Rory McIlroy is determined to start turning his season around at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
The world No 3 described himself as "brain dead" at the Open Championship after erratic rounds of 75 and 79 left him on 12 over par, four shots outside the cut.
McIlroy has yet to win since making his controversial switch to Nike at the turn of the year, but he hopes spending time with friends at home and advice on his demeanour from putting coach Dave Stockton will lift his game in Ohio.
"I was sitting up here this time last year not feeling as if my game was in great shape," said McIlroy, who brushed aside a run of poor form to finish in a tie for fifth at Firestone last season.
"I'm sitting up here this year a lot more positive and that's a great sign. It's a course I feel I can do well on and if something similar can happen to last year, that would set up for the last major of the season and a great end of the year.
"It's been up and down (since the same time last year). I've had some great weeks and wins and had some very average ones as well. It's like everything, you are going to have ups and downs.
"My highs have been incredibly high and my lows have been pretty low so it's about trying to make it more on an even keel."
Stockton has reiterated his advice to McIlroy that he needs to smile more and have better body language on the course, even when things are not going well.
"I've always said it's easier to smile when you are making birdies," added McIlroy, who has been paired with Canadian Open champion Brandt Snedeker for the first two rounds.
"But the thing he said last year that I am trying to do again is that if someone is watching you from the outside, don't let them know whether you have made a birdie or a bogey.
"I've become a little too emotionally involved with my golf over the past few months and let it either get me excited or down where I should not get too high or too low."