How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic

For college grads entering a thinner job market saddled with debt and older adults trying to return to the workplace after a long hiatus, training yourself to be optimistic could only help. 

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

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less