The mad rush of the holidays can stress out the sunniest soul, and yet somehow, beneath it all, we remain cheerfully optimistic. We look ahead, make New Year’s resolutions and generally believe next year will be better than this one and the year before. Why? Tali Sharot, who spoke at TED2012, says we homo sapiens are genetically predisposed to look on the bright side. In her new TED ebook, The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope, Sharot explains why we’re biologically tuned to be positive.
In your book you note that people are genetically predisposed to be optimistic. What advantage does that provide?
Overall, optimism is a good thing. We now know that underestimating the obstacles life has in store lowers stress and anxiety, leading to better health and well being — this is one reason why optimists recover faster from illnesses and live longer. For example…
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