The Benefits of Optimism Are Real

The Atlantic:

One of the most memorable scenes of the Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook revolves around Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, a novel that does not end well, to put it mildly.

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychological researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has looked more closely at the relationship between being positive and resilience. Her research shows how important one is for the other.

For starters, having a positive mood makes people more resilient physically. In one study, research subjects were outfitted with a device that measured their heart activity. After their baseline heart activity was recorded, they were presented with a stressful task: Each was asked to quickly prepare and deliver a speech on why he or she is a good friend. They were told that the speech would be videotaped and evaluated.

Read the whole story: The Atlantic

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