Optimism & Mindset

Articles about the effects of optimism, how to foster optimism and bring more positive emotions in your life as well as the growth mindset to adopt.

How to Nurture a Growth Mindset in Kids: 8 Best Activities

Growth mindset kids

Success. Abundance. Prosperity. Intelligence. Talent. Skill. These are all potential products of a growth mindset. Why is it important to foster this mindset in children? A growth mindset can encourage a passion for learning and an ease in facing new challenges. Children with a growth mindset outperform those with a […]

How to Overcome Perfectionism: 15 Worksheets & Resources

Overcome perfectionism

While difficult to define, perfectionism can drive impossibly high standards and have dangerous consequences. Maintaining that flawless veneer can put your mental and physical wellbeing at risk as you search for that perfect life (Thomson, 2019). The number of people experiencing perfectionism is rising dramatically, especially among the young (Curran […]

18 Best Growth Mindset Activities, Worksheets, and Questions

Growth Mindset

Many of us are aware of the importance of adopting a growth mindset and perhaps even believe we have done so already. But do we really know what we mean when we talk about moving from fixed thinking to the growth zone? Findings from research into the benefits of a […]

What Is Perfectionism According to Psychology? 7 Examples


At one time or another, haven’t we all sought perfection? A perfect score on a test, a flawless presentation, or the ultimate date. While aiming for the best can be helpful, perfectionism as a trait can be damaging, putting us at risk of mental and physical illness (Thomson, 2019). Perfectionism […]

Unconditional Positive Regard: 17 Worksheets, Tools, & Activities

Unconditional Positive Regard Worksheets

Unconditional positive regard describes an essential attitude that person-centered therapists adopt toward their clients, promoting growth and personal change (Wilkins, 2000). As mental health professionals, therapists recognize that they must deeply value their client's humanity while being undeterred by any particular client behaviors for a successful outcome (Mearns & Thorne, […]

The Psychology of Procrastination: 10 Tips and Worksheets

Psychology of Procrastination

Procrastination is an interesting concept in our culture. Perceptions of procrastination range from being the topic of jokes to being associated with mental illness (Svartdal, Granmo, & Farevaag, 2018). But what is the truth about this ubiquitous behavior? As a college instructor, I deal with student procrastination every semester, often […]

Internal vs External Locus of Control: 7 Examples & Theories

Internal External Locus of Control

How much control do we really have over our lives? Many psychological theories have attempted to answer this question. One such explanation is the locus of control. Locus of control is a concept created by psychologist Julian Rotter (1954). Rotter was interested in social learning and why some behaviors stick […]

Identifying the Locus of Control: Tests, Scales, & Questionnaires

Locus of control

How much we feel in control in each area of our lives predicts life satisfaction and even the likelihood of positive outcomes (Galvin, Randel, Collins, & Johnson, 2018). Our beliefs regarding control impact our motivation, behavior, and the potential for success in work and outside. Individuals who feel they are […]

Pessimism vs. Optimism: How Mindset Impacts Wellbeing

Pessimism vs optimism

Life experiences are interpreted through our own internal filters. How we explain events to ourselves (i.e., explanatory style) is a key factor in how we respond. Pessimism, optimism, and realism represent three particularly salient and interconnected explanatory styles. This article will describe these mindsets and their relationship to psychological health. […]

Toxic Positivity in Psychology: How to Avoid the Positivity Trap

Toxic Positivity

“Just think happy thoughts!” “Don’t worry, be happy!” “Look on the bright side!” “It could be worse!” “Good vibes only!” Although well intentioned, these phrases can be downright harmful. It turns out that the phrase “too much of a good thing can be bad” also applies to positivity. The overgeneralization […]

Ultimate Positive Thinking Toolkit: 19 Techniques & Exercises

Positive Thinking Toolkit

Do you want to learn how to think more positively? Well, here’s some good news. Science suggests that positive thinking is indeed a learnable skill. But how do you learn it? What techniques and exercises are most likely to help you boost your positive thinking skills? In this article, we’ll […]

What Is Positive Thinking in Psychology? 9 Thought-Provoking Findings

Positive Thinking

What does it mean to think positively? Why is thinking positively important? And how do we learn to do it? In this article, we’ll address these questions while providing resources to help you cultivate the ability to think more positively. With these insights, you’ll better understand how to swap out […]

What is Psychological Distancing? 4 Helpful Techniques

Have you ever felt so angry that you can’t see straight? Many of us have been in a situation when our emotions prevent us from seeing the big picture and responding appropriately; for example: We might feel swept away by our emotions, leading us to say or do hurtful things. […]

16 Delayed Gratification Exercises, Worksheets, & Activities

Many people worry about humanity’s seeming inability to self-regulate. The ability to have whatever we want in an instant weakens our self-regulation muscles. Most goals can be reached, but they don’t happen by accident. They also don’t get realized in an instant. Goal achievement requires self-awareness and the ability to […]

What Is Delayed Gratification and How Do You Pass the Marshmallow Test?

Saving for your dream home? Trying to fit into those skinny jeans? Want a lasting, loving relationship? Knowing how to delay pleasure in an effort to serve a more important and gratifying goal makes all the difference in achieving that goal. The ability to self-regulate will directly impact the outcomes […]

Learned Optimism: Is Martin Seligman’s Glass Half Full?

