How to be more positive (2023)


Positivity means maintaining an optimistic outlook on life. It means being cheerful and hopeful even when you face challenges. Positive people look for the good in every situation and are grateful for what they have. They tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

Being positive doesn't mean you never feel negative emotions or struggle with pessimistic thoughts. Everyone has days when they feel down or discouraged. The difference is thispositive thinkersdon't let their negative emotions control you.

They don't deal with their problems, instead they focus on finding solutions. They don't get caught up in negative thoughts and always try to see the bright side of life.

How to be more positive

Luckily, there are strategies you can use to gently push yourself to become more positive in your daily life. If you want to be more positive, there are a few things you can do.

Practice gratitude

Make a list of things you are thankful for. Write inJournal of Gratitudeand write down a few things that made you happy or grateful. These don't have to be original or earth-shattering observations — it could be something as simple as a beautiful, sunny day or your cat snuggling into your hand while trying to work.

By focusing on the good things in your life, you will naturally begin to shift into a more positive mood.

What is gratitude?

enjoy anticipation

Find something to look forward to every day. Research has found that looking forward to something positive helps improve mood and reduce stress.

Whether you're visiting your favorite bookstore, enjoying a cup of coffee with your friends, taking an evening stroll in the park, or reading your favorite book, make sure you find something to look forward to every day. This will help you stay positive even when things aren't going your way.

practice mindfulness

mindfulnessis the practice of focusing fully on the present moment, including your thoughts, sensations and your surroundings. It can havea multitude of advantages, including improving your awareness of your thoughts and moods.

If you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and focus on the present moment. Notice how your body feels and what sounds you can hear. Once you learn to identify your thoughts, you can actively work on replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones.

to smile

Even if you don't feel happyforce yourself to smilecan actually make you feel better. Smiling helps release chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and relaxed.

Researchers have found that smiling not only helps evoke positive feelings, but also helps you see the world from a more positive perspective.So the next time you're feeling down, try smiling for a few minutes and see how it can help you become more upbeat.

Use positive self-talk

The things you say to yourself affect how you feel about yourself and the world, and self-criticism inevitably erodes your ability to see the bright side. Researchers have found that switching from negative self-talk topositive self-talkcan help improve emotions and reduce stress.

Characteristics of positive people

Being positive doesn't mean just having happy thoughts all the time. Even the most optimistic people experience sadness, discouragement, and anger. However, positive people generally have the following characteristics:

positive people

  • Optimistic

  • Thankful

  • Finds solutions

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

  • Helpful

  • Compassionate

  • Happy

  • Optimistic

  • humorous

negative people

  • Pessimistic

  • Ungrateful

  • Ponders the problems

  • Not helpful

  • Apathetic

  • Dissatisfied

  • Cynical

  • Ernst

Benefits of being positive

Being positive has many benefits, both mentally and physically. Some of the most notable benefits are:

  • Better mental well-being: Positive people tend to have better mental health. You experience less anxiety or depression. They are also more resilient to life's challenges. During difficult times, a more positive attitude can help create a buffer against the negative effects of stress.
  • Increased Happiness: Positivity is also associated with greater happiness andsubjective well-being.Positive people can find joy in their daily lives and are not easily swayed by stress or negative emotions.
  • Better physical health: Research suggests that having a more positive attitude is associated with better physical health. Positive people are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and live longer than their pessimistic peers.
  • Stronger Relationships: Positive people are less likely to have conflict with others and have healthier, more fulfilling interpersonal relationships.

How to know if you are in a healthy relationship

Potential pitfalls of being less positive

While there are many benefits to being positive, there are also some potential pitfalls to be aware of. Experiencing negative thoughts can contribute to depression and anxiety.

It's also a lot harder to take care of yourself physically when you have morepessimisticPosition. Negativity means not only feeling more stressed in general, but also neglecting health behaviors that play an important role in overall health, including eating nutritious foods and getting regular exercise.

Since it's harder to spend time with negative people, being less positive can also have a negative impact on relationships. That can lead to thislonlinessand isolation, which adds to even more negativity.

