12 Positive Thinking Techniques, Exercises [Always Positive Mindset]
12 Positive Thinking Techniques, Exercises [Always Positive Mindset]

If you’ve ever wondered how to think positive always? I’ve got some great positive thinking techniques and exercises you can use to train for an alway – positive mindset.   

I used to wonder how to think positive always. Because sure we all have moment when we feel great, but most of us also have some seriously negative times. 

I researched through all the best positive thinking exercises, all the ways how to have a positive mindset. And I found tons of techniques. However, I also found a very important secret: there is a problem most people make with positive thinking.  

Most people who try to always think positive thoughts end up forcing their thoughts. And that’s a big problem. 

Studies show that the best way how to think positive all the time is not to force it. You shouldn’t shut down negative thoughts or demand yourself to always think about certain things. Instead, the best positive thinking technique is to develop automatic positive thoughts. These are thoughts that come up without you trying to force it. This helps you to always think positive because even when you stop trying your mindset is positive anyway.

There are ways to make positive thinking automatic, little positive thinking exercises that train your mind to be positive naturally

As you guys know, I’m a mental health athlete. I do positive – mindset training daily so that my mind is always in peak condition. I do this because I believe mental health is the most important thing in the world.

There are big benefits of having a positive mindset. I will dsicuss those benefits with you in a moment.  But basically, when we have a positive mindset we enjoy every moment of the day. 

Mental health is usually talked about in negative ways. When we hear “mental health” the terms “anxiety, depression, and stress” aren’t far away. It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Physical health is about being fit as much as it’s about not being overweight. And mental health is not just about depression and anxiety. It’s about being happy and feeling good. It is about keeping a positive mindset. And the best way to do that is with some  positive thinking techniques. 

Let me show you how to think positive always. Simply try the exercises below. 

12 Best Positive Thinking Techniques To Have A Positive Mindset Always 

One of the most important steps towards feeling amazing inside is to change your negative beliefs and negative thoughts. There are positive thinking techniques that help.

I’ve been practicing 12 psychological positive thinking exercises. And I cannot believe how much of a difference these techniques have made. They’ve helped me develop a positive mindset that I’m proud of the way gym rats are proud of their abs.  

1: 100 good things [best positive thinking exercise for weight loss]

If you want to know how to think positive always, train your mind to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. You do not want to completely remove negativethoughts. Nor do you want to ignore negative thoughts. Instead, use the following exercise for positive – mindset training.

Here’s how to do it. 

This idea is very simple. Wherever you are, find 100 things you like about it.

For me, for instance, every time I walk to work I start to count things I like, such as trees and plants, and then I’ll list various objects I like… that might get me up to 30 or 40. Things get harder when you run out of positive things to list.

To get to 100 you will need to really search around for positive things. Training the mind in this way actually makes you see the world more positively. Because while you are searching for positives, you will be training your mind to seek out the positive things in life. And guess what? Once you stop this exercise your mind will naturally continue to look for sources of positivity. Talk about some great positive-minset training!

Once you’ve een doing this technique for a while you will naturally start to think positively without even trying.

This is the best positive thinking technique for weight loss because it will make you want to get out and be more active (you can also change the walking for running if you prefer).  

If you find it difficult to get those positive thoughts, meditation will help. Simply close your eyes, focus on your breath and count 100 things you liked about the day.

2: Something good in everything [best positive thinking exercise for anxiety]

One of the best positivity exercises is to force yourself to see something positive always.  

This works as a continuation of the exercise above.

Once we’ve listed 100 good things about the place we’re in, we then look for the good in whatever we see.

For instance, if we happen to look at someone we don’t get along with we have to see one good thing in them and focus on it.

