Professor Elaine Fox, psychologist and neuroscientist, has identified two basic types of personalities: “sunny” and “rainy.” The tendency to see the world optimistically or pessimistically is hard-wired into the brain and reflects primal impulses to seek pleasure or avoid danger. Her research shows that when we think negatively all the time, this strengthens the negative pathways in our brain. The negative messages get reinforced and embedded in our brain. This perpetuates our unhappiness, so we need to stop doing it.
The good news is that there are a range of techniques that can alter our brains’ circuitry, allowing even lifelong pessimists to think positively and find happiness. For example, we can train ourselves to focus on the positives as covered here:
Find out more about Prof Fox’s book on the advantages of being optimistic and her research here:
Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain
Watch Prof Fox speaking here:
The Lost Lectures: Prof. Elaine Fox: ‘Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain’
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