Half Empty Half Full: understanding the psychological roots of optimism

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In her groundbreaking book, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher Susan C. Vaughan, M.D., offers fresh and helpful ways to understand optimism. Reality, she shows, is overrated; instead, it is healthy illusions that form the bases of optimism. Optimism flows from our ability to interpret and remember our experiences in a positive light. If we can do this on a regular basis and if we can trust ourselves to moderate own own moods, then all the good things that flow from an optimistic view of life can be ours. Examining the origins of optimism in early life and offering new evidence for the role of biology in how we interpret our experience, Vaughan offers some unusual but proven tricks and techniques to fool the brain’s circuitry into looking on the bright side.

Dr. Vaughan shows that in learning the skills we need to construct and sustain illusions, we also build a stable, internal psychological core of strength, an authentic inner island of hope and self-control that makes a good life possible.

Optimism is a process, not a state; and it is within the grasp of everyone. This is the fundamental good news of this marvelous book which shows how to achieve greater mastery over our inner world and thus have greater optimism about the world around us.

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