Smile to See the Bigger Picture

 

The face of a happy, smiling kid on the refrigerator door might do more than make us feel good; it might help us make better food choices, say researchers, who discovered that positive moods increase our ability to understand the big picture. Being in a good mood both helps us think at a more abstract level and allows us to step back emotionally. When we can do that, we can see the larger picture.

A positive mood, the researchers explain, encourages broader, more flexible thinking and increases our openness to information, which in turn allows us to adopt a higher order of future goals and work harder toward attaining them. It all enhances future well-being, providing more reasons to surround ourselves with positive things.

Source: University of Chicago Press Journals, 2008.

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