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Maintaining a Positive Outlook on Life

If you're a glass-half-empty kinda girl, it might be time for a new view: A positive outlook may improve health and lead to a longer, happier life, reports a new Mayo Clinic study. But changing a negative outlook isn't exactly easy. To prove that it is possible, psychologists- people who hear depressing stuff for a living- share how they do it.

Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex: "I'm naturally more anxious and pessimistic, so I have to work hard to stay positive. When I'm anxious, I remind myself that worrying about things beyond my control only makes me feel worse. Then I can focus on what I can control, like my own attitude. And when I just need an emotional release, I let myself have a full-force meltdown!"

Stephanie Smith, Psy.D., public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association:"To keep life somewhat lighthearted, I always have one silly, totally selfish goal. My current one - this is embarrassing to admit - is getting John Mayer to respond to one of my tweets! I'm not being a parent, not being a professional, just doing something totally goofy and fun."

Laura Berman, Ph.D., Parenting Mom Squad member: "The key to optimism is trying not to get overwhelmed. Meditating - something I got into after my mom benefited from it during her second bout of breast cancer - works for me. I do it twice a day to fully reboot my brain. Playing with my kids helps, too - what's more optimistic than a child's world? And when all else fails, there's always chocolate!"