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

Do You Get Just What You Deserve?

How to sweet-talk yourself into getting what you need and want.

Coincidences and the Non-Moving Violation

Want to create more coincidences? Avoid the non-moving violation.

From 5K to Marathon

Want to run a marathon one day? I bet you can. Here’s how.

Big Projects, Big Mood Swings

Learn why we bounce between optimism and pessimism while working on large projects. And discover 6 ways to deal with these mood swings.

A 2-Minute Exercise for Feeling Happier Where You Live

A simple exercise in positive thinking can change how you feel about your city.

The Power of Imagery

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on June 25, 2016 in Think Well
While the power of positive thinking is great, the power of positive imagery is often greater. Here are two of the most effective visualization techniques.

Offering Patients Hope While Still Telling the Truth

How do we manage patient expectations while still offering hope? A retrospective perspective can help.
domeckopol / Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

What Would a Happiness Potion Do for You?

A wizard wants to grant you happiness but he's not sure what it is. Can we discover what happiness is by figuring out what positive psychology - the science of happiness - studies?

Are You Sure You Want to Read This?

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in Consumed
An uncertain world requires simple decision-making processes.

"What's Wrong With the World?" Finding Hope After Hate

By Brad Waters on June 14, 2016 in Design Your Path
In the wake of violence, the youth of Orlando show us resilience and hope.

5 Reasons You Think Your Partner Is Hotter Than They Are

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on June 09, 2016 in Face Value
Positive illusions mean your sweetie isn't actually as stunning as you think—but there are good reasons why your brain is deceiving you.

Self-Referential is Being Internally Self Referenced

A life that is self-referential is one that is flexible, fluid, and creative.

How Healthy Are You? Take this 10 Second Quiz

A quiz that leads you to 10 steps to better health

A Message to Clinton, Trump and Sanders

We need high goals. We need lofty aims that give us hope, lofty things we can set out to achieve. A nation that looks up goes up. A nation that looks down.

When Trust Feels Impossible, Try Hope

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on May 13, 2016 in Trust
Hope can be a first step back to trust.
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Is Your Son or Daughter Being Tutored by Amphetamines?

It is becoming common for high school students to use amphetamines to study. Here is what can be done about it.

She Undergoes a Metamorphosis

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 09, 2016 in How To Do Life
Sometimes, contentment just requires the cliche: proactively taking baby steps.

And Spread Sunshine All Over the Place

By Rebecca Coffey on April 19, 2016 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
A new study shows that taking careful, daily notice of beauty in human behavior, in nature, and in the word in general can boost happiness. Is that something to worry about?

Life Satisfaction and the Well-Being Gap

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on April 10, 2016 in Side Effects
As income inequality rises, the well-being gap in most countries widens.

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Did you know that optimists are healthier, have happier relationships, get less depressed, are more successful, make more money, and are healthier than pessimists?

4 Powerful Ways Spirituality Can Ease Anxiety and Depression

Have standard treatments for depression and anxiety failed you, or only partially helped? Maybe there's another way.

Optimism and the ADHD Partner

Some partners think those with ADHD aren't taking their personal or joint marital woes seriously enough. But there may be other things going on.

The Optimist

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 05, 2016 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about a person who saw the glass 7/8 full.

Looking for America's Future in America's Past

A recent Bernie Sanders campaign ad featured a nostalgic oldie as the soundtrack to Sanders' revolutionary vision of the future. Was the song choice misguided, or right on target?

Optimism: a Habit Worth Making

Looking for the good beats cataloging the bad any day.

A Way to Enlist the Help of the Cosmos

By Susan Rako M.D. on February 08, 2016 in More Light
Is there a way to extend a compelling invitation to Providence?

Is Nostalgia a Fountain of Youth?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on February 02, 2016 in More Than Mortal
My research lab has tested and found evidence for the assertion that people feel younger after engaging in nostalgia.

Everyday Delusions of Success

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 28, 2016 in The Human Beast
Clinical delusions involve a sharp break with reality. Delusions of everyday living are milder. They are a mark of psychological health and well-being.
Creative Magic/Pixabay

Triggering Happiness Hormones In A Society in Turmoil

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on January 27, 2016 in The Hero Within
Ever feel lost, despairing, angry, and searching for answers? I have, and found some answers through learning how to trigger my body's joy hormones.