Monday, 13 August 2012

Five chances to win a copy of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain

This competition is now closed and the five winners have been contacted. Thank you for all your entries. 

We've got five copies to give away of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain by Professor Elaine Fox, kindly provided to us by William Heinemann. Here's what the publishers say about the book: 
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.
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, Sunny Brain revolutionises 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.
For a chance to win a copy, please post a comment to this blog entry telling us why you're optimistic about the future (please leave an email address). We'll pick five winners at random next Friday. Good luck!


Cassandra said...

I'm optimistic because I make myself! Being pessimistic only makes one experience everything as more bitter, it's like a filter all things go through. Thinking positive opens opportunities, makes you more likely to meet people and have conversations that might lead to take new actions. Positive actions can trigger growth. So I know I can improve my life by being as positive as I can (it's not always easy, as I'm a realist)... So I make myself!

R.P.90 said...

Naturally i'm more inclined to be pessimistic than optimistic but that is why I am optimistic. I choose to be, rather than wallow in my own doubts and disbeliefs. Richard Davidson noted that our brains show different areas of activity for happiness and unhappiness and with that certain people are more inclined with a genetic predisposition of either or. I find that focusing on being optimistic makes life more enriching and rewarding and just like Davidson I believe it's a choice you make rather than something you live with and i choose to optimism :)

Anonymous said...

I'm optimisitic about the future because I now have a chance to win a book.

-Minh (

Sharon Corbridge said...

I'm optimistic about the future because it's not yet written....I'm writing my own story, so why not make it a 'sunny' one?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately my brain seems to be biased towards the negative, the outcome being a rather pessimistic outlook. Having suffered with depression in the past, I wondered about the connection between this and other anxiety disorders and having a glass half empty brain...! Classic examples are 'there's no point trying i'm not qualified (jobs) it's too far and the weathers's awful and we'll have to cue (hols) they probably think I'm awful...(other people). So, my genius plan has been to end up with a boyfriend and close friends that are optimism personified, who keep me in check and make sure that my pessamism doesn't get out of hand. Actually it was no plan, I'm just incredibly lucky!

Anonymous said...

I'm optimistic because it is, for me, a kind of coping strategy. Being optimistic reduces anxiety, increases motivation, drives my energy and helps me to focus on what is really important (what to do to acheive my goals). I agree with Juliette Massey-Smith, optimism opens the way to opportunities... as it sometimes may help winning interesting books ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely in the optimists' camp. It makes life a lot easier and pleasurable. I too believe that it is for a large part a choice you can make, however, the pessimists among us probably won't feel that way!

I think being an optimist has the advantage of not only being good at recognising the positive things that are happening to you, but also that actual optimistic behaviour contributes to good things happening to you. For example, smiley, optimistic people may be a joy to be around, which can make friendships and job opportunities happen more easily. Being an optimist contributes to feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

Eugene said...

Things always work out somehow

podstawek said...

With all the randomness of human past, present, and future, one can never know what awaits them in the next hour, not to mention the next day. With this in mind, being optimistic is... a mere calculation. I bet on better future, because one cannot win with randomness and the return to entropy -- so why not face it with enthusiasm. In the end, each of us is doomed, so let's spend the remaining days in good humor. Which is usually more productive, too!


Unknown said...

I'm optimistic because this year I complete my degree in Psychology; which has been my target since AS levels. After that I'm not sure what's going to happen, maybe the opportunity to gain a dream job or even further qualifications, who knows?... I certainly don't and that's what keeps me motivated and my life interesting.

Anonymous said...

why im optimistic? every day i sing that monty python song always look on the bright side of life check it out on youtube it contains the sum total of all you need to know about life ..... he he :-)

Anonymous said...

I consider myself more of a realist than either optimist or pessimist. Being the 'black sheep', I always say that as there are no (or low) expectations of me, I can always surpass them and, thus, I am optimistic of beating expectations!

In life whatever will happen will happen, and I am always optimistic that in the end something will happen and something will turn up (be it job, friends, family, leisure).

Anonymous said...

