10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (2023)

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (1)

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What is positive thinking?

10 benefits of positive thinking

6 tips to start “thinking positive”

How to identify negative thinking

Examples of positive thinking

Switching mindsets

When you're feeling down, the last thing you want to hear is that glass half full metaphor. What's that supposed to do for you?

It can seem like there are no positive thinking benefits in that moment. You're disappointed because you want the full glass. And you don't have it. Or, maybe you feel like your glass doesn't exist at all. It's broken, stolen, shattered, someone else's.

Angry, frustrated, disappointed, sad, afraid — you need to spend some time with those negative feelings. The key is to acknowledge them, then move on.

(Video) How To Reprogram Your Mind (for Positive Thinking)

When someone tells you to "cheer up" or "think positive," it can seem pretty tone-deaf. Relentless positivity without reality rarely helps. That's why toxic positivity has given positive thinking a bad rap.

While it may not work any immediate miracles, positive thinking that acknowledges reality can benefit us all in the long run. Hope and growth are good for your health and wellness.

Some people are more optimistic than others, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to see the opportunities and silver linings in life.

What is positive thinking?

The first thing to know about positive thinking is that it doesn't mean that you ignore facts or logic or force yourself to have only positive emotions. That’s not realistic.

Positive thinking means that you approach negative news or stressful situations with a positive outlook. You’re able to look beyond the crisis or setback rather than being consumed by it.

You may have to acknowledge and process the negative aspects, but you understand that you will get through it. You know that bad news doesn’t mean the entire world is bad or that you will never experience goodness again.

A positive thinker assumes best intentions from others and interprets actions more favorably rather than jumping to negative thoughts and assuming the worst. A positive thinker can visualize good outcomes.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. The thoughts running through our heads never end. Some may be from clear facts and unbiased, but many have a positive or negative outlook.

If you practice more negative self-talk and think about all the downsides, you're probably more of a pessimist. But that's not to say we can't change our behavior to adopt a more positive mindset.

It takes some effort, but after you practice consciously adopting a more positive approach, your brain will form new ways of thinking. Some optimists work hard to combat their negative emotions, but negative thought patterns can be changed with mindfulness and self-compassion.

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (2)

10 benefits of positive thinking

Why is it important to have a positive mindset?

(Video) 11 Benefits of Positive Thinking and What are They and How to Use Benefits of Positive Thinking

The power of positive thinking can impact your physical and mental health. The health benefits of positive thinking may surprise you, too.

Read over this list of 10 benefits that positive thinking can bring to your well-being, and think about how they could improve your life:

  1. Better stress management and coping skills during stressful moments
  2. Lower risk of depression
  3. More resistant to the common cold and a stronger immune system
  4. Decreased risk of heart attacks and heart disease
  5. Lower blood pressure
  6. Better problem-solving
  7. Greater ability to adapt to change
  8. More creative thinking
  9. Consistent attitude with fewer mood swings
  10. Stronger leadership skills

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (3)

We all want to reap the benefits of positive thinking, but sometimes we need help getting started. A BetterUp coach will help guide you towards practicing more positive self-talk. Start experiencing what it feels like to have a coach that's focused on your growth with BetterUp.

6 tips to start "thinking positive"

Having a positive attitude takes practice. If you struggle with positive thinking, know that you can't completely change how you practice self-talk overnight. It can be challenging for people with more pessimistic thoughts to change their habits of thought.

It's important to understand that sometimes you'll slip back into thinking negative thoughts, but that's okay. What matters is that you're trying to empower yourself to have a more positive mindset by becoming aware of your automatic negative thoughts and reframing them to be more positive.

Becoming aware lets you question your negative automatic thoughts. Many coaches recommend some version of these questions to ask of your thoughts:

  • Is it true? Meaning: Is the sky falling, or is there another possible interpretation?
  • Is it helpful? Meaning: Does this interpretation help me get through this moment productively or inspire me to find new solutions?
  • Is it kind? Meaning: Does this thinking help me feel capable and able to reach out to others for help or support?

Here are six more tips to help you start thinking positively:

1. Remember to be grateful

You can be grateful for many things in your life, both big and small, like having your family close by or the rain holding off during your walk to work. Write down whatever you're grateful for and keep it in a gratitude journal. When you're feeling pessimistic or upset, reflect on what you're thankful for in your life to boost your mood.

