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I was excited to read this book as it promised a scientific look into how to change our pessimistic thoughts or to, at least, understand them Unfortunately, I learned of what is behind pessimism on a scientific level and less about how to retrain my brain The title is definitely misleading The studies are well presented and easy for the average person to understand, maybe even learn a little neuroscience But the studies and science overpower any How to methods This is not a How to book.Interestingly, I felt compelled to finish the book because of the promise of a retrained, positive brain by the end Empty promise but this is not an empty read and offers much in the way of pop science, if that s what you re into. Although the background behind optimism and pessimism were well outlined, this book did not actually descibe how to retrain the brain While some therapy modalities were mentioned, there was no further explaination. I reviewed this new book on the neuroscience behind optimism for The Philadelphia Inquirer Turns out the brain is malleable, which is good news for us pessimists Fox details the why and how of brain wiring and emotion without stooping to the promises of cheap self help Highly recommended Teaser Meditation changes the brain for the better . ( FREE EBOOK ) ☫ Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain ⚈ 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 WellLuckily, Anyone Suffering From These Afflictions Has Reason To Hope Stunning Breakthroughs In Neuroscience Show That Our Brains Are Malleable Than We Ever Imagined In Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox Describes A Range Of Techniques From Traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Innovative Cognitive Retraining Exercises That Can Actually Alter Our Brains Circuitry, Strengthening Specific Thought Processes By Exercising The Neural Systems That Control Them The Implications Are Enormous Lifelong Pessimists Can Train Themselves To Think Positively And Find Happiness, While Pleasure Seekers Inclined Toward Risky Or Destructive Behavior Can Take Control Of Their Lives 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 Revolutionizes 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 A favorable brain forecast What s the weather like in your brain As Elaine Fox clearly demonstrates in Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, our emotional climates and forecasts are deeply influenced by the unique neurological wiring of each of our brains The roots of our sunny brain are embedded deep in pleasure, the parts of our neural architecture that respond to rewards and the good things in life, while the roots of our rainy brain lie deep among the ancient brain structures that alert us to danger and threat our fear brain Tiny variations in how our pleasure brain and our fear brain react and how well this foment is kept under wraps by higher control centers of the brain lead to the emergence, over a lifetime, of a network of connections that make up our rainy brain and our sunny brain p xii In others words, it is our unique set of brain circuits make us who we are and influence whether we tend towards a pessimistic or optimistic self and world view Neurologically speaking, it s the interplay between the amygdala the emotional brain , the nucleus accumbens the pleasure seeking brain , and the prefrontal cortex the control center of the brain , which determines our attitudes and outlooks on life As who we are is largely determined by our neurons and their connections deep within our brains, changing our mindscape at the neurological level can influence our psychological weather systems By changing the way our brain responds to challenges and joys, we can change the way we are By modifying the checks and balances between our rainy brain and our sunny brain, we will see that we do not need to be resigned to a life of fearful avoidance, but instead we can take steps to change our outlook and change our life Practice in seeing or interpreting things in a particular way can lead to fundamental changes in the brain circuits underlying our affective mind as our brain forms a habit of noticing the positive rather than the negative, the underlying brain circuits will gradually begin to change By shifting our mindscape the patterns of biases and distortions unique to us we are able to shift the way we see the world pp xiv, 162, 177, 180 The book presents a refreshing approach for achieving a healthy emotional climate We need a responsive sunny brain that happily cohabits our mind space with a healthy rainy brainBoth aspects of our affective mind are influenced by what life throws at us, our genetic makeup, and which genes are turned on and off by the experiences we have Most importantly, the crucial biases of our quirks of mind that set our affective mind into solid foundations can be sculpted be mental training, whether it is through mindfulness based techniques, cognitive bias modification techniques, drug treatments, or traditional talking therapies Our mind is highly plastic, and the affective mind is no exception While it s not necessarily easy to change, the possibility of shifting our fundamental affective mindset is always there p 199 The author does an amazing job of making neuroscience approachable, accessible and applicable, and showing how we can optimize the rainy and sunny qualities of our brains to experience the rainbows of our lives. So this doesn t really teach you how to retrain your brain like the title suggests It does go through a comprehensive review of research on this topic and depression anxiety in accessible language than you would get from the original publications I was also able to see some my therapists suggestions into the context of the research they are based on and it kind of encouraged me to take them seriously. Wow, so, so boring 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.Luckily, anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are malleable than we ever imagined In Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox describes a range of techniques from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy to innovative cognitive retraining exercises that can actually alter our brains circuitry, strengthening specific thought processes by exercising the neural systems that control them The implications are enormous lifelong pessimists can train themselves to think positively and find happiness, while pleasure seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their lives 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, SunnyBrain revolutionizes 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. The cover of the book promises the methods to retrain your brain, but failed to deliver There was a lot of science and surveys, some good, some bad since it was mostly confirming their hypotheses As for the How to it ended up bring a specific type of treatment, without a description of how to do it on our own, or even where to get the treatment She ends the book by saying that it is important to have positive experiences or emotions than negative ones She describes how to track and get a ratio of how you are doing, but again no instructions on how to have of the positive experiences.