I am by nature optimistic, but I also waste a lot of time on self-doubt.

So, I try to catch those put-down thoughts before they start paralysing me!

I believe we are (unintentionally) programmed from birth.

Sometimes this conditioning is past its sell-by date. It is not necessary and is perhaps self-destructive - but is still controlling us.

It is good to notice our thoughts and ask: is this what I really think?

This way we can really develop our full potential and be the person we want to be.

I am not saying it is easy. Or quick! But it is very rewarding.

elisabeth.winkler AT

D.-R. said...

Congrats! I completed my degree in psychology this year, too. Good luck!

Mike said...

I am optimistic because I have stopped feeling like things have to perfect. It's OK if they're just good enough sometimes.

Joe said...

I'm optimistic because I've just finished my psychology degree and am due to start a forensic psychology masters in September. I'm doing what I want to do and believe in myself.

Chris Yeh said...

I'm optimistic about the future because even pushing 40, I'm still learning, growing, and changing.

Chris Yeh said...

Oh yes; my email is chris at chrisyeh dot com.

Niklas said...

I'm optimistic because this school term I'll study cognitive + computer science... and hopefully I get a job that match my degree.

John E. Smith said...

First, I love the title of this book:) "Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain" - just makes me smile.

I am not particularly naturally optimistic. I worry about thing happening and often tend to embrace the "worst case" scenario. I have been called a "Gloomy Gus" by someone close to me and I know it's more accurate than I would like.

However, as I reflect over my life, I find that optimism does underlay most of my experiences. I think we all have a default position, but I am not convinced that our default is our strength position.

While I worry on the surface and around the daily or routine "slings of fate", I also have a deep and abiding faith in myself, my family, and the basic goodness of people.

Interestingly enough, in work and collaborative settings, I am usually described as "genial", cooperative, and even "chipper":).

It's an interesting combination of contradictions, but what the heck ... works for me.

Thanks for the opportunity o reflect some on this.


Paul Galbally said...

I am optimistic as Elaine Fox headed psychology where I done my undergrad at Essex University psychology department :)

Mike said...

I am optimistic that medical advances will continue to give us better lives.

Anonymous said...

What would be a good reason to be pesimistic? I can't see such. It is true that optimistic people sometimes make poorer choices (e.g. not fasting their seatbelts) but life without optimism not allow one to flourish. If I was not be an optimistic I would not DREAM BIG, and would not fight in the aim of realizing my hopes, because one needs to believe that future has a bright side to offer :)
natalia@kominiarczuk dot com

Emma Williamson said...

I am optimistic about the future after seeing the inspiring dedication, motivation, team spirit and pride of our athletes during the olympics this year. I am looking forward to seeing what level of impact this has on the lifestyles and motivation of our current and future generations.

Jeremiah L. Johnston said...

I am optimistic about the future because "the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades", what a great song :-) But really, I am happily married with 4 beautiful kids. I have a career that I thoroughly enjoy. I can effectively balance work and family to make sure both receive due diligence. I don't make an absorbent amount of money but live very happily off of what I am able to bring home. I live just outside of Yellowstone National Park and make sure to take in the sights and sounds of where I live on a regular basis. In addition to all of this, I posted this message so I now have the opportunity to win a free book on a great topic. Something that I will surely share with my family :-)

Lisa said...

I am a "realist" which means a pessimist who is high on hope. Without hope, we have nothing! And besides, I know it's better to be optimistic - I read the science!

Nuvia Yanet said...

I am optimistic because I have faith in myself.

Roland said...

I just finished an Alan Watts' "The Wisdom of Insecurity" and therefore I'm not sure if I should be thinking about the future at all. According to Watts, there is neither past nor future. There is only now. And an undivided mind does not consider the goodness or badness that is coming in this unattainable future.

In any case, I really look forward to reading your book.


estonia said...

I s'pose I'm optimistic about my future because I'm actively working to improve my thought processes and approach to life. lt at cormorantbay dot com

TucsonTodd said...