2. Get plenty of sleep

Are you getting enough sleep each night, or at least trying to? Being well-rested sets you up for a better day. It helps us recharge and get our tasks done. Dwelling on how tired you are won't help your attitude, either. Your self-talk will be filled with wanting to get your day over with impatient thoughts, so try developing a good nightly routine that prioritizes your sleep schedule.

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3. Accept situations as they are

If you're in a negative situation, there's no sense in being in denial and pretending it never happened. For example, if your brother has taken the car and you have to walk to an appointment, reframe the situation: this gives you the chance to get some exercise and fresh air.

Understand your locus of control. Accept what you can't change and do your best to think of the positives instead.

(Video) 9 Benefits of Thinking Positively; The power of positive thinking!

4. Identify areas you need to work on

Is there one particular situation or environment that makes you incredibly pessimistic? If you can identify areas that throw off your positive outlook on things, you can start to work on strategies that'll help. It can be something like your commute to work that gives you negative thoughts.

Try to have fun with the challenge. Next time, create a fun playlist of music to put on when you head to work. Avoid people or places that really drain your energy, and try spending more time with positive people.

5. Remember to laugh

Trying your best to find humor in your daily life helps you look on the bright side. It also helps you to manage your stress levels and reduce your heart rate, potentially improving your physical health.

If you can't laugh, then at least smile. Laughing along with yourself can help you accept any mistakes and calm yourself down. If you need to, watch a funny video or phone a friend that can make you laugh.

6. Keep it real

While we love positive thinking benefits, you have to remember to be reasonable and logical with your mindset. Only considering positive thoughts blocks out any thoughts about how you'd react or prepare for something negative.

Plus, disappointment will hit you harder when things don't turn out as you hoped. You can’t avoid encountering some bad days and negative outcomes in life, so a realistic positive attitude is best.

How to identify negative thinking

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (5)

Negative thinking can creep up on us in a few different ways. If you're used to practicing negative self-talk, you may not even realize when you're doing it. It becomes automatic and actually creates cognitive bias in how we view the world.

Here are two examples of when negative thinking can happen:

Filtering out the positive thoughts

You may only see the downside when facing a difficult situation. You might automatically filter out all positive aspects and only focus on the bad things. When we forget about positive affirmations, we forget that we're capable and have some control in our lives.

We also forget to look for humor in a situation. Positive thoughts may be attached to the situation, but you can't see them because you're too focused on the negative ones. Humor is a great way to bring the positives to the front.

Polarizing our thoughts and reactions

Negative thinking can happen when you polarize everything that happens to you right away. Things can only be good or bad with nothing in between. When we're experiencing anything from new changes or something from our usual routine, they're perceived as positive or negative.

Either things work out just as you wanted, or everything is a failure and a waste of time. This isn't reality. Life is shades of gray and most outcomes have a mix of highs and lows. Both are opportunities for learning how to improve the next round.

(Video) 12 Unbeatable Ways To Develop A Positive Attitude

Examples of positive thinking

Positive thinking helps you change your attitude towards whatever situation or environment you're in.

Read these two examples of positive thinking and imagine how a change in attitude and perspective could impact the experience:

1. Trying something new

Your coworker just called in sick, but their work still has to be completed to meet the deadline. You've never done their job before, and you're worried you'll fail and ruin the entire project. Rather than spiraling into thinking the worst, you see this as an opportunity.

Your team needs you, and you get to learn new skills, work with new people, and experience the tasks that your coworker handles. You might nail it, or you might just get by, and either is ok.

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (6)

2. Getting out of your comfort zone

You're invited to a friend’s party. A few of your mutual friends were supposed to go, but they canceled at the last minute. You show up to the party and only know the host, making you feel awkward and bored.

Rather than feeling like a socially-awkward loser or feeling resentful toward your friends who canceled, you accept that you don't know many people here and feel grateful for seeing your friend on their birthday. You focus on your friend's special moment and do your best to meet new people.

Remember: You grow when you are uncomfortable.

Switching mindsets

Why wait when it comes to learning how to reap positive thinking benefits? Start experiencing what it's like to fill your life with positive self-talk. You’ll learn to leave behind your self-sabotaging negativity, be your best self, and meet your goals unhindered.

