How to achieve a positive mindset

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Kevin Mangelschots

It is essential that people discover how to achieve a positive mindset in life. Because the power of a positive attitude is most certainly not exaggerated.

Not only is it important for our mental health, but your physical health will become enhanced as well.

Our goals and desires can be accomplished if we learn how to focus on the good things rather than on the negative events in our lives.

Let me explain how to think more positively.

How to achieve a positive mindset in life

  1. Become self-aware

    The first step towards knowing how to get a more positive mindset is becoming aware when you’re being negative, or what the things are that trigger negative thoughts in your own mind.

    It is hard to fix a problem when we don’t realize that there is something that needs to be repaired.

    So to summarize, in order to learn how to change your negative thoughts into positive ones, we must firstly become aware of those negative thoughts that form a toxic vicious circle before being able to change them for the better.

  2. Focus on the good things

    Another huge important factor towards learning how to change your negative mindset into a positive one is learning how to focus on the good things instead of on the bad things and experiences in our lives.

    Life is hard and full of obstacles and challenges. There’s always something negative happening, or something that could be better in our lives.

    Thus, the solution is learning how to dance in the rain rather than waiting for the rain to pass.

    Instead of focusing on all the negativity going on in life, focus on the good things, no matter how small they might be. It is often the case that we are more attuned with searching out all the bad things going on in life rather than the good things.

    But no matter how small and seemingly insignificant the good things might seem, it is much more hopeful and purposeful to focus on the good things.

  3. Practice gratitude

     

    A note with “thank you” written in purple.

    Be thankful for the positive things going on in your life, no matter how little they might be.

    Life is tough, and it can always get harder. Be grateful for all the positive experiences and people in your life. Because life is short, and we never know how long it will last.

    Try to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.

  4. Learn to accept failure and being rejected

    Failure is a natural part of life.

    It is rarely the case that we are immediately good at something from the very beginning. That’s why we need to accept failure by not seeing it as something bad, but rather as something normal that might even be desirable in the end.

    No matter how smart we are, how good-looking, how competent, we are still going to be rejected from time to time. Be it from the other sex, or from job interviews. Even though we might be more than capable enough for those positions.

  5. Exercise and practice relaxation exercises

    Exercising has been shown to have a positive effect on our mood and thus, our mindset due to releasing endorphins such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These endorphins help regulate our mood.

    Therefore, exercising can help us to have a positive mental attitude by changing our negative thoughts into positive ones.

    Relaxation exercises in particular might help us to relax by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system and by calming your thoughts.

    Every person needs to wind down from time to time. Otherwise, the stress will eventually get to us. And chronic stress leads to no good, especially in the long run.

  6. Keep a gratitude journal

     

    Image of someone explaining something to another person while pointing at a notebook.

    Sometimes we might feel like nothing beneficial is going on in our lives.

    Keeping a gratitude journal might help us to become aware of the fact that there might be small things going on in our lives that are in fact optimistic.

    That’s not to say that keeping a gratitude journal will automatically make you feel better or thankful for everything going on. But it might make you appreciate the beneficial things a bit more and make you mindful that not everything in life is awful.

  7. Don’t misuse social media

    There are a lot of pro’s and cons to social media usage.

    But despite the advantages like being able to connect to people living far away, and the ability to share intimate moments with one another, I think social media platforms as a whole are being a bit misused.

    Let me explain that a bit more carefully. I think people in general spend too much time on social media, worrying how they are being perceived in the process.

    People on social media often times end up fishing for as many likes as humanly possible. And if the picture doesn’t quite live up to its expectation in the form of likes from others, it gets deleted. Only to upload a new picture in an attempt to get even more likes.

    Everyone likes external validation from time to time, that’s normal and even supportive. But putting too much emphasis and value on external affirmation is a bad habit that’s hard to break.

    Being content and feeling validated must primarily come from within. Not to mention that internal validation will last a lot longer than external affirmation ever will.

  8. Apply humor

    Illustration of someone playing video games with the funny quote, “not now, I'm busy.”

    It is very possible that humans developed a sense of humor to deal with all the atrocities in life. To make all the bad things more bearable and manageable.

    Being humorous and pleasant is a great attitude to have and can help us feel better about ourselves, can be used to cope with stressful situations, and as a tool to connect with others.

    No matter how dire your situation might seem to be, try to keep smiling and see the humor in the small things in life. Laughter has gotten many folks through bad times.

  9. Surround yourself with positive people

    Optimistic people breed positivity. As such, surrounding yourself will cheerful people will bring out the best in you as well.

    Life is too short to go through it being surrounded by pessimistic folks who are constantly dragging you down along with themselves. Yet, we often keep toxic people around, even when we know we’re better off without them.

    Do not be afraid to cut negative people out of your life if they’re not bringing anything advantageous to the table for you. It’s your life, live it the way you want to and as good as you possibly can.

  10. Practice positive self-talk

    People are often more demanding and critical of themselves than other people.

    That’s why it doesn’t hurt to practice a bit of positive self-talk from time to time.

    Remind yourself to love who you are. Make sure to look at life from the bright side and give yourself a compliment for all the salutary things you’ve already accomplished, and will achieve in the future.

  11. Change negative self-talk into more positive and realistic self-talk

    Negative self-talk will serve no purpose except bringing you down.

    Rather, try to change negative self-talk into positive or at least more realistic self-talk. Our lives are typically colored by our subjective experiences rather than the objective ones.

    That’s why it is so hard for most of us to be objective, especially when the matter involves ourselves. It’s hard to remain impersonal when we’re personally involved and emotionally invested indeed.

