We have an official winter sport in Central New York. No, it's not hockey, or snowmobiling. It's complaining.

Maybe your knee-jerk reaction to this statement is to explain how much you actually love winter and all the snow - but let's be honest - on snowy days, social media is filled with people complaining about the weather.

In a recent article in Fast Company, comparing the Norwegian experience of winter with the of the Northeast, Kari Leibowitz, a PhD student at Stanford, pointed out the following: “One of the things we do a lot of in the States is we bond by complaining about the winter,” she says. “It’s hard to have a positive wintertime mindset when we make small talk by being negative about the winter.”

So how do you fight this? Make the choice to refuse to participate in the 'Misery Winter Olympics'.

She's got a point. How crappy the winter is - even if you love to ski - is a uniting mindset in Central New York. We love to talk about how our road wasn't plowed, how cold it is, and how much we hate pushing those grocery shopping carts through the slush. We complain about the meteorologist being wrong (or right) or too dramatic, or not warning us in time.

What would we even talk about without complaining about the winter weather?

The same article suggests we focus on the things we enjoy about the winter - less leg shaving, more sweaters, and hot cocoa. It's not unlike keeping a gratitude journal. The more you attune your mind to look for the positives, the more likely you are to feel happy - and to notice the positives instead of the negatives.

So this winter, exit the Misery Olympics and join the Polar Party - by focusing on the good parts of the winter.

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