I tend to go through cycles with the news....Sometimes, I have absolutely no clue what is going on in the world. Other times, I just cannot get enough NPR. Or I will fall down the rabbit hole, reading story after story after story on nytimes.com. But clearly, I have not been in this phase for a while, because when I announced indignantly to Alex yesterday, "They are limiting the number of stories you can read on the New York Times website now!!!," he said, "Uh yeah. They did that like forever ago." (For the record Alex, they just reduced the number of articles from 20 to 10 per month in April, a mere month ago, and apparently that reduction is enough to mean that I am finally getting little alarming pop-ups urging me to subscribe! Before, I guess I just wasn't that aware because 20 was as good as limitless for me. Ha, which is obviously why they reduced the numbers -freeloaders like me!)
But before my indignation struck, I read a lovely article by Jane Brody about how being an optimist is good for your health. (If you haven't reached your limit of articles yet, you can read it here.) You are more likely to take care of yourself, more likely to tackle problems head-on with a can-do attitude, and therefore, more likely to live longer, happily. As an optimist myself, I love that a science writer chose this topic for her blog. As a school psychologist (well, almost - I guess I'm being a little optimistic here!), I love that she gave recommendations for how to make yourself more optimistic if you aren't naturally inclined to be so. She suggests one of my (and Alex's) favorite mottos: "Fake it 'til you make it!" I like this quote for so many scenarios, because I think confidence is the key to everything (even more than talent, given a certain baseline.) Buddha says, "What you think, you become." But there is also the flip side of that - what you do defines you (thank you, Batman Begins.) If you are a pessimist, thinking negative thoughts, then your actions are likely to follow and that will be who you are. However, sometimes the easiest way to change a thought pattern is to change what you do first. Start acting the way you think an optimist would act, and you just might meet enough success to change how you think!
Perhaps, it's just crazy enough to work! (Or, we are just a bunch of optimists agreeing with each other, and all the pessimists are saying, Eh, I always knew I would die young anyway....)