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

Overcome Hopelessness Thinking and Stop Feeling Depressed

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Science and Sensibility
Can you think your way out of feeling depressed?

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

How (Not) to Win the War on Terrorism

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How can we protect society against a few committed radicals who can disrupt society by marshaling powerful communications networks? In the good old days, we tracked the movement of physical assets as early warning signs of trouble. What can we do now, when weapons are intangible and untraceable? Might it be possible to mobilize the mainstream as a balancing force?

How to Tidy Your Home Mindfully

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 26, 2015 in Urban Survival
Could the cluttered state of your home be holding you back? Marie Kondo's method of decluttering is about more than tidying the home—surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy can help you achieve a greater clarity and awareness of the mind, too.

A Mother's Love: Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths

By Peg Streep on February 26, 2015 in Tech Support
Commonly held ideas about motherhood shape the dialogue we have culturally, get in the way of understanding parent-child conflict, and affect each of us individually by setting a high and sometimes impossible standard. Why it's time to banish some of the myths that animate the discussion and start a new conversation.

Keeping Up! Older Workers' Adaptation at Work After Age 55

By Eddy Ng Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Diverse and Competitive
Older workers do want to stay in the workforce longer

Discovering Peace of Mind

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Beyond Good and Evil
I became the person I always wanted to be

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

“Islamic Extremism” vs “Violent Extremism”

Some refuse to use the term "Islamic Extremists" to describe the terrorist group, ISIS, calling them "Violent Extremists." By attributing cause and accountability, we are better able to define who they are, delineate their mission and goals, and derive solutions to stop them. Naming them DOES NOT blame, or indict non-violent Muslims - not guilt by religious association.

Emotions As a Second Language - Or Should They Be Our First?

Emotional literacy is being able to feel and identify one’s feeling states. This fluency enhances emotional self-regulation, lessens over-reactivity to negative emotions such as anger, and is the basis of interpersonal emotional modulation.

Where Is Your Community?

Community--why we need it, how to cultivate it.

You Can’t Save Your Child From Their Anorexia

By Emily T. Troscianko on February 18, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
This guest post by my mother Sue Blackmore reflects on the difficulty, for parents with an anorexic child, of striking the right balance between caring for their child and ruining their own lives trying and failing to help.

Finding Hope in Our Hopelessness

What can we do during these very challenging times? I’d like to share with you something that I think will be very helpful if you are going through a difficult time. Whatever your challenge may be, there is hope in the hopelessness.

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Do you worry about your child? Join the club. It's part of the job description. But when we say "Be careful!" to our child, we're not giving the message that we care, even though that's what we feel. We're giving the message that the world is an unsafe place and we don't have confidence in our child to navigate it.

Your Dark Side’s Upside

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in How To Do Life
Why you might add some societally discouraged behaviors to your toolkit.

3 Ways to Build on Failure

By Jason Powers M.D. on February 11, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Ever have the psychological wind knocked out of you? Here are three simple ways to nurture your strength of spirit.

The Celestine Prophecy

By The Book Brigade on February 10, 2015 in The Author Speaks
We all start off as nonbelievers, says James Redfield. But if we open ourselves to the spirituality just below the surface of our everyday challenges, interesting things start to happen. We become more intuitive. And we get luckier.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Dismiss Pollyanna

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in How To Do Life
Beware of people who cheer you on with Pollyannish optimism.

Seeking Perfection? There's a Better Way.

I want the best for myself and my children. Why settle for less? We live in a society of plenty, so we often simply go for it and ask for exactly what we want. An almost inaudible, but powerful voice inside of us might tell us to reach for the best and only for the best. Is this always a good choice though? Is getting the best making us happy? When is it detrimental?

My High School Reunion? No Way!

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Folks hate the idea of high school reunions, but sometimes they offer an opportunity for unexpected healing. It can be very freeing to realize how far one has traveled from the narrow halls of adolescence – and often how far others have come too.

Great Leaders: The Secret That Freud Understood

Want to know the secret to what makes a group tick or tumble? Look to Freud.

The Psychology of Torture

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Cognitive behavioral theory got it wrong, but how?

What We Can Learn From Russell Wilson’s Super Failure

Failure doesn’t get much more public than this. The Super Bowl. 114.5 million people watching. A ball thrown slightly off the mark. The end of a dream for the Seahawks and their fans. Yet, after it was over, the man who threw the ball sat before a press corps assembled to record his humiliation and said, “I can use this for the future.”

Why Thinking Positive Thoughts Won't Get You What You Want

Thinking positive thoughts won't necessarily change your life.

The 6 Anti-Resolutions You Should Have Made for 2015

By Tim David on February 01, 2015 in The Magic of Human Connection
If most of your normal resolutions have fallen by the wayside, here’s a list of six anti-resolutions that are actually worth keeping. Science (and experience) has shown that keeping these can make you happier, healthier, and more connected. Why wait till next year?

The Mystery of Fatigue

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on February 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
Everyone knows what fatigue feels like, but it’s hard to know what fatigue actually is. New research has uncovered a secret beyond just physical fitness and positive psychology.

Quid Pro Quo

By Jesse Marczyk on January 30, 2015 in Pop Psych
Why are men upset when they land in the friendzone and why don't dinner guests pay their hosts for meals? If only exchange relationships could be made more explicit such problems might be avoided, yet many relationships do not opt for transparency. Why is that?

Odd Couple House Mates

By Joan Ullman M.A. on January 30, 2015 in Uncharted Customs
Decades ago intergenerational living was widespread, ofen for economic reason. From the mid-1950s, nuclear families became the norm. Today's convulsive economic upheaval has seen a return of multi-generational housing situations. And as my recent experience with my grandson attests, while it may not be a familar phenomenom, it definitely has its pluses for young and old.

7 Tips for Staying Positive

By Erin Olivo Ph.D. on January 29, 2015 in Wise Mind Living
Every day has something positive in it. Some days you just have to look a little harder.