The Incredible Powers of Optimism


Tom Corley boats - cropAccording to the latest science, pessimism inhibits brain performance and your ability to think clearly becomes impaired.

The famous 1998 and 2001 Broaden and Build Studies by B.L. Frederickson concluded that positivity and optimism increase your ability to focus by broadening the capacity of your brain to focus and solve problems.

Conversely, Frederickson found that pessimism narrowed your ability to focus by partially shutting down the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, you executive command and control center and the seat of creativity.

In short, optimism supercharges your brain and opens your entire brain up to creativity and problem solving, while pessimism suppresses brain performance and creativity.

  • When you are optimistic, your risk tolerance levels increase – You are less afraid to take risks.
  • When you are optimistic, you become more social and outgoing – You forge more meaningful relationships with others.
  • When you are optimistic, you are more creative.
  • When you are optimistic, solutions to problems come easier.
  • When you are optimistic, your cognitive abilities increase – You become smarter.
  • When you are optimistic, you feel more enthusiastic about everything you do.
  • When you are optimistic, you feel happy about life.
  • When you are optimistic, your confidence is high.
  • When you are optimistic, fear no longer holds you back from taking action.
  • When you are optimistic, your imagination runs wild.
  • When you are optimistic, you are more apt to pursue your dreams and goals.
  • When you are optimistic, obstacles and impediments are easier to overcome.
  • When you are optimistic, you become more persistent – Challenges, fears and obstacles no longer stop you in your tracks.

But how do you flip the switch on your mental outlook from pessimism to optimism?

The short answer is, you have to feed optimism the right kind of food every day:

  • Exercise – Forge the daily habit of exercising aerobically (i.e. walking, jogging, biking) and anaerobically (i.e. weight training, core workouts, strength training). Exercise increases SNF2H and BDNF, nerve growth factors which improve brain cells or create new brain cells.
  • Dream-Set – Create a script or vision of your ideal, perfect, future life. Read your script every day for 30 days. This will feed your subconscious with new directives. Intuition will speak to you – telling you which goals to pursue.
  • Develop some new skill – This forces the brain to re-wire itself. The brain loves growing synapses and will reward you by boosting dopamine, a happiness neurochemical, every time you engage in that new skill.
  • Practice – Improve existing skills through daily repetition.
  • Self-Educate – Increase your knowledge by reading, listening and watching content that is educational or related to your career/vocation.
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours a day.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Experiment – Do novel things. The brain loves novelty and will reward you with a boost in norepinephrine, another happiness neurochemical.
  • Forge new relationships with other optimistic people. This boosts serotonin levels, Serotonin is another happiness neurochemical.

These daily habits naturally boost happiness neurochemicals (Dopamine, Serotonin and Norepinephrine), making you feel upbeat, optimistic and happy. They also require your brain and improve brain cell health and efficiency.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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