Here’s a challenge:

  1. Intentionally go somewhere where there will be people you don’t get along with
  2. Mindfully observe them and also observe the way you feel about them
  3. Tell yourself that your negative thoughts and feelings are not real, they are just thoughts and feelings
  4. Now list as many things as possible that you like (or admire) about them

Note that this is one of the best positive thinking exercises for anxiety and depresion because it makes you see little things that you actually like in things that make you anxious or depressed. For instance I used to be anxious about the dentist, but then I started to see the things I liked about them instead, such as my clean white teeth. This changes the negative to positive.  

This is a powerful positive thinking technique. If you have ever wondered how to think positive always, try this. It trains the mind to see the good even in things we don’t particularly like. This method is the best ways how to have a positive mindset because even if you are somewhere you don’t like or doing something you don’t want to do, you will still see the positive.   

3: For a friendly positivity exercise, give people compliments 

Ah, one of my favorite positivity exercises. This one trains the mind to see the good in everyone.

If you have ever wondered how to think positively always about other people, this technique will definitely help. It’s great for social anxiety, too. 

The idea is simple:

  1. For every person you see, think of ten good things about them.
  2. Don’t like your mother-in-law? Tough whoopee. You have to come up with ten nice things to say about her.
  3. And then you have to actually give the person one compliment.

This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Complimenting someone you don’t get along with is not easy. But it is worth it.

If you struggle with this one, spend some time thinking about the positive quality of other people and all the nice things you have done for one another. This will fil you with positive thoughts about people. 

4: One of the most important positive thinking strategies is to change your negative thoughts

This is a great positive thinking exercise to help overcome any negative thoughts. 

The average person thinks 70,000 thoughts every day. And 80% of those thoughts contain negativity.

In this positivity exercise we find 10 alternative to our negative thoughts.

Now, a quick bit of maths tells us that 70,000 thoughts a day multiplied by ten is 700,000. So that’s not going to work. That’s why we focus on specific thoughts when we do this technique.

We’re looking for automatic and recurring thoughts. These are negative thoughts we often experience and that we want to change. You’ll already have a good idea what these thoughts are.

When we experience one of these recurring negative thoughts, we find 10 positive thoughts as alternatives to it. This limbers up the mind and shakes off that negative thought.

Here’s how (This is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique. )

  1. Take 25 mindful breaths
  2. Observe your thoughts
  3. Notice when you experience automatic negative thoughts (these are negative thoughts that you often think unintentionally
  4. Think of ten positive thoughts as alternative to the negative thoughts
  5. Continue until you have changed 10 thoughts.

Practicing this positive thinking technique daily will have a huge impact on your mindset.

5: Share your positive thoughts with other people 

Practically everyone wants to know how to have a positive mindset. And one of the best ways to get there is to share our positive thoughts with other people.

Whenever somebody asks me how to think positive I always ask them to take a look around and describe the things they like to me.  

Here’s how to do it

  1. Chat to someone you get along with
  2. Now instead of talking about your thoughts, only talk about what is actually happening around you. In other words, talk mindfully and positively. For instance, “I love how that leaf is gently blowing in the wind”.
  3. Once you get in the habit of talking to other people in this way, it will start to be automatic and you will naturally talk and feel positive. That’s why this is one of the best ways how to always think positive.

This positivity exercise achieves many things. It makes us more mindful. It encourages us to focus on the positive. It makes us more aware of what’s happening in the now. And it also makes us better conversationalists.

Try this positive thinking exercise with a friend. It’s a real mood booster. 

6. Positive Thinking Meditation

As a meditation teacher, I often use a positive – thinking meditation technique to quickly boost my happiness and to train for a positive mindset. 

If you want happiness and success, you should definitely start using some positive thinking meditation techniques.  

Indeed, one of the very best ways to be happier is to use daily meditations for positivity.  

When you practice positive thinking meditations, you slow your mind down and really focus on things that make you feel good. 

When you meditate you actually see your thoughts and beliefs floating around in your mind like dust-clouds in the air. You’ll notice how all those little thoughts and beliefs influence you. They influence your feelings. They influence your actions. In fact, your thoughts and beliefs influence your future more than anything else. That’s why we need to change your negative beliefs.

