Excerpt: 'Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive,' Foreword by Deborah Norville

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Was this real -- or was this something I was imagining? I have spent the last several years researching these kinds of values: gratitude, respect, resilience, and faith. What is it that makes some people more resilient? How are some people able to let the difficulties of life roll off them like water off a duck's back? Why do some people just seem stronger? The answer is in this book's title -- Think Positive. Recent scientific studies have proven that a positive attitude actually has measurable benefits. Grateful, positive people report they have better lives and more positive memories. People who can recall positive events have been proven to be more resilient, even in the most difficult of situations. People who keep track of the "good things" in their lives are healthier, more active, more productive -- and held in higher regard by those around them. There's peer-reviewed proof of this!

What's more, people who are able to "accentuate the positive" are smarter, better able to make cognitive associations and connections. They solve problems faster and more correctly. Kids who summon up positive memories do better on tests.

But how do you summon up positive memories when you're in a really tough spot? Plenty of people are right now. The collapse of financial markets wiped out jobs and life savings. Retirements have been postponed and homes foreclosed upon. Terror scares have changed the way we travel and the way we look at people from other countries. Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Let's face it. It isn't always easy. When things aren't going your way, those peppy little sayings -- Count your blessings instead of sheep, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and If you see it, you can be it -- are just plain annoying. Maybe they make good needlepoint pillows for the family room couch, but somehow when you're in the midst of a really difficult situation in life, trite sayings just don't help much. But this book will. This wonderful new volume of 101 inspirational stories, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive is filled with the experiences of real people living everyday lives with real problems -- yet they've found the inner strength to overcome those challenges or just ways to make their lives more meaningful. Their examples can help you find the keys to think positively, enhance your own life, and provide that little bit of motivation that will help you get over the speed bumps of life.

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