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How to Think Positive Thoughts

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When it seems like everything is going crazy and those around you seem angry and discouraged, knowing how to think positive thoughts marks the difference between setting useful goals or giving up completely.

If you sometimes struggle with finding positivity or hope in a negative world, this article will teach you how to find the positive side of any tough situation.

Here I will discuss key concepts that allow me to stay happy and positive in even the most testing of circumstances.


Thinking positively in a world that seems negative takes work. We are born seeing possibilities, asking questions, setting goals; in other words, thinking positively comes naturally, yet many people find it elusive. Why?

What does it mean to think positively?

To fully understand, first we should consider the definitions of these two opposite words.

How to Think Positive Thoughts - Positive-Negative

Positive means to add, to a thing, person, or situation.

Negative means to remove, from a thing, person, or situation.

It seems sad to me that effectively fitting into society requires governance, our parents, teachers, and peers teach us that we can’t just do whatever we want. In fact, sometimes they do this so well that people have been taught to believe that we can’t do anything we want, and rules are never to be broken. That attitude of never questioning and only doing the expected can add to unfulfillment and unreached potential.


Fearful people teach us what can’t be done.

To function in life we are taught important but limiting lessons like:

  • Just do what you are told, I’m your parent, I know what’s best for you.
  • Don’t do something if there is danger.
  • Don’t speak when the adults are talking.
  • Be polite, don’t cause ripples, don’t offend people.
  • Don’t lose your money or things.
  • There are limits to what you can do.

There are important reasons for these lessons, they teach us how to get along with others, and how to survive.

The very same people who teach us what not to do, might also be positive influences, leaders, with your best interests at heart.


How to think positive thoughts - What do leaders do

Leaders show us what can be done.

The greatest appeal of a leader is that they DO stand out, they cause ripples, they question the status quo. For these very same reasons, leaders are hated by those who cherish their negativity.

True leaders are not afraid of hate. Leaders tend their “feathers” in a way waterfowl do… ducks preen their feathers with their body oils not only so they float, but that do not become saturated by cold water. Similarly, leaders make sure to tend their protective shield of positivity, so that hate does not extinguish their light. Hate rolls off of them “like water off of a duck’s back”.

This ability is not arrived at lightly. Often this protective layer of positivity took years of pain, hurting, and recovery to achieve. A thick skin is the often result of years of scarring. These positive people have chosen, and continually choose, to embrace hardships, to find a lesson in them, and build on them.

So instead of focusing on why we can’t do something, the positive person asks how can we do this?


How to stay positive when the world is so negative?

To help you with building your leader’s mindset, I’m going to discuss important several words and what they mean to me. These words I treasure, I tend to each of these to encourage growth in myself and others. This is a real insight into me and how I think, how I choose to think.

Patience – It’s impossible to be positive 100% of the time. While positive times are preferred, there are times when we are fearful, times when we may laugh at the folly of others, times when we may think badly of ourselves, times even that we hate ourselves or others. We need patience with ourselves and even our own thoughts. Nothing is permanent, all is temporary, let the negative pass and continue on to better times.

Balance – Not everything I do is right – but I try my best. It is human to be faulty, I’m not perfect, nor do I strive to be. I want to live life to it’s fullest and enjoy things I might not get the chance to later. At times, I allow myself to slip and even taste my dark side. These times help me know myself better, and help me cope with the injustice of some things not within my power. But I must remember balance. Time marches on, and how do I want to be remembered? I do strive to stay positive.

Love – Love is our essence, it is who we are, it is the connection between hearts, our connection to our ancestors and lost loves, the awareness of the divine.

Caring – Adding to, or protecting a person or thing. An action of positive intent.

Hope – Remembering all the times we have woken up from our dreams, gotten through hard times, and still survived. The belief that there will be more opportunities to wake up, and that we shall persevere.

Flexibility – Bend in the wind as reeds do, flex as the willows do. If we break, find a new way, start a new sprout. Accept uncertainty, adapt.

Resilience – We can not be positive when we stay angry at ourselves, at these times, our light dims, sometimes even goes out. That’s okay. We fall. We relight. It is the human condition. We learn to dust ourselves off before carrying on.

Kindness – The golden rule: Treat others how you yourself would want to be treated.

Beauty – Give time to appreciate the small things, they are in fact the most important things. Smell a flower. Protect nature. Live and let live. Pay respect to the awesomeness of the Universe and how small we really are in comparison. Life is not about making a living, but living. Do not allow earning income to rule your life. There are more important things, like everything.

