An Exercise for Cultivating a Positive Outlook on Life

It's possible to change your cognitive bias by training the brain to focus more on the positive than on the negative. In the lab, Dr. Fox showed subjects pairs of images, one negative (the aftermath of a bomb blast, say) and one either positive (a cute child) or neutral (an office). Participants were asked to point out, as quickly as possible, a small target that appeared immediately after each positive or neutral image—subliminally requiring them to pay less attention to the negative images, which had no target.

Want to try this at home? Write down, in a journal, the positive and negative things that happen to you each day, whether running into an old friend or missing your bus. Try for four positives for each negative. You'll be training your brain to look for the good even as you acknowledge the bad, Dr. Fox says.


Write down four positive things for each negative thing that happened to you at the end of each day.

Folksonomies: cognitive behavioral therapy cbt

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 Self-Help for Skeptics
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Bernstein, Elizabeth (8/27/2012), Self-Help for Skeptics, Wall Street Journal, Retrieved on 2012-08-30
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: cbt


    15 APR 2011

     Cognitively Improving the Quality of Life

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