Have you ever looked forward to a doctor’s visit? Crazy, right? Seriously, I have this new doc who has me re-thinking that old phrase “white coat syndrome” and how it would never apply to him. My husband’s blood pressure shoots up whenever he visits the doctor, but I felt wonderful when Mr. Positive walked in with his cute little warm smile. Blood pressure remained a cool 110/65.

I’ve had dozens of health providers over the years, but this guy was different. His easy manner washed over me as soon as he walked through the door. I felt calmer right away, and my anxiety about an upcoming procedure disappeared. Thank you Dr. Nishioka.

Ever since I’ve been thinking about positive, uplifting people, and how important they are to me. So now I’m on a mission to find more of them. I don’t know where, but my radar’s up.

Baby birds in nest starts my positive mood.

Baby Juncos on my porch started me out every day in a positive mood.

Goal: Spend less time with people who are stuck in a negative frame of mind. Moods have to fluctuate according to what’s happening in your life, but you know who I mean. Some people whine, complain and frown all the time… about everything. It’s too cold today. It’s too hot. Some #%&* cut me off on the highway. My back is killing me. The sky is falling. A little complaining together is fun, but moods rub off on me so it’s a battle to keep theirs from getting on me.

I may actually have had a safety valve all these years and didn’t know it. One person in particular comes to mind when it comes to negative thinking. He never stops complaining — in a low grumbly voice — and after a while my ears hear one long sentence. Wah wah wah. This tuning out keeps anxiety down and keeps me from screaming in his face, “Shut up!”

Really good friends are different. They need each other to be real with. I think about all the times I’ve been low or worse and am thankful to be married to another Mr. Positive. His upbeat outlook is like gold and has always held me up. My bad habit is to automatically jump to the worst case scenario, but he helps me see another point of view. Tears stop. Gut relaxes. Oh, right, his name is Wiseman.

I learned a great lesson once that stuck. I had a good friend who was really funny and fun to be with, but our conversations always turned to what was wrong in her life. And it was always the same. That constant “woe is me” eventually wore me out, until one day she called and I did something different. This time I did NOT start with “How are you?”, but launched into what was going on in my life, delivered with barely a pause between sentences. She got very quiet. I never heard from her again. Apparently I’d been her therapist instead of a friend.

I do appreciate a listening ear and soft shoulder whenever my life gets hard, but hearing that constant grumbling about the lousy side of everything is really getting to me. I’m slowly working toward a more positive mode so it will eventually be my norm, like a default setting.

It’s not that people should smile all the time, but a little less frowning would be nice. I always appreciate the rare cashier who looks as though she enjoys her job. A positive attitude at checkout is so unusual that I feel like thanking them for being so cheerful. That smile really does make my day better, and you can tell right away they’ve never heard THAT before.

SECRET: Sit down and think about the people you spend time with and how they make you feel. Spend more time with those who are uplifting and put you in a good mood, less if they always bring you down. You don’t have to cut them out–sometimes you can’t or don’t want to–just try to spend more time in a positive zone.