Empathy – Try to look at the world through the eyes of others, to feel their pains, and their triumphs. It’s not all about me, or you. Of the billions of people, plants, and animals on this small blue planet, even from worlds we do not know, each of us has a point of view. Try to understand it.

Strength – We must be tested to become stronger. We must push, pull, resist, sweat, and even feel pain, if we are to improve health. An achievement of value does not come easy.

This is by far a non-exhaustive list of positive words I could talk about, but these are the most important ones to me which I chose to discuss. If you have any others you’d like to add, I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments!


How to think positive thoughts - lighthouse beaconStaying positive around negative people.

People are not inherently negative. The person you are thinking of as negative person is often a survivor who has learned negative lessons as results of their experiences of failure, danger, loss. They fear these things, and so, try to diminish these things from themselves or others. This can be completely well-intentioned.

The most negative people are the ones who SEEK to diminish others to make themselves feel bigger. These people are narcissists or gossips who make jokes of the difficulties of others. Bullies.

Trying to fight negativity with negativity, like hurling insults at a bully, becomes a self-defeating battle. You can’t force someone to be positive, better to shine as an example of light in dark places. Compliment these people, wish them well, pray for their healing. Choose to not believe their insults, you know better. Let it go.

If a bully is a danger to the safety of others, sometimes these people must be incarcerated or efficiently dealt with. This is a sad thing, a last resort, the best hope is for people to heal and grow, to be dealt patience.

I’ve heard positive thinking gurus say surround yourself by positive people, go-getters, people who have achieved what you wish to achieve, and I agree that seeking out these people sharing time with them is powerful.

It’s not that simple to just surround yourself with positive people. To remove yourself from household members or family who try to diminish you may or may not by practical. It takes a very strong resolve, and much patience, to maintain positivity around these people.


Make time away from negative influences.

It would be unhealthy to avoid ALL negativity. People with negative attitudes still need the influence of positive people for balance, as we need them, for balance.

A flame provides light and warmth, but a flame uncontrolled is destructive and can devastate many lives.

Do not fear negativity, but exert your inner strength to care for your flame, and also the flames of others.

For some powerful encouragement, watch this video by Robin Sharma.


In conclusion.

Light is not extinguished by darkness, rather enhanced by it; but it requires energy and protection to be maintained. To stay positive, continually seek opportunities to learn, grow, and increase your health.

Make sure you do your best to spend time with those who add to you, and when you cannot, find ways to nurture your own self. Love yourself. Protect your heart, but make sure it shines on those you care about.

Give time to nature, to openness, to beauty. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

You’ll live.

I really hope my article increased your understanding on how to face life courageously with more heart, while protecting your mental and emotional health from the pitfalls of life.

Do you have any tricks for keeping a productive mindset that wards off negativity? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

And please, share, to help others! The world needs this info right now!

Stay positive,

Elaine Nicol


I highly recommend this book: The Leader Who Had No Title – by Robin Sharma


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Recommended article: Coping Ideas for Depression and Loneliness


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26 thoughts on “How to Think Positive Thoughts”

  1. Our lives are basically dependent on the kind of thoughts we give to ourselves. Think positive should be a nature of every person. The fact that you failed in some things concerning your life does not warrant the need to always have a negative mindset. The mind is a powerful tool and it controls the human functionalities. This is a great post to educative all of us as to the need to develop a culture of thinking positively always. I like the points listed on the real insight into you and how you think, how you choose to think. Very practical for us all to adapt to. Thanks once again for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for your post. It is particularly useful at this special time. There are so much negative news around. We need to have positive thoughts to move our life forward.

    I treasure your idea on how to stay positive when the world is so negative. I agree with you that we all need to have leader’s mindset. The words you choose are the key concepts for us to act. You are right that we need to have patience. It is hard to  be positive 100% of the time. There are times when we are fearful, just like right now that the coronavirus is spreading into every corner of the world. Every second there are people with diagnosis of the virus infection and every minute there are people died of the disease. We need patience with ourselves and even our own thoughts. Nothing is permanent, all is temporary, let the negative pass. The coronavirus disaster will pass soon and let’s work together to conquer the beast. 

    Reply
    • I love your words, thank you Anthony. Yes let us allow these monsters to pass, and set our thoughts on how to create new, better things.

      Reply
  3. Hi Elaine,

    Your post came at a right time, considering what is going on in the world now. 

    I never thought positive means adding something, and negative means removing something. I guess this is related to the saying “is your glass half full or half empty?”.

    I like that you mentioned the importance of patience, and that nobody can be positive all the time. During PMS, for example, I find it very hard to be positive. But I know PMS will pass, that is 100% sure!