10 Positive Thinking Benefits and How to Get Started (7)


Published April 12, 2022

(Video) The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale | Full Audiobook


How do I start practicing positive thinking? ›

The Power of Positive Thinking: 5 Ways You Can Practice...
  1. Use affirmations. ...
  2. Remind yourself to focus on the good things, no matter how small they are. ...
  3. Do something nice for someone. ...
  4. Focus on the present moment. ...
  5. Surround yourself with positive people.
Aug 11, 2020

What is the biggest benefit of positive thinking answer? ›

The health benefits of positive thinking
  • Increased life span.
  • Lower rates of depression.
  • Lower levels of distress and pain.
  • Greater resistance to illnesses.
  • Better psychological and physical well-being.
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

What is positive thinking very short answer? ›

Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. That doesn't mean you ignore reality or make light of problems.

What is positive thinking examples? ›

Here are some examples of future-focused positive thoughts: “It's all going to turn out fine.” “I can't wait to go to that event next week.” “I will continue to work toward my goals, so I know that my future is going to be great.”

How do I rewire my brain to think positive? ›

8 Steps to Retrain Your Brain to Curb Negative Thoughts
  1. Be Aware of Your Thoughts. ...
  2. Turn Negatives into Positives. ...
  3. Understand What Triggers You. ...
  4. Create a Personal Mantra. ...
  5. Practice Daily Gratitude. ...
  6. Pay It Back. ...
  7. Switch Up Your Environment. ...
  8. Develop a Morning Routine.
Mar 17, 2020

How do I start believing positive self-talk? ›

So, here's how you can practice it daily.
  1. Don't fall into negative self-talk traps. ...
  2. Treat yourself like you would a friend. ...
  3. Make self-care a priority. ...
  4. Limit your exposure to negativity. ...
  5. Practice gratitude. ...
  6. Change your vocabulary. ...
  7. Take a timeout. ...
  8. Post positive affirmations.
Apr 23, 2021

How do you stay positive in difficult times? ›

How to stay positive during difficult times
  1. Remember what you have to be thankful for.
  2. Stay connected with loved ones.
  3. Remember one good thing each day.
  4. Have things to look forward to (no matter how small)
  5. Find absorbing hobbies.
  6. Don't immerse yourself in negative thinking.
  7. Think about your purpose in life.
Sep 28, 2020

How to stop being negative? ›

Center Founder Richard Davidson shares nine ways to stop being negative, whether it's noticing the good in ourselves and others or noticing our environment and emotions.
  1. Notice the Good. ...
  2. Express Gratitude Regularly. ...
  3. Compliment Other People Regularly. ...
  4. Notice Your Breath. ...
  5. Cultivate Compassion. ...
  6. Bounce Back from Challenges.

How do you attract positive energy from the universe? ›

How to Attract Positive Energy to You with Positive Vibe Thoughts
  1. Surround yourself with Positive Energy Objects and other things that make you happy.
  2. Align with the Energy of LOVE not fear, doubt, and worry.
  3. Be Loving, Compassionate and Kind.
  4. Live an Inspired Life.
  5. Be Present - Live in Your Power.

What is the root of positive thinking? ›

In simple words, the approach that 'everything will go well' is the root of positive thinking. There are many benefits of an optimistic approach. It is also noteworthy that positive thinking is different from positive psychology.

What are positivity skills? ›

What Is Positivity? Positivity is the practice or tendency to be positive or optimistic in life. When we are positive, we engage in positive thinking, have positive emotions, and engage in positive behaviors like kindness and generosity.

What are 10 positive thoughts? ›

10 positive quotes that will change the way you think about life
  • 1) "Happiness is an uphill battle. ...
  • 2) "Without ice cream, there would be chaos and darkness." ...
  • 3) "When things go wrong, don't go with them." ...
  • 4) "Happiness is a warm puppy." ...
  • 5) "Happiness never decreases by being shared." ...
  • 6) "Happiness is like jam.

What are the 10 traits of positive thinking? ›

There are ten specific behavioral traits that are characteristic of a positive-thinking and positive-living person: optimism, enthusiasm, belief, integrity, courage, confidence, determination, patience, calmness, and focus.

What is the key to become a positive thinker? ›

One habit that is essential to positive thinking is to transform your vocabulary. The words you choose – both in conversation and in your own mind – have a deep impact on your mindset. Studies have found that positive self-talk improves psychological states, helps people regulate their emotions and more.

