Last week, we gathered to celebrate the launch of a well-designed new tool for emotional health by the Optimism Doctor and beloved TCM contributor, Dr. Deepika Chopra. The brilliant babe, who holds a doctorate in positive health psychology and is an expert in the art of holistic happiness, knows that simple daily rituals are just what most of us need for a mood boost and created Things Are Looking Up with just that in mind.

Deepika’s Things Are Looking Up Deck contains 52 gorgeously designed optimism prompt cards, each containing thought-provoking — and science-backed — inspirations for increasing mood, creative flow and overall good feels.

The breakfast launch party here in L.A. featured such gorgeous tabletops and a TCM-approved menu by chef Nace Neubauer of Contemporary Catering, that we asked Deepika to share it here with us. Florist Domonique Rose and tabletop whisperer Borrowed Blu used mood-boosting citrus fruit like the tiny kumquats shown below throughout the florals and decorations for natural pops of color. Guests including designer Rachel Pally, Shiva Safai, Erica Chidi Cohen, Jamie Mizrahi, Geri Hirsch, Lizzy Mathis, and our own Editor In Chief enjoyed gifts from the Things Are Looking Up team, including the new deck and organic custom tee collab with Mate The Label, and clean skincare from Osea Malibu, Corpus Naturals and our current personal obsession: Honey Mamas chocolates.

Here’s Deepika with insights on positive psychology in general and the purpose behind the new cards that have become our daily obsession…

The Chalkboard Mag: What do you wish people more understood about the power of optimism?

Dr. Deepika Chopra: I find that the way in which people define optimism or what it means to be an optimistic person can be misleading. People assume that an optimist is someone who is always experiencing positive emotions and is happy all the time. They picture someone skipping through a field always having a “perfect day” or someone who is devoid of reality.

But, in reality, a true optimist is someone who is entirely aware of setbacks and roadblocks, but has learned to see them as within their power and ability to overcome.

We all have the ability to be more optimistic and to utilize tools to perceive and experience more joy. Also, no one is an “optimist” or a “pessimist” — we all have varying degrees of both and fall somewhere on a continuum depending on different situations and experiences. Also, and this is super cool, studies say optimism is about 25% to 33% heritable — which gives us a lot of room to master tools to increase our own mindset.

TCM: Do you pull from this deck like you would a tarot card, in a sense?

DC: OPTIMISM ON DECK: Cards For Elevating Mindset & Increasing Happiness are meant to be your friend, so pull one out when you feel like you need a boost, a mindset shift or if you need someone to talk to. And don’t worry about spilling your tea on them or keeping the deck complete — give one to a friend if they need the suggestion. Keep them in your office drawer, in the glove compartment, on your bedside table or as conversations starters during a dinner party.

One customer said she pulls one out everyday at 4 pm because she knows it’s right around that time that she needs a boost at work. Another customer told me he and his wife pull a card together every morning before they leave for work — the act of ritualizing this together cultivates connectivity for them. Then when they see each other later that evening they chat about how they carried out the prompt during their respective days. I loved hearing that — my husband and I were inspired to start doing the same! And just yesterday another customer sent me a video of her and her 3-year-old son pulling a card and carrying out the suggestion together. I think that’s what I’m so looking forward to with the roll out of these cards, to see how each person uses them in their own personal, unique way. I love hearing the feedback!

It’s a myth that it takes 21 days to formulate a new habit — research shows, on average, it takes about 66 days and we feel the first 33 days to be the most challenging.

So we have encouraged people to take the #THINGSARELOOKINGUP33 challenge and pull a card every day for 33 days, making it a habit around the same time each day.

TCM: You mentioned the card prompts are based in science. Will you share an example?

DC: The card prompts are based on science-based research and holistic practices. For example, one of the card prompts you to stop what you’re doing and smile. It’s simple: Smile as big as you can, and then maybe laugh out loud at how silly you might feel. In doing this you spur a powerful chemical reaction in your brain to trigger happiness, decrease stress hormones and increase immune system functioning — all with just a smile and some crack up laughter!

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