How to be a positive thinker: 6 ideas for positive thinking

How to be a positive thinker: 6 ideas for positive thinking

To be a positive thinker means to exude positivity by focusing on the good side of life even when you acknowledge the negatives. Positive thinking can keep you happier, healthier and productive. In addition, learning to think positively can help you navigate challenging situations while preserving your values and character. In this article, we discuss how to be a positive thinker, including ideas you can practice.

How to be a positive thinker

The following steps can show you how to be a positive thinker:

1. Express gratitude

Practising gratitude comes from awareness of how the people or things in your life bring happiness without demanding it. In return, it’s necessary to be thankful. For example, let that colleague know that you’re grateful for the time they helped you with that project or got lunch because you were too busy. You can also thank your partner or loved ones for managing the home while you were out for work. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Noticing the extra efforts people put in to make you comfortable and happy can improve your positivity.

Another way to practice gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal to document the things you’re grateful for so you can remind yourself of them. Make it a habit to write something you’re thankful for each day. It makes you think deeply and increases your awareness. Also, research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that keeping a gratitude journal can increase our well-being and contentment.

2. Spend time with positive people

A positive person spreads positivity to others, so spending time with positive people can also make you think positively, improve your self-esteem, help your career and personal development. Choose people that genuinely see the brighter side of a situation and those that lift your spirit through their words and action. Positive people look at a glass as half full rather than half empty. You can identify real people by observing the following traits:

  • Honest and equal: They’re honest people who act the same way to everyone. They treat and respect people the same way, whether they’re an important official or a new starter.
  • High self-esteem: They know their values and won’t compromise to suit others’ expectations. They’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses and choose to amplify their strengths.
  • Responsible: They take responsibility for their actions by accepting their faults and learning the necessary lessons.
  • Focused on positives: Positive thinkers focus their energy on the positive aspects of life as they’re aware they can’t control every circumstance they face. They realise that being positive is a choice they’ve decided to make.
  • Goal-oriented: They don’t try to make excuses or give up as pessimists can do. Somewhat positive people ensure they’re working hard and smart to succeed in life.
  • Forward-thinking: They only accept projects that they can complete and are confident that they can produce good results.
  • Resilient: Positive people are resilient people who also preserve when faced with challenges. This trait helps them survive any situation and also manage stress.
  • Interested in learning: They continue improving their positivity by reading and listening to motivational books, podcasts and videos. They also take care of their physical and mental health by exercising and meditating.

3. Practice positive self-talk

Talking positively to yourself can positively affect your feelings and thoughts. Gentle words can empower and encourage you to achieve set goals. Also, talk to yourself in the third person so it seems like you’re advising someone else. For example, when thinking of a step to take, rather than saying, ‘I want to do what’s best for me’. say ‘I want to do what’s best for (insert name)’. if your name is Tacha, you can say, ‘I want to do what’s best for Tacha’. Doing this makes you think more rationally and could help you make the best decision.Note that being able to talk positively to yourself even things don’t go the way you plan is something you practice every day. For example, it’s easy to say something negative when you feel sad because it seems like the right emotion for that moment. But with constant practice, you find yourself overcoming the negative emotion and choosing encouraging words. Examples of positive self-talk are as follows:

  • I choose to complete this project even though it’s challenging.
  • Losing my job was unexpected, but I believe it’s an opportunity for me to consider other career paths.
  • I am strong and can handle pressures of any kind.
  • I am proud of myself for taking this exam, even though the result wasn’t what I expected.

4. Start each day positively

Your mood in the morning can affect your productivity for the rest of the day. For example, if it was challenging getting your kids prepared for school, it could make you feel stressed the remaining part of the day. But you can ensure a positive and productive day by being intentional about your morning routines. Some ideas to start each day on a positive note includes:

Start your day journaling

Journaling can make one feel happier, improve our memory and even improve productivity at work. In general, writing helps us process our emotions, increase our self-awareness and motivate us. Write down and include plans on managing the stress if your previous day at work was stressful. Doing this can increase your determination and make you prepared for the day.

Eat healthy foods

Eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables boost happiness throughout the day. Eating fruits or vegetables as your breakfast can ensure a good mood in the morning and sustain it throughout the day. That aside, eating healthy has benefits such as protection from chronic illnesses.

Talk a walk

Before boarding the bus or driving to walk, consider taking a walk to start your day. It is more beneficial to find a path with trees or other works of nature as studies have found that doing this can make one happy. If you live in a city with heavy traffic and limited green area, you can consider taking a walk to the park where you’re guaranteed some natural setting.

Create a positive playlist

Create a happy song playlist and play it every morning when you get out of bed. Then, you can play it while exercising, cooking or doing any other morning routine. Listening to happy songs can make you happy even when getting the kids out of bed.


Consider working out in the morning if you have enough time, as it can positively impact your body and your mind. Aside from cardio and high-intensity exercises, try out some breathing exercises to clear your mind and enhance your immune system. You can download apps that have some exciting exercises you can try out.

5. Focus on the good things

Focus on things that bring you happiness and make you feel at ease. In challenging situations, find the good in it. For example, if you’re to retake an exam, find solace to learn more about the course than others that passed at the first sitting. Here are some ideas to help you focus on good things:

  • Remember that tough times are likely to pass.
  • Focus on the present. Avoid thinking about your past mistakes and enjoy the present moment with great expectations for the future.
  • Help others in need as that can also make you happy and help you focus on the good things in life.

6. Find humour in your everyday life

Having a sense of humour can help you turn negative emotions into positive ones in a matter of minutes. It also enables you to cope with challenging situations by sustaining your positive positivity, improving your mood, lowering stress and improving your self-esteem. You can help yourself with humour in the following ways:

  • Surround yourself with humour by watching comedy videos, funny scenes from films or cartoons.
  • Laugh more often when you find yourself in complex situations, as it helps turn unbearable conditions into manageable ones.
  • Be intentional about looking for humour in your everyday life. It could be at home or while commuting to work.
  • Find humour in your flaws, such as memory loss, height, weight or age. Being comfortable with who you’re and positive about your body image can increase your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Write down funny events that happened to you and their impact on your day. Journaling can help you notice more funny events in your life.

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