Just came across this short book review about how positive and negative thoughts actually shape one's brain. I'm not, by any means, a glassy-eyed Pollyanna, but I do know lots of people are suffering from depression (we get a post or more a month here on BHW where someone is talking about how worthless they are, how they are suicidal, how they feel like a failure, etc)...and I just thought this might be a helpful reference point as we all head into 2015! Code: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/420/ Here's one of the bigger takeaways from the book itself, if you're looking for the TL;DR version: By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.