This article is part of the course THRIVE 102: Psychological Capital or How to Be a Hero. Jump to Course As a human species, do you think we are more naturally pessimistic or more naturally optimistic? Interestingly, Seligman and others in the field of positive psychology argue that we are naturally more pessimistic. From a…

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This article is part of the course THRIVE 101: Positive Psychology History and Introduction Jump to Course Continued From Part 1… But Wait, There is Good News Remember, Csikszentmihalyi found that teenagers can be unhappy and can see life through their suffering, but he also found an interesting exception. When teenagers focus their energies on…

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Resilience, or being able to bounce back from adverse events, is a useful skill to have – if we didn’t already know that, 2020 has certainly driven the point home! Psychologists know that resilient people tend to share certain traits, such as finding meaning in events and trusting their ability to navigate challenging situations. And…

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Do you ever wake up in the night and worry about what the future might hold? Well, if you’re an optimist, maybe not. A new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research indicates that viewing the world through rose-colored glasses may go hand-in-hand with a lower risk for chronic insomnia. If that’s the case,…

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Finding something good in a bad situation is a common way of coping with adversity, as can be seen when we talk about clouds, silver linings, and the like. It’s also a technique that has a decent amount of evidence to back it up from the psychology literature. Psychologists talk about benefit finding, or being…

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Having a realistic view of the world might be overrated. One of the first psychology papers to explicitly make that case was published in 1988 by Shelley Taylor and Jonathon Brown, under the title Illusion and Well-being. It challenged the traditional idea that “accurate perceptions of the self, the world, and the future are essential…

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Finding sources of meaning in life sounds like neither an easy task nor one that looks the same from one person to the next. But it is one that seems to be key to mental health. From increased resilience to sharper memory, a sense of purpose in life goes hand-in-hand with a range of cognitive…

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