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Priming your brain for learning

October 15, 2014

Here’s an idea….

In her book, Positivity, Barbara L. Frederickson, states “Scientists have shown that positive and open mindsets produce more-accurate mental maps of the world. This means that, relative to times when you feel negative and rejecting (or even neutral),  you learn more when you feel upbeat and interested and are acting on your curiosity” (p. 23).

In other words…

Positivity not only helps us to be happier, but it primes our brains for learning. When we have a positive frame of mind, we learn more about the world around us, we are more creative, and we are better problem-solvers. When we are negative, we tend to shut down our brains and are not able to retain as much information. This can really hinder our knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. Thus, if we want to be smarter, we need to be more positive!

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

When tackling daily challenges, let your curiosity take the lead. Don’t worry about what is “right” or “wrong.” Explore many options. When choosing a course of action, identify and use your strengths and the strengths of others. The more positive and open-minded you are, the better learner and problem-solver you will become.

To Find Out More…

about personal well-being, check out our free programs: Your Blueprint for Happiness, Getting Our Hearts Right, or Managing Stress programs at, like us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Positivity.

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