    My tricks to remain positive? Yoga is one of my best tricks. I just always feel better, more positive and more productive after a yoga session. I do yoga at home, and it doesn’t have to be a long practice. Doing it regularly is the most important thing. 

    The secret of yoga is, that it connects the body, mind, soul and breath. As a result, you feel more balanced and at home with yourself. And you feel more positive, when you are more balanced, that is my experience.

    Thank you for giving something important to think about!

    Reply
    • Sure my definitions of positive and negative can relate to the “glass half empty, or glass half full” concept. I myself relate to it better in mathematical terms, (+) and (-), add and subtract. Positive adds, negative diminishes. This can apply to a number of apples the same way it can apply to the amount of belief in one’s self.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for this article. I’m a bit of a hot head so it takes a lot for me to turn negative thoughts into positive thinking. I have done many Anger Management classes but nothing seems to work. I love your tips on kindness and empathy which is going to help me immensely, Thanks again for all your help.

    Reply
    • You are welcome, Brandon. People who struggle with being positive are for whom I have written this article. I’m grateful that something I wrote gave you positive thoughts, made you see possibilities for growth. Those words on kindness and empathy help me as well, wise words, and I don’t take credit for them. Yes they are my words, but they are simply the result of lessons I have learned. Love and light, Elaine.

      Reply
  5. What a terrific site.  I´m glad I found you.  I love the opening picture on how to start your day and the impact it could have.  I think it’s so important to start the day positively.  I subscribe to “positive press”.  With so much negativity in the press I think it is so important to have some more positive balance.

    You offer some well laid out, well written and excellent advice on remaining positive, so much so, I have retained a copy of the URL and will be returning. Regularly! I love how you analyse and explain the difference between being positive and negative, using a simple battery as a way to make your point.  That is really good.  I love the list and description of positive words towards the middle and end of your article.  Those are truly positive and motivational. I agree, remaining positive and in “the light” is so important.  I genuinely, thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.   

    I wasn´t down or even mildly depressed before reading your article, but I certainly feel a lot more positive after reading your blog.  Thank you so much for giving me a boost to my day!

    Reply
    • Hi Trevor, thanks for the boost yourself! You gave me another thought.. remaining positive and in “the light” is so important… like a glow in the dark toy, to continue to give off light it must spend time bathing in light from other sources. Like spending time with other positive people, reading other positive articles, or taking naps and thinking positive thoughts. This is how we tend our own “light”, we must spend time in “the light”.

      Lol maybe I’m going too far with this… I’m so introspective, I always reflect on what I read. I love it though. I look forward to you returning to my site!

      Reply
  6. Positive thoughts are definitely key when it comes to keeping your composure and reaching your goals. I agree that it can be a negative world out there. The best thing to do is stay focused and believe in yourself. Don’t pay too much attention to negative energy. Patience is a virtue and I like how you listed empathy in the list as this is often overlooked especially in the business world. Staying positive around negative people can be challenging, but you have provided a solid blueprint here on how it can be done. I like the saying, light is not extinguished by darkness, rather enhanced by it. This is a very positive message that I think will have an equally positive influence on many people. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Cool to hear on the saying, maybe someday people will quote me for that. Thanks for the encouragement. Even though I strive to be positive I still need to be encouraged by others. Hugs

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  7. I’ve always found that engaging in a rewarding activity enhances positivity ten-fold. Positivity can be found in productivity, something you find purpose in. But, it’s different for everyone. What one might find to give them positivity won’t be a one-size, fits all mantra. 

    I also like what you mentioned in dealing with bullies. Respond with kindness – sometimes it’s all these negative people need. Fighting negativity with negativity only adds fuel to a growing fire, but utilizing positivity will, at the very least, provide a brightened outlook in an otherwise negative situation. 

    Reply
    • Yes, I agree positivity can be found in productivity. I know when I clean junk out of my house and wash my surroundings I feel much more relaxed and pleased with life in general. Also, finally succeeding at publishing an article I have been thinking about, and getting positive feedback, gives me a sense that I have done something right. I am grateful to myself lol. I know that might sound weird, but if you can be grateful to another, why not yourself? I worked hard for it. It’s a positive thing.

      Great addition, thank you for your contribution! 

      Have a great day, Elaine.

      Reply
  8. Thank you for this article, it was a genuinely refreshing and thought-provoking read. It’s particularly helpful at this worrying time. I have been cutting negative people out of my life recently and have found it extremely rewarding for my mental health and positivity. I will definitely be trying yoga and the book recommendation. Thank you for spreading great advice.