My favorite positive thinking meditation technique is just to meditate on my breath and then bring to mind all the moments in my life that made me feel amazing. Truly visualize those things.  

Try This Positive Thinking Meditation Technique (helps with anxiety)

You’re human. So inevitably you will have a certain amount of doubts and worries occupying your mind. I mean, even people who have absolutely nothing to worry about still end up worrying about the future. Anxiety is all too common. 

To be human is to worry. Fear and worries permeate the mind. However, because we are discussing how to be positive always, you will obviously want to get rid of those negative thoughts.  And one of the best ways to do that is with the following positive thinking meditation technique. 

  Positive Thinking Meditation Instructions

  1. To do this positive thinking meditation, you’ll first need to come up with a mantra / affirmation that evokes the kind of thought you wish to achieve.
  2. Take your time and choose a positive mantra that really creates the right feeling.
  3. For instance, if you want to stay positive about life in general you might choose the mantra “Life is good.” If you want to stay positive about a goal, weight loss for instance, you could choose the mantra “I’m feeling good about losing weight.”
  4. Find somewhere quiet where you can sit in peace for ten minutes without being disturbed.
  5. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Continue to do so for five minutes, or until you feel relaxed and focused.
  6. Begin to recite your mantra to yourself. You may say it out loud or whisper it. while doing so, think about your mantra and what it means.
  7. Continue to recite your mantra for ten minutes, while meditating on the meaning of the mantra.
  8. To finish, stop reciting the mantra and simply sit silently for two or three minutes.
  9. Repeat every day.

7. For Appreciating whatever comes along [positive mindset training]

Question: What do we actually mean when we say life is hard?

Most people mean it is hard to make life the way you want it.

In other words, it’s hard to shape life to our desire.

Another question: why bother.

There are two elements to that sentence above: it is hard to [make life] [the way we want it].

Foolishly, everyone focuses on the first half of the sentence: making life something.

They would be much happier if they focused on the other half what they want.

It’s like the story of Buddha:

A monk says to Buddha, “I want happiness”.

Buddha says, “Okay. Remove want, that’s desire. Now remove “I”, that’s ego. See. Now you have happiness. (I want happiness)

Try this positive mindset training technique:

  1. If life is not what you want, learn to like what life is.
  2. Appreciate things the way they are.
  3. Do not try and force life to comply to a delusional mindset.
  4. Appreciate life as it comes to you.

Like the Dale Carnegie quote says, “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get”.

Plus, gratitude is one of the most effective ways of building good karma. 

This is a type of positive mindset training that will give you a new perspective and help you to appreciate even the most challenging times in life. 

8. Feel content:

There is a famous Buddha quote that says:

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

How can you think positive all the time when you never feel content with your life? 

Many people associate contentment with wealth. But wealth is more than just the money in our bank accounts. True wealth is spiritual contentment. It’s feeling good about the world at large.

Life is so much easier when we are spiritually content. And it is easy to become spiritually content. Simply focus more on the things you have rather than the things you don’t have.

9.  When life feels hard, try this positive thinking technique

If you want to know how to think positively always, you need to appreciate the hard times in life. Because hard times will come. That’s inevitable. Thinking positively always means you’re positive even in the hardest of time. So how do you do that? 

There are two solutions.  

  1. Be more hopeful during challenging times 
  2. Appreciate the hard times

To make life easy, appreciate the challenge.

There is this misguided notion that success means overcoming adversity.


Genuine success means recognising the beauty and value of adversity itself.

When we understand the intrinsic good in life’s challenges, we stop worrying about success or failure, about easy or hard, we learn to appreciate the journey.

We can go through life’s challenges without being destroyed by them. There are ways to remain positive in difficult times.

So here is how to think positively always (even during the roughest times). Simply look back through your life and recognise all the challenges you have faced and how they have helped you grow. See the value of adversity. 

10. Another of the best positive thinking techniques for anxiety

Another of the best positive thinking techniques for anxiety is to focus on the present moment.  

