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 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?

Something Is Happening Here

Perhaps the biggest reason for my optimism about the movement on behalf of boys (and men) is the backlash against it.

How to Be Spontaneous

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on March 24, 2017 in Trust
Planning for spontaneity seems doomed to fail, but self-trust can help you have more fun.

Are you a Luck Maker or Breaker?

How lucky are you? And if not, why not?

Can We Really Boost Our Level of Happiness?

By Shonda Moralis MSW, LCSW on March 15, 2017 in Breathe, Mama, Breathe
One woman's inspiring story and her simple happiness hack.

6 Surprising Facts About Happiness

Is positive psychology just the confirmation of the obvious? No it isn't! Here are six research findings about happiness that will surprise you.

Can Empathy Heal?

By Julie K. Hersh on March 04, 2017 in Struck By Living
With one out of four people managing depression, chances are the person next to you can empathize and offer help.

Why Some People Think They're Superior

All other things being equal, we like optimists more than pessimists. However, as shown by research on the hubris hypothesis, optimism can have unexpected negative consequences.

What's the Difference Between Optimism and Hope?

Both are beneficial, but they’re different in their effects on our life outcomes.

Dolphins Who Hang With Mates Display a Positive Spin on Life

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Dolphins who swim together display positive emotions and seem to be more optimistic than those who don't. This cognitive bias lasts for around two months.

The New Ambivalence for Warm Weather

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
We may be bearing witness to the dawning of a new human experience, one in which we both enjoy unseasonable warmth and also feel something may be wrong with the climate.

Emotional Strength in Uncertain Times

In this era of malignant ignorance and weaponized incompetence in high places, use the Stockdale paradox to develop emotional strength.

Living With/out Fear: The Power of Being a Rational Optimist

By Jason Powers M.D. on February 10, 2017 in Beyond Abstinence
Living a passionate life, devoid of fear.
Fotolia, used with permission

A Survival Guide for Uncertain Times #3: Positive Thinking?

By Allison Carmen on February 10, 2017 in The Gift of Maybe
Giving up positive thinking and embracing the mindset of Maybe can be the key to finding strength and resilience in uncertain times.

Do You Have the Self-Confidence Gene?

By Ray Williams on February 02, 2017 in Wired for Success
New research suggests that self-confidence may have a significant genetic component.

Break Free From the Monotony of Online Dating

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on February 01, 2017 in Modern Sex
Is online dating bringing you down? Try pushing yourself further out of your comfort zone, and give yourself the gift of self-growth and new outcomes.
Pixabay

Balancing Optimism and Pessimism

By Diana Raab PhD on January 27, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
There are optimists and pessimists, and some are a combination of the two. This blog discusses the balancing of both, and why some people are one way or the other.

Do you sabotage yourself with worry?

Do you sabotage yourself with worry? How to turn worries into success strategies.

Pessimism of the Intelligence, Optimism of the Will

Can we combine pessimism of intelligence and optimism of will in confronting the devastation to environmental policy and regulation that many fear from the incoming administration?

Why I Choose a New Year's Word (and Why You Should, Too!)

By Shonda Moralis MSW, LCSW on January 01, 2017 in Breathe, Mama, Breathe
New Year's are out. Choosing an intentional word of the year is in — and for good reason.

3 Inspiring Stories of Everyday Compassion

By Jennifer Haupt on December 30, 2016 in One True Thing
These folks have made the world a little brighter for others in totally different ways.

Powering Up: Turning on Optimism

Don't live life as if you are "doing time." Let optimism free you from a life of mediocrity.