How can I turn my negative thoughts into positive? ›

12 Tips to Turn Those Negative Thoughts Into Positive Actions
  1. Start a Journal. ...
  2. Always Ask Yourself, "What Would I Say to a Friend?" ...
  3. Say "Stop" ...
  4. Change Negativity to Neutrality. ...
  5. Create an SOS File of Positive Praise. ...
  6. Breathe. ...
  7. Talk to Somebody. ...
  8. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle.
Jul 7, 2021

How do I reset my brain from overthinking? ›

How to stop overthinking
  1. Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly. ...
  2. Find a distraction. Distractions help us forget what is troubling us. ...
  3. Look at the big picture. ...
  4. Acknowledge your successes. ...
  5. Embrace your fears. ...
  6. Start journaling. ...
  7. Live in the present moment. ...
  8. Ask for help.
Apr 21, 2022

How do I rewire my brain to stop overthinking? ›

These tips can help you move in the right direction.
  1. Step back and look at how you're responding. ...
  2. Find a distraction. ...
  3. Take a deep breath. ...
  4. Meditate. ...
  5. Look at the bigger picture. ...
  6. Do something nice for someone else. ...
  7. Recognize automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) ...
  8. Acknowledge your successes.

What are the 3 C's of self-talk? ›

Use the 3 C's to Shift Negative Thoughts. Using the 3 C's (Change, Commitment and Consistency) can help shift negative thoughts. To change your lifestyle in any way, shape or form you need to commit and be consistent.

What are 4 examples of positive self-talk? ›

Some examples of positive self-talk: 'I can do it. ' 'I'm good enough. ' 'If I want to, I can. ' 'It doesn't matter if I make a mistake.

What are 3 positive self-talk quotes? ›

50 Positive Self-Affirmations
  • I am successful.
  • I am confident.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am strong.
  • I am getting better and better every day.
  • All I need is within me right now.
  • I wake up motivated.
  • I am an unstoppable force of nature.
Apr 30, 2020

How do you lead through difficult times? ›

Leading & managing in difficult times
  1. Lead with empathy, focus on health and safety.
  2. Communicate quickly and clearly.
  3. Don't make yourself the bottleneck and don't centralise all decisions to you. ...
  4. Contain context and provide focus. ...
  5. Don't add further uncertainty and confusion.
Mar 1, 2022

What causes negativity in a person? ›

Negativity is often a product of depression or insecurity. It can stem from illness, life events, personality problems, and substance abuse. Like many things in life, negativity too, can become a habit. Frequent criticism, cynical thoughts, and denial can create neural pathways in the brain that encourage sadness.

What things bring positive energy in home? ›

10 Ways to Bring Positive Energy Into the Home
  • Focus on Natural Sunlight. For such a simple tip, this one really packs a punch. ...
  • De-Clutter. ...
  • Incorporate House Plants or Flowers. ...
  • Open Windows. ...
  • Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint. ...
  • Hang Artwork. ...
  • Invite Nature In. ...
  • Add some Color.
Jul 23, 2015

How do you make positive vibrations? ›

The following are 12 ways you can help raise your vibration frequency.
  1. Gratitude. Gratitude is one of the quickest ways to amp up your vibration. ...
  2. Love. ...
  3. Generosity. ...
  4. Meditation and Breathwork. ...
  5. Forgiveness. ...
  6. Eat High-Vibe Food. ...
  7. Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol and Toxins from Your Body. ...
  8. Think Positive Thoughts.
Sep 18, 2019

How do I attract energy I want? ›

This means that you focus on positive situations, understand that things will work, are looking for solutions instead of complaining, have more understanding instead of getting angry, try to look at things from a different perspective, embrace change, seek out to opportunities instead of problems and no longer believe ...

What is the most positive quote ever? ›

What is the most inspiring quote ever?
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius.
  • “Magic is believing in yourself. ...
  • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
  • “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure…
Aug 19, 2021

What are the 5 positive quotes? ›

You can do it quotes
  • “Do the best you can. ...
  • “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ―Theodore Roosevelt.
  • 'It's never too late to be what you might've been.” ―George Eliot.
  • “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ―Walt Disney.
  • “Trust yourself that you can do it and get it.” ―Baz Luhrmann.
May 24, 2022

Why is positive thinking so hard? ›

The problem with positive thinking as an approach is that it operates at the surface level of conscious thoughts. It does nothing to contend with the subconscious mind where negative self-talk and limiting beliefs really live. If you've tried thinking positively, you know that it can be a difficult habit to maintain.

What is another word for positive thinking? ›

On this page you'll find 10 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to positive thinking, such as: bright outlook, bullishness, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, great expectations, and hopefulness.

Is positive thinking a choice? ›

So yes, positivity is a choice. It's a choice we can make every day. It's a choice you make despite the bad moments we might encounter along the way. Choosing positivity does not mean you're always happy.

What 3 qualities contribute to a positive attitude? ›

According to the positive mental attitude philosophy, a positive mindset is synonymous with hope, optimism, courage, and kindness. It also means not giving in to negativity and hopelessness even in difficult situations.

What is the symbol of positivity? ›

Lotus: The lotus has been a powerful, positive symbol for centuries. In Buddhist, Hindu and Egyptian religions, it is considered a sacred flower representing divine birth, creation and spiritual development.

What is a positive person like? ›

A person who is positive spends less time worried, stressed, and focused on what's wrong versus what's right. They're more likely to be grateful for all the good things they have in life and are more consistent and predictable with friends and family.

How do I change my thoughts from negative to positive? ›

12 Tips to Turn Those Negative Thoughts Into Positive Actions
  1. Start a Journal. ...
  2. Always Ask Yourself, "What Would I Say to a Friend?" ...
  3. Say "Stop" ...
  4. Change Negativity to Neutrality. ...
  5. Create an SOS File of Positive Praise. ...
  6. Breathe. ...
  7. Talk to Somebody. ...
  8. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle.
Jul 7, 2021

How do I stop thinking negative thoughts? ›

6 Tips for Overcoming Negative Thinking
  1. Replace Negativity in Your Surroundings. What you let into your mind in your everyday life can have an impact on your thoughts. ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Talk It Over. ...
  4. Find a Way to Serve. ...
  5. Find a Way to Be Grateful. ...
  6. Write Down What You Are Feeling.
Oct 8, 2019

Can positive thinking be taught? ›

We can encourage positive thinking and positive affirmations. According to positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, positive thinking is important because it broadens your sense of possibility and opens your mind, allowing you to build new skills.

How do I change my negative thinking? ›

Simple Steps to Stop Negative Thoughts
  1. Pause a Moment. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or stuck in negative thinking patterns, PAUSE. ...
  2. Notice the Difference. NOTICE the difference between being stuck in your thoughts vs. ...
  3. Label Your Thoughts. ...
  4. Choose Your Intention.
Dec 3, 2022

How do you bounce back from negative thoughts? ›

Photos courtesy of the individual members.
  1. Remember That Mistakes Are Part Of The Journey. ...
  2. Understand That Your Perception Becomes Your Reality. ...
  3. Choose Gratitude. ...
  4. Make Space For 'New Data' ...
  5. Rethink Your Relationship With Your Own Emotions. ...
  6. Host A Pity Party, Then Move On. ...
  7. Don't Confuse Mistakes For Failure.
Feb 4, 2019

How to get a better attitude? ›

10 Creative Ways to Keep a Positive Attitude
  1. Start a gratitude journal.
  2. Treat yourself to some self-care every day.
  3. Start every morning strong.
  4. Avoid spreading gossip.
  5. Crack more jokes.
  6. Take real breaks.
  7. Have something to look forward to after work.
  8. Practice meditation.
Apr 29, 2021

How do you break a negative thinking cycle? ›

How to break the negative thinking loop
  1. Recognise your thoughts.
  2. Challenge your thoughts.
  3. Be your own friend.
  4. Focus on positive people (and aim to be one)
  5. Watch what you're watching (and reading)
  6. Focus on the present.
  7. Bring the inside out.
  8. Talk about it.

How do I teach my brain to reframe negative thoughts? ›

Write down a list of positive things that are going on in your life. When you find yourself starting a cycle of negative thoughts, pull out that list and focus on one of the positive things going on in your life or focus on a person you are grateful for.

Why am I so negative and unhappy? ›

It's natural to feel more pessimistic when things aren't going so well in our lives. Regular or even constant negative thinking can also be a sign of anxiety, depression, stress or low self-esteem. This sounds a bit strange, but negativity can also be contagious.


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