Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: How to Retrain Your Brain to Overcome Pessimism and Achieve a More Positive Outlook

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Basic Books, 2012 - Psychology - 256 pages
16 Reviews

Are you optimistic or pessimistic?  Glass half-full or half-empty? Do you look on the bright side or turn towards the dark? These are easy questions for most of us to answer, because our personality types are hard-wired into our brains. As pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Elaine Fox has discovered, our outlook on life reflects our primal inclination to seek pleasure or avoid danger—inclinations that, in many people, are healthily balanced.  But when our “fear brain” or “pleasure brain” is too strong, the results can be disastrous, as those of us suffering from debilitating shyness, addiction, depression, or anxiety know all too well.

Luckily, anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope.  Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are more malleable than we ever imagined.  InRainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox describes a range of techniques—from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy to innovative cognitive-retraining exercises—that can actually alter our brains’ circuitry, strengthening specific thought processes by exercising the neural systems that control them.  The implications are enormous:  lifelong pessimists can train themselves to think positively and find happiness, while pleasure-seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their lives. 

Drawing on her own cutting-edge research, Fox shows how we can retrain our brains to brighten our lives and learn to flourish.  With keen insights into how genes, life experiences and cognitive processes interleave together to make us who we are,Rainy Brain, SunnyBrainrevolutionizes our basic concept of individuality. We learn that we can influence our own personalities, and that our lives are only as “sunny” or as “rainy” as we allow them to be.

  

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Review: Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: How to Retrain Your Brain to Overcome Pessimism and Achieve a More Positive Outlook

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

An easily digestable overview of how the brain works that offers reasonable proof to the adage "happiness is a choice". Readers looking for a self-help manual will be disappointed. That's not what ... Read full review

Review: Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: How to Retrain Your Brain to Overcome Pessimism and Achieve a More Positive Outlook

User Review  - Cloda - Goodreads

As others have stated, the title is misleading. Research discussed was not very new so I was somewhat disappointed. Read full review

Contents

SunnySide Up
31
The Rainy Brain
65
Optimism and Pessimism Genes
95
The Malleable Mind
127
New Techniques to Reshape Our Brains
163
Acknowledgments
201
Index
241
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Elaine Fox is currently a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and Director of the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex, where she leads a program of research combining cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and genetics. She has been Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex and an associate editor of leading scientific journals including Emotion and Cognition & Emotion. Her work has been discussed in Nature, Science, New Scientist, The Economist, and the New York Times.  A Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science (APS), she divides her time between Wivenhoe and Oxford in England.

 

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