    Reply
    • Right on, glad you will try the book, which is one of my favorites of all time. I found it life-changing. I’m happy to hear that your mental health and positivity is improving, I find it sad that we sometimes have to cut people out of our lives to do so, people we care about. But I also believe that it’s acceptable that they have to take responsibility for their own mental health, as we must our own. Very important to look out for your own health first, protect your mindset and heartset. Life is bittersweet at times. I believe this bittersweetness adds to the beauty of it. Let the world take care of her own. Blessings, Elaine.

      Reply
  9. Elaine, we really do need positive thoughts right now with this pandemic that’s currently sweeping the world.  We need positive actions and the only way to achieve that is to begin by knowing how to think positive thoughts.

    Our thoughts are very powerful things.  They are like a radio frequency that we send out into the world and they affect our daily life, they also attract things and circumstances to us.  So it is much better to think positive, wholesome thoughts than think negative thoughts.

    This post on how to think positive thoughts is very inspirational.  Thank you for taking the time to make this available to us.

    Reply
    • Yes, I agree with you that positive, wholesome thoughts are preferable. Better to add value to the world than diminish it. We make a difference to the people around us. If more people make a concerted effort to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, the entire world shall be improved. Stay positive!

      Reply
  10. First of all, I want to thank the author of this article who wrote a beautiful article about Positive Thoughts
    To improve or move forward in every area of life You have to think positively that not everyone can. The article positively sparked positive thinking through audible speech. To move forward in life, we need a lot of patience with our own thoughts. All in all, the article has a very nice twist of motivation that makes it possible for anyone like me to change their thoughts.

    Frankly, I really like this article, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I want to share this article on my social media and I think if I share your article on my social media everyone will know about it 😊

    Reply
    • Excellent, please, share away, that’s why I added the share buttons! In addition, your feedback is sincerely appreciated, my hope is to make a difference and spread happiness, which make life more worth living, more fulfilling. I’m so grateful that I seem to have succeeded. Hopefully more people read this and that it makes the world a better place for many. Warmly, Elaine

      Reply
  11. Hi Elaine, Your site is very well laid out, the theme that you are using is excellent, I especially like the colors, the blue and I will call it orange work really well together. The video is a nice addition, it is a really easy read, the small paragraphs really help with the flow. Your use of relevant imagery helps to convey your message is great.

    The subject matter of the post is very uplifting, and positive, you offer some really sound advice that engages the reader and makes you think. I did find one thing that I had to read a couple of times to make sense, in your paragraph that states

    “The greatest appeal of a leader is that they DO stands out,” the word “stands” threw me a bit did you want to say “stand”?

    Other than that I found your site pleasing to my eyes, your post was both helpful and informative, the post has a natural flow and was very well written, and who can’t use a bit of positive advice!!!  Well done, all the best

    Take care

    Butch

    Reply
    • Hey Butch, thank you warmly for your feedback! I’m happy that you like my site design and content 😀

      Yes, I meant “stand”, not “stands”. I appreciate you pointing out the typo that I had missed, it is now corrected. Very helpful.

      Much happiness to you,

      Elaine

      Reply
  12. I really enjoyed reading the different tips to think positive thought, and I believe that is where everything start from, think positive on daily basis will undoubtedly lead to a positive reality or life. But the challenge is to keep the discipline of thinking positive every single, the first step to do so in my opinion is to have a goal. Thank you for the article 

    Reply
    • I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed my article. Regarding your comment on the challenge of thinking positive and the first step is having a goal, that’s a good opinion, I believe that is more a “What came first the chicken or the egg?” issue. To set a goal, first you must have enough belief in yourself that you can achieve a goal. Both are equally critical for any forward progress. Great comment! Warmly, Elaine.

      Reply
  13. It is easy for all of us to get bombarded with all the negativity around us and we ended up thinking negative. I get it. 

    However, from my personal experience is that if you want to think positive you just have to do it. Start from you first. I use this 5 second rule from Mel Robbins. If I catch myself thinking negative, I step back close my eyes and count down from 5 to 1 to think positive and when I reaches 1 I am positive. I usually think of husky puppies they just put me in the right mood. 

    Staying positive around negative people is the hardest from me. They just influence me so much even when I remove myself from them, I still subconsciously effect by it. The worst part is that they do not know that they are being negative and they are my family. 

    I still have a lot to work on but I try one day at a time to be positive. Thanks for recommending a good read, I will check The leader who had no title out. 

    Reply
    • I love your tips about counting down from 5 to 1 and thinking of husky puppies, that would cheer me up too! I think you’ll definitely love that book. Thanks for reading and commenting, if you like, share!

      Reply

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