What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic

July 15, 2012, 8:00 AM
Happy%20brain%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

For college graduates entering a thinner job market saddled with debt and older adults trying to re-enter the workplace after a long hiatus, a dose of optimism could be a welcome change. For many people, unfortunately, optimism means positive thinking that is blind to the facts around them. Not so, says Elaine Fox, a psychologist at the University of Essex in England: "Optimism is not so much about feeling happy, nor necessarily a belief that everything will be fine, but about how we respond when times get tough. Optimists tend to keep going, even when it seems as if the whole world is against them."

What's the Big Idea?

Elaine has written a new book on the science of optimism called "Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain." In it, she recognizes that while brain circuits vary from person to person, it is still possible to train your brain to be more optimistic. Among the 'retraining' methods she describes are: "Practice mindful meditation. Allow feelings and thoughts to pass through your mind without judging or reacting to themthat helps create a sense of detachment from negative experiences; Be fully engaged. Get involved in activities that are meaningful to you, whether it’s a career, hobby, sport or volunteering. Do it, as Bill Richmond says. Then learn how."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

More from the Big Idea for Friday, April 18 2014

Feedback

We can't control other people, only how we react to them. And sometimes, when we ask for constructive feedback, we receive a harsh assessment that may stop us in our tracks. It's important to lear... Read More…

 

How to Train Your Brain to ...

Newsletter: Share: