are you enjoying this fantastic weather we’re having today? What a beautiful day!” To be honest, I hadn’t noticed the weather. It seemed a little cooler, but, all I had been focusing on was how nothing had gone right the entire day and now I was going through the motions, just to get through the day! But, now that someone mentioned it, it was a really, really nice day outside. Our 90+ degree heat and high humidity had turned to a 75-degree, no humidity, light breeze, sunny day. Yes, the sun was shining and it truly WAS beautiful! So I replied, showing my first smile of the day, “Yes, yes, I am enjoying it!” Her exceptional attitude turned my day around. I just kept thinking, it only takes one person to be kind to bring about a transformation.

So with that, today’s positive quote is from Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

You never know when your smile, your gratitude or your act of kindness will be the one thing that someone else needs that will change an attitude. I really needed her to remind me that it was a beautiful day. Her smile and excitement at this simple fact made all the difference.

Go be positive, smile and act kindly – be the positive change.

High Five – It’s Great to be Grateful

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Being grateful has been proven to improve attention, energy, leads to better sleep and lowers depression and leaves the grateful party in an optimistic state. This state is also linked to greater coping skills during times of stress. And according to researchers and Positive Psychologists (yes!), “feelings of gratitude directly activate brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine feels good to get, which is why it’s generally considered the “reward” neurotransmitter.”


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Psychology aside, being grateful is being thankful and appreciative of what you have. It can be as substantial as a supportive spouse or as exciting as having friends who reassure you that your crazy schemes will work, you can do The Crow in yoga class and a girl’s weekend is the perfect antidote to a layoff notice. It can be as common as having clean drinking water, a roof over your head, a car that runs and general good health. It can be as challenging as knowing you can run 5K race and that your legs, heart, and lungs are strong enough to get you over the finish line.

In sum, being grateful is concentrating on what you do have and not what you don’t. I’ll be improving my positive state at the end of the day by acknowledging all the things for which I’m thankful. Maybe you could do the same.

High Five – Be Positive for 12 Months!

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” –Winston Churchill

And I thought being positive for 30 days was tough!

Check out “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin who chose 365 days to be positive and happy!


Be Positive for 30…no 365 Days!

High Five – Happy Monday!

“Today is just a good day in disguise!”

So it’s Monday. Maybe it’s raining. Maybe it’s sunny. No matter. You can wake up happy if you’re practicing being positive.


“Today is just a good day in disguise!”

Give yourself something to wake up happy for…go for a walk, do yoga, meditate, write in a journal, read a favorite blog. Do something positive to be more positive.

Think of Monday as if it were disguised as Friday and Be Happy!

High Five – Volunteer

Today’s quote from Arthur Ash embodies the spirit of volunteering: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” And it’s a positive quote because it states that you are perfect just as you are to do whatever comes next. However, you don’t have to be perfect to help someone else; you just have to be willing to help.


“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

I’ve volunteered most of my adult life. My first venture was for My Sister’s Closet which benefited the women who had come from domestic violence situations then I worked for a Crisis Center. I’ve been on professional boards, studied to teach adults to read, ran a website for my neighborhood, did a few resume writing workshops and wrote grants.

There are many articles out about the psychology of why people volunteer but for me (especially when I was laid off) volunteering was my lifeline because it helped me as much as I helped others. In the U.S. News ebook, How to Live to 100, it states “…volunteering improves the health, happiness, and in some cases, the longevity of volunteers. Children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to be adults who volunteer.” Then added, “And in a virtuous circle, communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism.”

Starting where you are (an individual with the desire to do something good) and using what you have (an ability to make a difference) to do what you can (achieve lasting results) can make the world a more positive place.