Would you like to be part of creating a happier and more caring
society? If so please join our movement, add your pledge and take
action - at home, at school, at work or in your community. Together
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I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me
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How do you think and feel about the past, the present and the
future? Do you tend to see the good side and the opportunities or
do you tend to focus on the problems and things that might go
wrong? How realistic are you being? All of this matters for how
happy and satisfied we are with our lives
People who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better when times are tough. So there are a lot of advantages to looking at the world through a positive lens and focusing on the things that are good. However, it's possible to be unrealistically optimistic which isn't a good thing. And it's certainly not helpful to put a positive spin on everything or pretend that things are fine if they're clearly not
Whether we are naturally an optimist or more of a pessimist, it's impossible to know what the future holds. So perhaps the best of both worlds is to be a realistic optimist - someone who tends to maintain a positive outlook, but within the constraints of what they know about the world.
Whether we tend to be optimistic or pessimistic is part of our personality, and can be hard to change - but it is possible. We can become more conscious of our own patterns of thought and learn skills to help us be more flexible in our outlook.
Here are three ways of 'thinking about your thoughts' - you can use them to help shift your outlook on life:
 Carver, C.S., Scheier, M.F., Miller, C.J., & Fulford, D. (2009). Optimism. In S.J. Lopez & C.R. Snyder (Eds.)Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. NY: Oxford University Press.
 Schneider, S. L. (2001). In search of realistic optimism: Meaning, knowledge, and warm fuzziness. American Psychologist, 56, 250-263.
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