Can you learn to have a positive outlook? And if you could, how would that change your life? Learned optimism is a concept from positive psychology’s founding father, Martin Seligman, that argues that we can cultivate a positive perspective. With a more joyful outlook on life, he explains, we’re in […]

11 Mindset Activities and Tests Designed to Nurture Growth

How do you deal with failure? Do you struggle with setbacks or get upset about losing? With the right mindset, it may be possible to handle challenges better and pursue success without getting down on yourself. Nurturing a growth mindset could help you tackle life’s difficulties much more efficiently, and […]

11 Optimism Tools, Examples and Exercises to Help Improve Your Outlook

The most popular metaphor to explain optimism is the concept of ''glass-half-full.'' Optimists have a built-in attitude to be hopeful all the time and consider the possibilities of good things happening in life. The word ‘optimism’ comes from the Latin word ‘optimum,’ meaning ‘the best.'' In psychology, optimism or dispositional […]

What is the Life Orientation Test and How To Use It? (LOT-R)

People differ in the degree to which they possess confidence and hope that future events will turn out positively. This attitude is called optimism. Positive psychologists are particularly interested in the attitude of optimism because whether we bring a stable sense of optimism to situations flows on to affect our […]

How to Apply Appreciative Inquiry: A Visual Guide

Whether in the context of organizations, healthcare, coaching, or in one’s personal life, challenges invariably always surface. The conventional reaction is to coat setbacks in a negative narrative that adopts a deficit-based view and embraces the notion of failure as opposed to that of optimism and improvement. You have perhaps […]

18 Appreciative Inquiry Workshops, Training, and Courses

Love the idea of using Appreciative Inquiry to transform your organization or community? AI training is one way you can develop your knowledge into practical skills—whether you’re looking to facilitate or simply encourage appreciative mindsets. In this article, we’ve put together resources that cover some background information on certification: how […]

The Research on Appreciative Inquiry and its Fields of Application

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an innovative problem-solving approach. Most approaches for problem-solving are rooted in negativity. If we want to improve something, our first thought is to ask what is not working or what is wrong. We start by identifying the problem, analyzing possible causes and then implementing solutions. Organizations […]

4 Appreciative Inquiry Tools, Exercises and Activities

Appreciative inquiry is about looking for the best in people - in the way they work, they live, and they behave. Initially, appreciative inquiry (AI) was a “fundamental shift in the overall perspective of organizational development that took into account the entire human functioning - including strengths, possibilities, and success.” […]

What is Appreciative Inquiry? A Brief History & Real Life Examples

In an unpredictable global business environment, it’s tempting to approach strategy with specific goals already in mind. More often than not, these are problem-focused and aimed at mitigating threats. Businesses commonly focus on what’s not working and adopt ‘root cause’ mindsets, only to find themselves facing a set of different, […]

119+ Appreciative Inquiry Interview Questions and Examples

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based approach to examining and developing the best in human systems. The approach has a lot of overlap with positive psychology in its focus on what’s working, what’s good, and what gives us life. By virtue of its flexible nature, AI can be applied to […]

What is Instant Gratification? A Definition + 16 Examples and Quotes

Is there something else you should be doing right now? Working on a project? Writing a paper? Putting away that load of laundry that’s been in the dryer for two days? If so, you’re in good company. We all find ourselves distracted from meeting more long-term goals by more enjoyable […]

What is Unconditional Positive Regard in Psychology?

As therapists, counselors, social workers, and other members of helping professions, how can we best help our clients help themselves? As parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors, how can we encourage our children to grow into healthy and happy people with a positive sense of self-worth? These are the questions that […]

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Psychology: 10 Examples and Definition (+PDF)

Have you ever made a prediction about your life that came true? You may not believe yourself to be a fortuneteller, but you've likely found that you can sometimes be surprisingly accurate in your predictions. For instance, you might predict that a project you are working on will turn out […]

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed + Key Takeaways From Dweck’s Book

You’ve probably heard of this movement before—it’s swept the nation and the world into a newfound appreciation for the potential to be found in hard work. Of course, working hard has always been valued. We know that working hard (and working smart) is a good way to achieve our goals. […]

Learned Helplessness: Seligman’s Theory of Depression (+ Cure)

The concept of learned helplessness is a cornerstone of many important theories and ideas in psychology, and it's the basis for several foundational concepts in positive psychology. Even outside the field of psychology, it's pretty widely understood. It provides an explanation for some human behaviors that might seem odd or […]

40 Kindness Activities & Empathy Worksheets for Students and Adults

What are the most important traits to encourage during a child’s development? This is an inherently personal question, one that will provoke a wide variety of answers from parents, educators, and researchers around the world. This article focuses on two traits in particular: kindness and empathy. While we won't argue […]

The Upside of Defensive Pessimism: The Potential Benefit of Anxiety

Defensive pessimism is a strategy used by people who are anxious about an upcoming event. While pessimism is often seen as a negative trait, defensive pessimism can be a useful way for someone to harness their anxiety into positive results. This article will walk through what defensive pessimism is, how […]

The Psychology of Willpower: Training the Brain for Better Decisions

In 2011, 27% of the respondents of the Stress in America survey reported a lack of willpower as the greatest obstacle to change. We rely on willpower to exercise, diet, save money, quit smoking, stop drinking, overcome procrastination, and ultimately accomplish any of our goals. It impacts every area of our lives. […]