8 for people whose presence make you feel stronger, optimistic and more confident. Surround yourself with individuals who will let you speak freely, honestly, openly without judging or criticizing you. Their listening will be a source of comfort, perspective and healing for you. “The feeling of being loved and cared for by friends and family goes a long way in protecting you from the negative effects of stress,” says Nelson Hendler, MD., a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. When you’re sad, reach out to people who can lift your spirits. Of course, be sure to do the same for them when they are in need. 6 Make an Attitude Adjustment Unfortunately, when a difficulty comes our way it can cast a wide shadow over our lives making everything appear negative and gloomy. Because of that reality, strive to make an attitude adjustment. We need to see not only what has been lost but what remains. When difficulty comes, we need to train ourselves to make the most of what’s left. An inspiring example is that of Travis Roy. He was a Boston University hockey player who was paralyzed 11 seconds into the first shift of his first game.
Although he remains paralyzed from his shoulders down and depends on a $20,000 wheelchair to get around, he has returned to school with a winning attitude. He smiles a lot and jokes with students that his new voice-activated computer lets him type reports and papers faster than he could before his injury. In spite of the fact Roy will never walk again, let alone play hockey, he wastes no time on self-pity and works at making the best of his situation. Consider also this example from a little girl who was able to see her cup as half-full rather than half-empty. A student teacher recalls her February 14th day with a class of first graders in a Chicago school. The children were nervous as the supervising teacher called on them to pass out their valentines. Those who received the most tried not to show their excitement at their popularity, while those who had only a few envelopes huddled low in their chairs. The student teacher noticed one girl in particular. Her name was Serena… and she was sitting quietly at her desk. She was shy and awkward, coming to school sporadically and did not seem to have any friends among her classmates. The student teacher saw a few valentines spread 9