Many of us grow up in an environment of fear, worry, and pessimism. Sometimes these negative thoughts and feelings are overt, while other times they are more subtle. Children are remarkably sensitive and perceptive to their parents’ outlooks on the various challenges that life presents. As we grow up, we pick up patterns of pessimism and negative thinking without even realizing it. Some fortunate people grow up in homes where optimism predominates, but the majority of us have to learn to make a conscious choice to adopt optimistic outlooks in our adult lives. The good news is that optimism can be learned. Optimistic people generally attain and maintain better mental health and better emotional health than their pessimistic counterparts. To learn more about improving mental and emotional wellness through learning patterns of optimistic thinking, I recommend reading Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.