Stress often brings out our inner optimist, concluded researchers from the University of Southern California—but that's not always helpful. In an article published in the February 2012 journal Current Directions in Psychological Science
, psychologists reviewed studies in which people were put in tense situations
(for, example, being told to hold their hand in ice water or to give a speech), and found that when these stressed-out participants had to make a decision, they focused more on positive outcomes
. So if an overworked, strung-out person were trying to decide whether to move to a new city for a boyfriend she might focus on the "pro" of romantic happiness over the "con" of leaving a job she liked. Whenever possible, wait to tackle big decisions until you're feeling your most relaxed—like after a bath or on a lazy Saturday afternoon.