There’s a famous scene at the end of Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which the protagonist, along with others, starts singing, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as they are left to die after being crucified. Although people don’t usually look to guidance from 1970s British satires, the point is well taken. Too many people live their lives as pessimists. Of course all of us have or will at some point face hardships such as the death of loved ones, health scares, and financial troubles. How someone handles such situations is different from person to person. Hopefully, we would all maintain an optimistic and healthy outlook. (You don’t know what your attitude will be unless you’ve encountered such situations previously; even then, each situation brings its own unique challenges.)
Unfortunately, too many people out there are NEVER optimistic about ANYTHING. They live their entire lives in anticipation of the next failure, let down or disease. They walk around dour, morose, and downtrodden, and let their pervasive pessimism define their very being. Even when something goes their way (a raise at work, a new romantic relationship, a compliment from a friend or family member), they always look at the down side. “I’ll probably have more work now and won’t be able to handle it and get fired.” “I doubt this relationship will last – he/she will learn about the REAL me and dump me.” “He/she didn’t really mean that compliment – they were just being nice so that I don’t feel bad.”
Being pessimistic is bad for your health as well. Having a worse outlook on life is linked to increased rates of heart disease, depression, and death from any cause, as well as being linked with many different unhealthy habits, including smoking. But that aside, who wants to waste their whole life being miserable?
As you are aware, here at Smokers Fitness we try to push healthy lifestyle choices such as smoking cessation, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sound mental health. Many times, when we are in the process of effecting these changes, it is easy for even the most cheerful person to become pessimistic. No where is this more true then when trying to quit smoking.
Many of you current and ex-smokers know what I mean. You feel irritable, cranky, shaky. You think to yourself, “What’s the point? I’ve quit 5 times before, and always ended up relapsing.” You feel like your nonsmoking friends and family just don’t get you or know what you’re going through. To them, what’s the big deal? Why is it so hard to not reach for some crushed up, rolled up leaves?
This is when it’s most important to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Recently many of you made New Year’s resolutions, and maybe you’ve started to put them into effect. Maybe you’re struggling. Just keep reminding yourself that you will get through this. You will be healthier. Your friends and family, who love you, will be thrilled about the new, healthy you. And you will hopefully live a long, happy, and healthy life.