Your Optimal Zone
Robert M. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Are You Living in Your Optimal Zone?
Take Your “Mental Temperature” in 5 Minutes to Find Out.

Your Optimal Zone
Scientific research shows that when you find Your Optimal Zone you will be more successful and flourishing in most aspects of life. Living in the Optimal Zone brings:

*Greater Happiness & Life Satisfaction
*Better Coping With Stress
*More Financial Success
*Better Friendships
*Lasting Marriages
*Better Physical Health & Longevity
*Increased Creativity
*Greater Resilience & Flexibility

What's more, studies show that having a positive state of mind actually precedes these desirable outcomes rather than resulting from them.

So contrary to common beliefs, getting married or making more money may not be the cause long-term happiness. Instead, becoming happier first can lead to a happier marriage, higher income and improved quality of life.

Life is a Balance
This doesn't mean that you need a Pollyanna state of 100% positive thinking with no negative thoughts or feelings at all. Life is a balance and some negatives are inevitable. The important thing is to find out whether your positive-negative balance is in the Optimal Zone.

Three vital balances are especially important for Optimal Zone living:

Emotional Balance: Do I feel more positive than negative?
Self-Image Balance: Do I think positively about myself?
Optimism Balance: Do I have a positive mental attitude?

If you are in the Optimal Zone in all three areas, you are most likely happy, successful and flourishing. But if you are imbalanced in one or more areas, you are probably struggling with mood, relationship or work problems.

Take Your “Mental Temperature”
Scientific research conducted over the past 30 years makes it possible for you to now find out precisely whether you have a healthy mental balance.

After taking your “mental temperature”, you will know where to focus your efforts to improve your state of mind. Your scores will show you exactly what areas of mood, self-image and optimism you may need to improve. Your results will be automatically graphed so that you can visually track your progress as you move into the Optimal Zone.

If you discover that you are not yet in Your Optimal Zone, you will need to:
  1. Reduce your negative thoughts and feelings,
  2. Increase your positive thoughts and feelings, or (most likely)
  3. Both reduce negatives and increase positives.

For example, if you score high on Fear and low on Gratitude, you should first finding ways to relax, such as physical exercise, meditation or reducing negative thinking. Then don't settle to just be "not anxious", but pursue positive strategies to feel and express gratitude for the good things in your life. As with learning any new skill, consistently monitoring and modifying your thoughts and feelings will gradually help you find Your Optimal Zone.

We recommend taking these inventories once or twice a week, preferably around the same time on a given day. You may want to take some of them more often if you vary a lot in your mood or if you are preparing for an important personal or business event.

Each time you take your mental temperature, you can also make a diary entry that records any events that had an impact on your mood, self-image or optimism.
These events can be either:
  1. Things you did or that happened to you such as having success at work, breaking up with a girlfriend or visiting family OR
  2. Inner events such as thinking negative thoughts, reminiscing about an old boyfriend or having a great dream at night.

The diary will allow you to learn more about the daily events and inner experiences that affect your mood, self-image and optimism.
You can make diary entries when you take your mental temperature or at any time something noteworthy occurs during the week.

Check Your Mental Temperature Now
To find out if you are in the Optimal Zone[1], click on one of the inventories below. You can do them in any order and complete as many as you like, but we suggest taking them in the order listed:

Your scores will show you exactly in what areas of mood, self-image and optimism you may need to improve. Your results will be automatically graphed so that you can visually track your progress as you move into the Optimal Zone.

[1] These inventories are not standardized psychological tests and the results are not intended as a substitute for an evaluation by a medical or mental health professional.

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