When you're less positive, it can also be difficult to feel motivated to achieve your goals. Negativity, especially when directed at yourself, interferes with your ability to set goals and find the drive to pursue them. It can erode your sense of self-efficacy and make you feel like nothing you do would make a difference.

It's also important to note that just like positivity, negativity can be contagious. Your thoughts and moods can follow suit when you are around someone who is negative. This can create a cycle of negativity that is difficult to break out of.

(Video) 6 Ways To Instantly Be A More Positive Person

Can you be too positive?

If the need to be positive all the time causes you to ignore or deny the existence of negative emotions, it may mean you are being too positive. Known astoxic positivity, this tendency causes people to feelShame, dand without support when struggling with darker emotions or difficult experiences.


Being positive has many benefits, such as more happiness, stronger relationships, and more success in life. However, there are also some potential pitfalls, such as depression and anxiety, negative effects on physical health, and difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships. To be more positive, spend time with positive people, do things that make you happy, avoid negative thoughts and emotions, be thankful for what you have, and focus on the good in every situation.

frequently asked Questions

frequently asked Questions

  • How can I stay more positive?

    Some tactics that can help you stay positive are:

    • Spending time with positive people
    • Engage in activities that bring you joy
    • Use positive self-talk
    • practice gratitude
    • Look for the good in different situations
  • Why is it so important to be positive?

    An optimistic attitude is associated with a number of physical and mental health benefits. Positive people are better at dealing with stress, more resistant to illness, and have longer lifespans.

  • How can I stop being so negative?

    Transitioning to a more positive mindset takes time, but learning how to recognize negative thoughts is an important first step. If you notice these thoughts, take a moment to actively challenge them. What evidence speaks against it? Are there other explanations that might be equally valid? How can you change your thoughts about the situation to feel more positive? As you practice, you will find it much easier to see things from a more optimistic perspective over time.

A word from Verywell

Some people seem to have a natural knack for seeing the bright side, while for others it takes a little more work. If you find yourself tending to engage in negative thoughts, there are strategies you can use to be more positive. Observing how you are talking to yourself, actively challenging your negative thoughts, and practicing gratitude are just a few techniques that can help.

Is Looking On The Light Side Actually Good For Your Mental Health?

(Video) Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood | TEDxUCDavis

9 sources

Verywell Mind uses only quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. Read ourseditorial processto learn more about how we fact-check our content and keep it accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Monfort SS, Stroup HE, Waugh CE.The effects of anticipating positive events on responses to stress.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2015;58:11-22. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.12.003

  2. van Agteren J., Iasiello M., Lo L. et al.A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychological interventions to improve mental well-being.Nat Hum behavior. 2021. doi:10.1038/s41562-021-01093-w

  3. Marble Bouquet F, Murata A, Sasaki K, et al.Your face and movements seem happier when I smile.Exp. Psychol. 2020;67(1):14-22. doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000470

  4. Kross E, Brühlman-Senecal E, Park J, Burson A, Dougherty A, Shablack H, Bremner R, Moser J, Ayduk O.Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: How you do it matters.J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 2014;106(2):304-24. doi:10.1037/a0035173

  5. Cosentino AC, Castro Solano A.The High Five: Associations of the five positive factors with the Big Five and well-being.Front Psychol. 2017;8:1250. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01250

  6. Park N., Peterson C., Szvarca D., Vander Molen RJ, Kim ES, Collon K.Positive psychology and physical health: research and applications.Bin J Lifestyle Med. 2016;10(3):200-206. doi:10.1177/1559827614550277

  7. Boyraz G, Lightsey OR Jr.Can positive thinking help? Positive automatic thoughts as moderators of the stress-meaning relationship.Bin J Orthopsychiatrie. 2012;82(2):267-77. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01150.x

  8. De Neve JE, Diener E., Tay L., Xuereb C.The objective benefits of subjective well-being. Social Science Research Network.

  9. Buigues C., Queralt A., De Velasco JA, et al.Psychosocial factors in cardiovascular disease patients enrolled in a family-centred prevention and rehabilitation program: Euroaction model in 2021;11(2):89. doi:10.3390/life11020089

How to be more positive (1)

VonKendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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