If optimism isn't currently your default, the good news is that it's a perspective you can cultivate. When you feel fear rising, try these two steps:
1. Fake a sunny attitude. Your brain gets feedback from your face—so if you force yourself to smile, you may actually feel better.
2. Identify all possible silver linings. Imagine you have the "righting reflex" of a cat: No matter what, you'll always land on your feet.
This exercise was created by Susan C. Vaughan, MD, author of Half Empty, Half Full: Understanding the Psychological Roots of Optimism (Mariner).
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