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Show 1087: Change Your Perspective from Half-Empty to Half-Full

Show 1087: Change Your Perspective from Half-Empty to Half-Full

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If you've ever found yourself ruminating over mistakes you made during the day and wishing for a do-over, you might want to change your perspective. In traditional psychiatry, you might focus on problems in your relationship and learn how to fight fair. Positive psychology, a science supporting health and wellness, would teach you how to appreciate and celebrate your partner.

Positive Psychology:

Dr. Samantha Boardman got interested in positive psychology herself when a patient fired her. The woman said that reviewing all her problems in each session made her feel worse, and she wasn't coming back. Considering this, Dr. Boardman realized her (ex-) patient was right. Consequently, she went back to school for a master's degree in positive psychology, which helps people focus on their strengths and plan how to overcome obstacles.

She learned from Dr. Martin Seligman, a leader in positive psychology who examined learned optimism in scientific studies. How can we re-think challenges? Dr. Boardman summarizes Seligman's mnemonic PERMA: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationship, Meaning beyond yourself and Accomplishment.

Forming New Habits of Thinking Through New Ways of Acting:

Dr. Boardman describes how to use cognitive reappraisal to channel anxiety into energy. You will also hear how to break the habit of negative self-talk.

Do something different; especially, do something for someone else. When you connect with others, even in small ways, you feel better.

If you are faced with an obstacle, you need a realistic assessment of the challenge. Preparing a grounded plan to meet it is crucial for changing your perspective from finding the glass half-empty to seeing it as half-full.

This Week's Guest:

Samantha Boardman, MD, is a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Assistant Attending Psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. She received her B.A. from Harvard University, an M.A. in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, where she was awarded the Oskar Diethelm Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry. Dr. Boardman has published papers in journals including Translational Neuroscience, The American Journal of Psychiatry and The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Her blog,, shares insights from the psychiatry and psychology community with readers, and explores the way psychology, culture and science intersect. Dr. Boardman lives and works in New York City. Other links:

on Facebook 

on Twitter @sambmd

and on Instagram

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