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

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

By Melissa Orlov on March 29, 2017 in May I Have Your Attention
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?

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?

By Utpal Dholakia on February 26, 2017 in The Science Behind Behavior
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.