Optimists have a tendency to make lemonade out of lemons, and to then see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. It's an admirable quality, one that can positively affect mental and physical health. Some optimists consistently ascribe benevolent motives to others and interpret situations in the best possible light; others simply disassociate their internal mood from external circumstances, no matter how sticky. Adding in a bit of complexity, the latest research shows that tempering a sunny disposition with a small dose of realism or even pessimism might be the best way to build resilience and achieve one's goals.

Recent posts on Optimism

Why Get Out of Bed?

By Jennifer Haupt on October 16, 2017 in One True Thing
What would happen if I didn’t rip back the sheets, slap one foot on the floor and then the other, and then keep on moving all day long? A meditation on functional depression.

Feel the Wind at Your Back

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in Happy Trails
Consider a new type of gratitude question.

It Won't Take Long

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on September 30, 2017 in The Big Questions
Do those in power estimate the time things will take to be completed more than those not in power?

Elevating the Patient Voice: The Value of Hope

By Joanne Buzaglo, Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in The Patient’s Voice
Hope is key to our existence, to our ability to persevere, and to achieve goals. We discuss the value of hope for cancer patients.

De-crazifying Crypto, Part II: An Open Letter to Wall Street

By Moses Ma on September 19, 2017 in The Tao of Innovation
Bitcoin may end up a bubble, but the total market cap for all blockchain ventures in a decade could be in the hundreds of billions. So focus on blockchains, not bitcoins.

What Creates Superior Brain Connectivity, According to Study

By Susan Reynolds on September 19, 2017 in Prime Your Gray Cells
Participants on the “positive” side reflected stronger connectivity associated with higher cognitive functions, including memory, language, introspection, and imagination.

Would a Woman's Party Boost Well-Being?

Need a boost after seven months of Trump? Try a National Woman's Party.

6 Simple Steps to Make Happiness Happen

Welcome happiness into your life with these six simple practices from the field of positive psychology.

You Can Learn to Be Happy and More Optimistic. Really.

By Peter Lambrou Ph.D. on September 10, 2017 in Codes to Joy
Who doesn't want to be happier and more optimistic about life?

If suicides are going up, can bullying be going down?

By Izzy Kalman on August 30, 2017 in Resilience to Bullying
A highly publicized study finds that bullying is going down, while other research shows that youth suicide is dramatically escalating - how are the contradictory findings possible?

The Optimism Challenge, Continued

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Boundless
More ways to live a more positive life.

I'm Not In The Mood

We all wake up to a new day. The question is, will our mood for the day control how the day goes or do we control the mood. What will be your mood for the day? Happy or grumpy?
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True Optimism and the Path to Meaning

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on August 04, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
Do you believe that life just happens to you? A lesson in true freedom can help you cope.

Resilience: Saying Yes to Life

How the right attitude can become a powerful resilience strategy.

Music and Sychronicity

Musicians tend to live uncertain lives. When is our next gig? How will the audience respond? Can we resonate with each other and the audience? Coincidences arise in uncertainty.

Leading by Example

How to bring positivity, optimism, and integrity to the workplace.

The Optimism Challenge: Specific Strategies

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Boundless
Here are a few strategies for moving into a more optimistic frame of mind.

The Optimism Challenge

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on July 11, 2017 in Boundless
Can you become an optimist through deliberate practice? Try it and see.
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Being Positive: Another Form of Avoidance?

When you start practicing awareness, you know when you’re being falsely optimistic and hiding your hurt with empty affirmations.

Celebrate Human Creativity with the Abundance Mentality

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on July 07, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
If the complexities and volatility of the world seem bewildering, what can you do for your own health and well-being? Do you have a scarcity mentality? Is change possible?

Happy Birthday America

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on July 04, 2017 in Obesely Speaking
In the struggle of human evolution versus devolution, America is clearly Gettysburg

Why We Think We Are Invincible

By Jen Kim on June 26, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Why do people knowingly put themselves in dangerous situations? Science has an answer.

The Future of the World

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in How To Do Life
A debate between an optimist and a pessimist.

How Our Body Ages, Part 2

Our heart, lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract change as we age in ways that may surprise you.

How Trauma Impacts Us

Hold onto your dreams.

Litterbugs in Outer Space

Why is space full of human junk? What does it imply for our desire to face new challenges and build new worlds?

Some Thoughts on Healing

Does curiosity kill the cat?

It's Not the Glass That's Half Full/Empty; It's the Breast

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on April 25, 2017 in Full Living
We judge others as dispositioned towards negativity or positivity, scarcity or abundance, as a chosen disposition. In truth, that disposition gets set in infancy.

These 5 Life Skills Boost Well-Being as We Age, Study Finds

A new study identifies 5 life skills correlated with increased psychological, physical, and fiscal well-being. Notably, each of these life skills was found to be equally important.

The Dark Side of Optimism

We're used to thinking about optimism as something that is a positive force in one's life. But what if it's not?