I'm pessimistic that I'll win a book.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome read! I've always been optimistic. Everything I look at that is man-made was invented by a fellow human who had a vision to help alleviate a problem. I see possibilities where a pessimist would remain blind. I'd love to win a copy of this book! You can email me at oceana_thirst at hotmail dot com

D.-R. said...

I'm an optimist because it makes no sense being pessimistic. Nothing is totally good or bad, everything has both good and bad parts. It all depends on what you are willing to see, and I think that looking at the good part of things allows you to enhance it. That's why I'm an optimistic.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm optimistic about the future only because I believe there is one thing in life that I absolutely love doing and that is studying Psychology. I have set great high hopes for myself even though I have endured a lot of trouble on the way and I still am. I have depression and many other things but that does not mean I cannot continue being positive about the future. The future is still a quite struggle for me but I hope to overcome this by becoming a great Psychologist.

Anonymous said...

I am optimistic because even the most awful things that have happened in my life have led me to where I am now :)

Hanna said...

I am optimistic as I am starting my final university year as a Psychology student in a few weeks and what the year has to offer sounds promising.

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

its simple cos your a woman. unless you would had suffered it to the most.

Anonymous said...

I force myself to behave positively - because I don't wanna' bring others down. But my natural tendency is to see all of the darkest sides of everything.Even when things turn out well - I feel like it is some cosmic trick and I'm secretly waiting for the other shoe to drop. People who know me however would likely describe me as upbeat and optimistic.
When alot of bad things have happened to you in life - I think expecting the worst is a type of mental preparation for the next difficulty.
But - I can fake "happy" really well.
We are trained to cope with the bad and sad and hard times - but nothing can prepare you for the empty monotony - the boredom and the loneliness... the pain of watching your life slip away while you were just trying your best to make it from one day to the next.

Anonymous said...

I'm optimistic because.... Why not? And I have really tasty leftovers for lunch :D

Anonymous said...

At the moment I'm a cautious-optimist: I've got a psychology degree under my belt, am building up some good clinical experience and have recently fulfilled my dream of moving to london. So I'm always reminding myself that the future is bright but even so, I find myself held back by those 'what if' moments. I'm sure a litte brain retraining will go a long way in keeping those 'sunny showers' at bay! (

Anonymous said...

I think I grew up in a fairly pessimistic home environment (worrying, focusing on things that have gone wrong) and I seem to have made a subconscious decision not to accept those thought patterns probably as a coping mechanism and way to deal with setbacks and stay happy for longer.
I realise I am more of an optimist when I see the contrast to my glass half-empty partner who knowingly prepares himself for the "worse case scenario"!

Am very happy to see my 3 year old daughter developing a very positive outlook and would love to learn how I can encourage this further. After having a little cry after falling over or stubbing her toe she'll sunnily announce "it'll be better in the morning!".

Anonymous said...

I think there's a danger in pioneering future oriented optimism. If we're always waiting to be happy in the future then we miss out on the present.

With success for example, it's as if we've all be tricked into believing that we have to be successful in the present to be happy in the future. Stress and anxiety (when uncontrolled) are debilitation forces, but we accept unnecessarily high amounts if we think we'll be happier after all of the grafting.

Though it's easier said than done, being happy and optimistic in the present is likely to be much more advantageous.


Anonymous said...

I am pessamistic because experience has shown me that being thus inclined avoids dissapointment and can only result in pleasant surprises when things go right.

Anonymous said...

I am pessamistic because experience has shown me that being thus inclined avoids dissapointment and can sometimes lead to pleasant surprises when thing go right.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glen johnson said...

Im optimistic about the future because life can change in an instant and as.bad as things sometimes get they can equally get better when we least expect

Anonymous said...

my mother
Nature and grace of her name
spent 13 700
to conceiving me

So who admires if
(what are the right words ?)
I 'am a masterpiece?

So who admires if
(in the long run)
I' am optimistic?

So who admires if
(in the short run)
I' am pessimistic?

my mother
Nature and grace of her name
spent 13 700
to conceiving me

she knows what is doing
if something is going wrong
she has enough time
to solve the problem.

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