  12. Start every day on a positive note

     

    Image of two photo frames saying, “smile more” and “worry less.”

    One of the vital steps towards learning how to think more constructive is setting the mood just right by starting the day on an optimistic note.

    Do you remember starting off a day on the wrong foot, only to have the whole day ruined by overall negativity and bad experiences due to that negative start?

    Most of us do. And the reason is probably because once we start the day with negative thoughts, these thoughts, and fantasies paint the rest of our day in a dark color, even though it wasn’t that bad as a whole.

    Even the most rational person is still heavily exposed and influenced by subjective thoughts and feelings. Don’t forget that your thinkings greatly influence your emotions. So try to think positive!

  13. Have an emotional and physical outlet

    Having an emotional and physical outlet in the form of a sport or hobby is important in order to keep your mind and body in a healthy place.

    Even physical activities can help eliminate negative thinking and ruminating. Not to mention all the endorphins that get released when exercising that positively influences our mood and thus, our thoughts as well.

    Different sports are suited for various personalities. So make sure to try out multiple contrasting hobbies and sports in order to find the right fit for you.

  14. Practice perseverance

    A positive mindset requires perseverance. Because very few good things come on their own without hard work and persistence.

    In order to get through the tragedies and hardships of life, one will need to keep trucking on. It is normal to get knocked down from time to time, but what matters most is that you stand back up each and every time.

    It’s hard to defeat a man that refuses to stay down, if not impossible.

  15. Learn to live in the present

     

    The quote, “be present in the moment” written on a background.

    Worrying too much about the past and future is of no use. The past’s purpose is to teach us valuable lessons while thinking about the future can help us develop a plan, or goal for ourselves that we want to attain down the road.

    But worrying too much about either one will detract from the positive experiences in the present. We can’t control everything that will happen in the future, either. No matter how much we think about it.

    Sometimes we need to let go of what we can’t control and attempt to manipulate what is under our voluntarily control in the here and now.

  16. Reward yourself

    Try to reward yourself whenever you do something good. This can be giving a present to yourself, but also doing something you enjoy.

    Not only is it beneficial for your own mindset, but when you’re giving yourself positive feedback, you’re more likely to repeat that particular behavior.

    Rewarding yourself from time to time is most certainly a good habit. It gives people the much-needed incentive to continue doing good, purposeful deeds.

  17. Love yourself

    Having a positive attitude includes self-love. Loving yourself is somewhat of a lost art in this day and age.

    We are often incredibly self-critical and highly demanding of ourselves.

    Not to mention that continually being connected to social media platforms where people share their seemingly perfect lives with the carefully chosen most beautiful pictures with perfect lightning frequently has a negative effect on our self-esteem.

    Always try to improve yourself, but acknowledge that perfection is not attainable.

    No matter how tough it is, every single one of us has to learn how to deal with their imperfections. And make no mistake, even seemingly perfect people have their weaknesses, perhaps even more than you.

  18. Let go of the things you can’t control

     

    One rule that has helped me personally to become more positive and hopeful is letting go of the things I can’t control. You should only worry about, and try to better, the things that are in your control.

    It makes no sense to worry about the things you can’t change, no matter how much you want to.

    More so, instead of worrying about the things you can control, try to take action to improve those things in order to prevent ruminating and experiencing negative thoughts which will reduce your happiness.

  19. Control your thoughts to control your emotions

    All people experience emotions. Both good and bad ones.

    What we can’t directly control are the emotions we feel on a daily basis. But we can indirectly control them by influencing our thoughts. Thinking optimistically will make it so that we experience more positive emotions.

    Likewise, thinking negatively will make us undergo more negative emotions.

    In short, think positive in order to feel better. Try it out for yourself, and you will quickly notice the beneficial effects.

  20. Focus on the process, not the end result

    There are times when we focus so much on the result(s) that we forget to enjoy the process, which is the road of improvement that we are walking in that very moment.

    Obtaining a desired end result feels great, but that blissful feeling of euphoria will quickly subside as well. People need goals in order to make their life meaningful. Without them, we are often lost, experience more negative thoughts, and we can even get depressed as a result.

    It is exactly this process of engaging in meaningful work and noticing the positive improvements that makes us feel good and causes a positive spirit.

    So try to enjoy the present, notice what things you’re doing a bit better than yesterday in order to maintain that positive mindset.

  21. Smile often

    Last, but most certainly not least, smiling.

    Smiling is another tool in the arsenal when learning how to start thinking positive. Smiling makes us feel better. Not to mention that it makes you more approachable and makes other people feel better as well.

    Even though we might not always feel like it, smiling has a positive effect on our mood. Sometimes we need to act something out first before we actually get to feel it. Smiling can be such a thing.

    It is a powerful tool that can be used to great effect in order to think more positively and to feel better as a result.

Conclusion

It is possible to learn how to get a positive attitude.

Some people will naturally be more inclined to think optimistically, while others might be more adapt at noticing the negatives in life and others. Granted, this ability to notice both the good and bad has its perks as well.

But the power of a good mindset can not be overstated. And learning how to develop a positive attitude in life will go a long way towards achieving your goals, feeling content, and staying healthy.

Try to practice positive thinking during the average daily things in life. Create a positive mindset towards work, home, and when going out with friends and family. Once established, the goal should be to maintain a positive outlook that persists over time.

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Maintaining a positive outlook in life includes thinking in solutions rather than in problems.

Make it a point to focus on the positives, rather than on the negatives.

Furthermore, try to focus on the things you can change instead of on the stuff that’s outside your control. This will make you feel like you’re in control of your existence, which will in turn aid to empower you.