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

Is Nostalgia a Fountain of Youth?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on February 02, 2016 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 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.

Triggering Happiness Hormones In A Society in Turmoil

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.

8 Habits of Highly Lucky People

Lucky at love? Is it the luck of the Irish, the lucky duck, the rabbit's foot (wasn't too lucky for the rabbit), or divine inspiration. What do lucky people do differently?

3 Simple Tricks to Make Thank-Yous Memorable

Writing a thank you letter has been found to result a huge increase in happiness for the writer, with the benefits lasting over a month. Here's how to make them stand out.

Three Reasons to Celebrate Global Belly Laugh Day Jan. 24

Belly laughs heal and strengthen. A wave of laughter will circle the world on Jan 24. Here's how to join, and get permanent benefits from making space in your life for laughs.

“I Can’t Imagine My Life Being Any Better”

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on January 14, 2016 Think, Act, Be
Does happiness really come from the simple things in life?

Secret Switches in Your Brain Hold the Keys to Happiness

Simple solutions to your life's complex problems

How Teen Drug Use Is Changing for Better and Worse

The teen drug and alcohol scene isn’t what it used to be, a new survey finds. And that’s both good and bad.

Optimism: How to Live Longer and Be Happier

Could an optimistic approach extend your life and make you happier?

Star Wars Resilience: Overcoming Adversity

For George Lucas and Seiji Ozawa accidents changed their lives. We have the power to turn an adverse situation into a positive experience.

"I Don't Want to Bring a Baby into This World."

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 29, 2015 How To Do Life
Can we come up with a case for optimism for 2016 and beyond?

Where Did The Joy Of Learning Go?

When school stops being fun, all too frequently, learning stops. Help your child retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning. Connect your children to what they learn at school through their interests and past positive experiences so they will WANT to learn what they HAVE to learn.

Memorably Wise Speeches

What were some of the wisest political speeches in U.S. history and what made them wise?

Twelve Habits to Help You Become a Successful CEO

There are twelve performance psychology tips on which experienced college CEO’s agree. Performance psychologies are central to success and leadership in college administration.

Storm Rising

It’s impossible to escape the endless, breathless reporting of atrocities at home and abroad.

Rational Optimism Illuminates the Evolution of Everything

By William Irwin Ph.D. on December 09, 2015 It’s Your Choice
The rational optimist hopes for a future that will bring increasing health, wealth, peace, and prosperity largely as a result of accidental, emergent, and unplanned phenomena.

Might You Suffer from Reverse Paranoia?

As odd a phenomenon as "reverse paranoia" may seem, many writers have weighed in on this controversial concept. For it can be seen either as a valuable asset or, on the contrary...

Thanksgrieving: How Inevitable Decline Can Make Us Grateful

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 Ambigamy
A grateful song I wrote for those times when it's hard to feel grateful.

How Can You Make the World Happier?

How might you harness the possibilities of capitalism to help more people in the world to consistently flourish?

Change Values, Decrease Stress

By Carrie Barron M.D. on November 02, 2015 The Creativity Cure
If we reduce stress, we reduce psychological and physical illness. It is both intuitive and now scientifically shown. A change in cultural values can start with leaders creating healthy work cultures or with grassroots initiatives. Either way, awareness begets change.

Do We Find Happiness or Does Happiness Find Us?

Relationship guru Maggie Scarf relates a story about a memorable party she and her husband once gave. As she tells it, a somewhat plastered guest overturned a punch bowl, which landed in the leek soup. Two couples left with the wrong spouses, several noisy quarrels broke out, and Scarf herself seriously considered leaving and staying at the neighbors’ for the night.

Why Halloween Can Bring Out The Best In Us

Halloween is all about trusting those you don’t know well, whether you are knocking on their doors or opening your own to them. How remarkable in today's world.

Other people’s emotions and you

Did you know that you can actually experience the emotions expressed by others around you? Here’s how…

Subdue Sadness With Mindfulness and Positive Thinking

Keeping your thoughts moving in a positive direction not only makes you feel good in the moment but can also considerably reduce your sadness factor. In addition, it can give you the one thing that we all need to keep our lives moving forward: hope. The more you employ positive thinking, the longer the effects last.

Performing Under Pressure: Martian Style

What do you want to be wearing in a high pressure moment? It's a lot cheaper than a 16 million dollar NASA space suit.

Reinvent You: The Third Manifesto.

Just about everyone is trying to change their life. Reinventing yourself is becoming essential. The world wants minds and lives to be changed. Reinvention is as necessary as breathing, clean water, and staying healthy.

Emotional Capital

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 Hot Thought
Emotional capital is the set of resources that enable people to use emotions effectively in their lives. It includes self-esteem, self-regulation, emotional energy, attachment, resilience, agreeableness, and optimism.

How Are Human Traits Linked to Specific Brain Connections?

By Christopher Bergland on September 30, 2015 The Athlete's Way
Researchers at Oxford University have identified that positive and negative human traits are linked to specific brain connections.

7 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts

With practice, you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that actually help you. And that can make a huge difference in your day-to-day happiness.