6 ways to foster positive thinking

October 18, 2022

Positivity and happiness can be integrated into everyday life with just a little practice, which positively affects mental and physical health. One practice can be particularly helpful: positive thinking.

Likeminded Editorial Team

Table of Content

The most important facts in a nutshell:

  • Positive thinking can help you live a longer, healthier life
  • A variety of exercises and practices create easy entry opportunities
  • Meditation, mindfulness, focus on the body, and humor are among the most important tools
  • Stress reduction, an increase in energy, and more success is facilitated
  • Negative thoughts are “contagious” – but so is positivity, and that’s what we want to take advantage of

What is positive thinking?

Positive thinking means all the things that are buzzing in our minds throughout the day - our reaction to

  • our environment,
  • relationships,
  • and things that happen to us.

At the top of the list is the way we communicate with ourselves. Are we gentle and understanding, like we are towards our friends, or do we belittle ourselves even further for our mistakes? Positive thinking can help escape negative thought spirals and become calmer overall.

Positive thinking vs. toxic positivity

Positive thinking is not the same as toxic positivity. This is because negative thoughts and feelings are a warning sign from our body that tells us: something is wrong here and should be changed.

Rather than repressing emotions like sadness and anger, positive thinking can be seen as a daily exercise in seeing the good in situations and things. Not everything that happens to us has to cost us nerves because often there is little we can do to change the circumstances we are currently angry about.

How does positive thinking help?

Positive thinking can have a positive effect on more than just our mentality: Studies show that it also helps with reducing stress, preventing depression, increasing resilience, and thus leads to an overall improvement in well-being.

Further, as the Mayo Clinic writes, it can even prolong life and reduce the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease and stroke. By making positive thinking an integral part of your daily routine, nothing can really throw you off track– and unnecessary negativity is replaced with happiness and joie de vivre.

Can positive thinking be trained?

Negative thoughts are not always due to a clear cause. Rather, negativity can be thought of as a freshly painted wall that envelops everything that comes into contact with it in its color: our neutral thoughts gradually become enveloped in the negative.

But we can also take advantage of this phenomenon in reverse: A study by the University of Kansas shows that even a forced smile can have a pulse- and blood-lowering effect. This is particularly helpful in stressful situations. Meditation can provide lasting relief from anxiety and stress. Mobile apps for meditation and mindfulness can, according to a study by Hindawi, significantly improve the quality of life. So, positive thinking can be trained in different ways.

6 ways to pracitice positive thinking

A positive and productive approach can help us take different perspectives and act in a solution-oriented way instead of an angry one.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness exercises can help focus thoughts on the here and how. The easiest way to redirect focus away from worries is to first focus on the body. This can be done, for example, by tapping your arms or moving physically. So-called body scans or a walk, during which the environment is consciously perceived, can facilitate the start.

2. Meditation

Around 200 to 500 million people worldwide use meditation practices to bring more serenity into their daily lives. Apps are a particularly popular tool and support a successive focus on breathing or mantras, in sessions that are shorter at the beginning and gradually get longer. Among the most popular apps are Calm, Headspace, and Unplug.

3. Gratitude

Gratitude helps us think positive thoughts because instead of focusing on negative things, it brings the positive to the forefront. A morning ritual of writing down five things that you are grateful for right at the beginning of the day creates a positive start that sets the tone for the rest of the day.

4. Posture

Just like a smile, posture is crucial in regulating emotions. Do we sit in front of the computer with hunched shoulders, or do we adopt an upright and open posture? Positive thoughts are always a question of posture, too!

5. Writing down thoughts

The practice of journaling means writing down all your thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. On the one hand, this helps you get negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper- Thus, there is no need to hink about them again because they are recorded for a later time. On the other hand, positive things (e.g., those for which we are grateful) can be consolidated. Questions like “What are my strengths and goals?” are good ideas to start with.

6. Humor

„Humor is the sunshine of the mind”, is a quote from Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Because if we look at a negative situation with humor, it will be easier for us to look at it from a different, positive, or at least humorous perspective. A flat tire in the middle of the highway? Annoying, but perhaps in a year’s time, we will be able to look back on this anecdote with a laugh.

FAQs: Frequently asked questions about positive thinking

Will positive thinking make me a more positive person?

By practicing positive thinking, we develop intrinsic positivity that gradually guides our response to different situations. So, while positive thinking is an active action, positivity can be understood as a basic mental attitude.

How do I escape thought spirals?

Negative thoughts „multiply“ when gnawed on for too long. Physical exercise is especially good for escaping such spirals, but also keeping a certain amount of time free for worry or active problem solving (no more than 30 minutes) can free the rest of the day from worry.

How can I talk to myself more positively?

Our inner voice can be our worst enemy – especially when it talks down to us and is always negative. Daily affirmation exercises (e.g. with the help of cards) can gradually make the tenor of this voice wound more positive.

Will I become more successful through positive thinking?

Studies suggest that positive thinking can help you achieve greater professional success. That’s because positivity affects not only the mind, but also energy, well-being, and social relationships – whether personal or professional.

Positive thinking helps invite more joy into everyday life and work – so you can enjoy a longer, fuller, and happier life.

Share article

Your cookie settings

We take good care of you and your data. We use cookies to improve user experience. Choose what cookies you allow us to use.

Always active