7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché. But the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies. A positive mindset can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders.

All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean?

You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process.

Related: 10 Clever Tricks to Trigger Positive Emotions

Here are seven:

1. Start the day with a positive affirmation.

How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves.

2. Focus on the good things, however small.

Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day—there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new.

3. Find humor in bad situations.

Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo handler or bubblegum sculptor.

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day

7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive MindsetPhoto by i love simple beyond from Pexels

4. Turn failures into lessons.

You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson. Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.

5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. But these thoughts turn into internalized feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. For example, I’m so bad at this becomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this. I shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next time.

6. Focus on the present.

I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment.

7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers.

When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you. Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.

Almost anybody in any situation can apply these lessons to their own lives and increase their positive attitude. As you might imagine, positive thinking offers compounding returns, so the more often you practice it, the greater benefits you’ll realize.

Related: What Happy, Successful, Optimistic People Know About Life

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated for freshness.

Photo by meganmeza/Twenty20

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Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local nonprofit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


  1. positive attitude on August 1, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Yes this is the best article Ever I read .

    • Murgesh Vadivel on September 22, 2019 at 7:47 pm

      You “made my day” when I am tired torn and caught up between trials & turbulances – Thank you Sir🙏🏻

    • Nihal singh on September 26, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Hii can you teach me.

    • adam collins on November 24, 2019 at 4:53 am

      no this is the worst article ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Akash kumar on August 3, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Nise thinking ever.

  3. Martin on August 6, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Its really touching. I like it

  4. RD on September 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Simple logic, sounds doable.

  5. Chandan kumar on September 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Really helpful article,thank you for sharing your knowledge ,from many days things were going wrong with me, but after reading your article I realized that I was making things wrong, it was my mistakes,I can be happy if I will want ,really very helpful article .
    Thank you

    • Adeigbe on June 14, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Its really transforming lives

    • Lina on July 15, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      I love your honesty 😊😊😊

  6. Aditya Nimgade on October 3, 2018 at 2:44 am

    What if all people around me comment negatively to me.They somehow boost the umpendiim doubt I have about myself.Also,’the maybe next time ’, doesn’t work for me because I’m too shy to do anything infront of others.

    • Anupreet on December 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

      You just assume that the people who talk nonsense are vegetables… try it just imagine- potato, cauliflower. you will laugh and they will get irritated that why the hell you\\’re not getting affected. The current situation makes us feel very bad like we are ruined to the core, but later on, we realize that it was fine right.. not too bad. I am still alive, hell yeah… not ruined. You should do your work with the same commitment and positivity, things will start getting better.

    • Prudent on July 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      You know u self more than anyone else do so do listen to dem buh rather change their thought to a positive one example when they say you are good for anything tell them for now buh not forever and I hope it will help you…

  7. Anupreet on December 10, 2018 at 11:20 am

    my comment didnt get posted. M not happy. :(

  8. arvind agarwal on March 25, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Thanks I will try doing this 👍🏻

  9. Esther on May 1, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Thnks so much for changing my negative affirmation to positive ones

  10. M. ViswaViswanath Naik on May 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Is this all tips and comments are real……..?

  11. kutta on June 18, 2019 at 11:24 am

    thank you for ur post.i like it. and mu feelings happy

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  13. Business Setup in Dubai on July 11, 2019 at 6:51 am

    This is such a great article, it inspire and motivate to do what we love, trust in our belief and work hard to achieve it. No one can work for us to make us successful. Everyone has its own life, own goal. Do your best wherever you are. success will follow you.

    Great inspirational article.


  14. Sarabjeet on July 25, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    amazing post to develop positive attitude.

  15. black gyal on September 5, 2019 at 10:07 am

    this fye!

  16. Ghost Solo on September 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm


  17. Varsha on September 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    As the name suggests it is indeed practical

  18. zamzam on September 22, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Best article for coping with the situation and helps to find a way for positive life

  19. Selishi on September 23, 2019 at 12:11 am

    I am happy to read itsuch kind of motivation words. Try to apply it! !!!

  20. Ravikiran on November 22, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the best suggestions and positive thinking ideas..

  21. Izhar Khan on November 23, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Positive thinking knows what to say when thinking about something that the young person has left. And negative thinking is thinking about something that has been lost. Our problem is that we are accustomed to thinking about it. We are lost. And in the midst of all this, we also forget about what we have in our hands.

  22. Bhawani Singh on November 23, 2019 at 3:34 am

    This is a wonderful article.

  23. Wabwino on February 12, 2021 at 5:31 am

    As an enterprenuer I love this article it has sharpen my mind set building self confidence to meet goals

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