(Unlikely berry patch, Scotland, 2007)
There is a great article in Time magazine this week about positive thinking. It's no shock that it cites studies which show that looking on the sunny side of life really does affect your health in the long run.
(Children at a Tibetan orphanage, 2007)
What is surprising, however, is that some experts don't suggest being optimistic. It appears that being wildly hopeful and seeing the glass as relentlessly half full is what positive psychologists call being "cheerfully deluded."
Instead, they recommend "optimalism", a combination of optimism and a healthy dose of realism. Optimalists are not people who believe everything happens for the best, but those who make the best of things that happen.
(Prayer flags at Dalai Lama's palace, Lhasa, Tibet, 2007)
I so agree with this. I've always had an issue with the whole "everything happens for the best" concept...because it doesn't. Bad things happen to good people, a lot of good people. Life is freaky. Accidents happen. At times, we struggle.
(A determined bee, Sussex, England, 2007)
Having said this, wallowing in sadness does nothing but entrench you more firmly in a quicksand of depression. You have to find a way out. Apparently, happiness is "contagious." Scientists have noticed that people who smile in their Facebook pictures tend to have other friends who smile.
(Tibetan monk on pilgrimage, Lhasa, 2007)
Go check your Friends list. It's true. :)