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

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.

Is Self-Confidence Inherited? A Renewed Debate

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 Ph.D. 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!)

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.

Obama, Positive Psychologist-in-Chief

By Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D. on December 28, 2016 in How of Happiness
I submit that President Obama is our positive psychologist-in-chief, one who focuses on what is honorable and good in human nature rather than ruminating on our lesser instincts.

The Key to Overcoming Insecurity

There are many possible sources of insecurity, but, according to new research, there’s one easy way to make those feelings go away.

A Statistical Argument for Optimism

Can you go far in college even if your grades and SAT scores were ho-hum? Based on the best data available on this topic, the answer is this: You bet!
Lori Russell-Chapin

'Tis the Season to Be Grateful!

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on December 14, 2016 in Brain Waves
Feeling blue during the holidays? Try these simple gratitude techniques.

Study: Boosting Your Joie de Vivre May Help You Live Longer

By Christopher Bergland on December 14, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
New research suggests that being optimistic, believing good things will happen, and enjoying life increases well-being and longevity. The best news is that optimism can be learned.

Is Shrinking Optimism Tied to Drop in U.S. Life Expectancy?

By Christopher Bergland on December 08, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
U.S. life expectancy dropped in 2015 for the first time in over two decades, the CDC reports. Could lower optimism and increased pessimism be tied to this drop in life expectancy?

Brain Freeze: Is Winter Actually Good for You?

Already dreading the colder weather and the shorter days? Don't be, there's always a silver lining.

Harvard Study Reports: Happier Adults May Exercise More

By Christopher Bergland on December 05, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Would you like to become more physically active? A new study from Harvard University found that improved psychological well-being may give people a boost to exercise more.

Smoothie, Anyone? Or Maybe a Psychic Cleanse?

Are you letting old fears, resentments, and ways of thinking deprive you of happiness? You can replace such obstacles to growth with healthy options.

Pessimism May Exacerbate Your Risk for No. 1 Cause of Death

By Christopher Bergland on November 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Being pessimistic is linked to a greater risk of death from heart disease, according to a new study. What can you do to combat pessimism? I offer a few simple suggestions.

What Is the Secret to Hillary Clinton's Grit and Resilience?

By Christopher Bergland on November 13, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Regardless of your politics, Hillary Clinton's resiliency cannot be denied. How does she do it? In this post, I've unearthed one fundamental root of Clinton's tenacity and grit.

Denial and the Risky Business of the Unknown

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on November 11, 2016 in Your Future Self
How do we make our way in the world, especially with such uncertainty and when there’s so much beyond our control?

Positive Thinking? Overrated

The science of WOOP - a counterintuitive approach to achieving your goals.

The Elephant in the Middle of the American Psyche

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on November 06, 2016 in Just Listen
On Wednesday after the election, America and Americans will have one of its greatest opportunities to test its object constancy.

Happy Bees: Bumblebees Show Dopamine-Based Positive Emotions

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in Animal Emotions
After eating a sugary treat, bumblebees displayed optimistic behavior. When dopamine was blocked, data suggest bees experienced a change in mood, not just increased energy.

When Adversity Strikes, Optimism Helps Us Get Through

It leads to using effective coping strategies, an attentional bias on the positives & substitutes for social support.

The Power of Personality

These are the ways to make a real change to the main facets of extroversion.