• Cover: November 26, 2014
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Happy Days Are Here Again

How to train your brain to be more optimistic

Page: 3 of 5
  • Control Yourself

    When we talk about feelings, we often label them as "uncontrollable." Not so, says Fox. You can decide to be in charge of your feelings. This decision—this active curating of mood—doesn't mean you won't feel sad ever again; there are, after all, legitimate reasons to experience sorrow. Instead, it means you'll be able to feel better faster. This distinction is part of one of Fox's most important qualifications: She isn't preaching blind positivity; she's preaching "realistic optimism." Negative things are going to happen—that's, unfortunately, not something we can change. But we can change how we respond to them.

    Imagine this scenario: You're happy about nearly every email you get—spam notwithstanding. Obviously, sometimes you get bad news. But so many emails are more ambiguous than they are good or bad. And choosing to respond positively to all that ambiguity will be a huge shift in the Pollyanna direction. Rather than feeling like people at work are demanding things of you, for example, you might feel as if you have all these different opportunities for professional advancement.

Happy Days Are Here Again
How to train your brain to be more optimistic
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