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Happy Days Are Here Again

How to train your brain to be more optimistic

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  • Again, the ramifications are hard to ignore. The sheer number of events that we can realistically decide to feel good about is huge. There's another bonus to this attitude adjustment: Optimism has been clearly linked to creativity. It's a virtuous cycle: When you decide to feel positively about events, you're more able to respond imaginatively to challenges... which makes you feel more positive. And on and on it goes.

    Meditate on It

    The trick here is to learn how to be present, which, almost by definition, means that you aren't stuck in the past, wishing things were different. Equally importantly, mindful meditation helps us cultivate a kind of neutrality toward bad events. They happen, they pass through us, and we move on. Again, this is part of Fox's realistic worldview: You can't avoid negative events, but you can, as she advises, avoid dwelling on them.

    In a way, changing your thinking is a little like changing your diet. Part of the power of diets is a renewed focus on what you bring into your body, a mindfulness. Plenty of people do this all the time with food: This week I'm laying off carbs. Starting today, I'm phasing out sugary drinks!

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