There is a rule in psychology that says that we should only ever focus on the step we are on right now. Because how can we think positively when we are always focused on that big problems that’s just over the horizon?

If you’re climbing a mountain, don’t focus on the miles you have to climb, focus on the next step. Then what seems impossible will seem easy.

This is one of the little positive mindset exericses that’ll make a big difference. It can change our perspective and make us realise that actually, life is easy provided we go one step at a time.

When people ask me “How to have a positive mindset” I remind them to step back and just do what they are doing right now. 

11: Follow your heart 

Conflicts make life hard.

The greatest conflict of all is when our love or passion faces off against rationality and logic.

Logic is a valuable tool.But it is nowhere near as vital or powerful as love.

Love is always right.

Sure, it’s often painful.

Sometimes it leads us to crazy-town.

But it is always right.

Even if we cannot see that love is right, it is.

That’s why you should stop working hard and just do what you love instead.

Love is a test.

It says, “Are you brave enough to follow me”.

The enlightened scream “Yes” in response. That is why they live such large and loud lives.

If you want to know how to have a positive attitude towards life, follow love.

12. You can’t have a positive mindset without a little faith

Yes, having faith is one of the best positive thinking techniques. 

Cast out your ores and trust in the ocean’s currents to carry you where they will.

There is a power controlling our destiny. And it sure as hell is not us. To make life easy, recognise the higher power.

We may be given free will to help guide our vessel, but it is the universe’s ship, not ours. We are just blessed to exist in this vast ocean for a short spell.

Trust that life will carry you to your destination. Have faith in the cosmic powers of the universe. 

13. Part of positive mindset training means letting go  

A lot of people start doing positive mindset training because they want to get more from life. But part of positivity is letting go.

The serenity prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Enlightened people know what was meant for them.

Unenlightened people do not.

Just because you want something doesn’t mean you’ll get it. And it doesn’t mean you need it. It just means you happen to be experiencing an emotional state of mind that is telling your brain that you have a desire for something.

Some things are not meant for us. And part of positive mindset training means accepting what isn’t meant for you.

Let go of what is not yours. Then you will embrace the infinity of things are uniquely yours, the myriad splendorous gifts the universe bestows on you.

Having positive attitudes towards life makes a huge difference in life. Not only does positivity make us healthier, but positive attitudes towards life lead to an enlightened perspective that can revolutionise our lives. 

With these positive thought exercises, positive thinking becomes automatic. You will start to produce automatic positive thoughts instead of automatic negative thoughts

But why does positivity matter? Let’s take a look.

How Positive Mindset Training Changes Your Health

  • When you know how to have a positive mindset you will be able to stay happy in harder times
  • Positive thoughts have a profound affect on our life and longevity.
  • People who think they are healthy will live significantly longer than people who think they are unhealthy.
  • Doctors encouraged to treat patients with positive thinking. 
  • Helps you to be mentally strong and happy.


It is one of the oldest philosophical debates: do thoughts control life?

Do thoughts control reality?

One side of the argument says that hell no, thoughts dont control reality, get real. 

Many people have called it a stupid, romantic notion, the idea that simply thinking something could make it true.

After all, how could something that occurs only in the mind possibly effect the entirety of our external reality?

Yeah, but…

You can’t deny the importance of a positive mindset. When you know how to have a positive mindset you are more capable to get through stress and problems in life, and you will certainly be a lot happier.  

Too many of us know that it feels like when the mind does indeed control their life—for better or worse.

They know firsthand what Roman poet Horace meant when he said, “Rule your mind or your mind will rule you.”

Well now there are finally proven benefits of positivity.

Yes, there are lots of benefits of postivity. And you can get those benefits of positivity by doing positivity exercises and techniques, along with having some happy hobbies.

horace quote

How positive thinking exercises change your health  

Positive thoughts result in good health. Which is why you should seriously consider starting the positive thinking exercises above.

And that’s hardly surprising, when you think about it.

Our entire lives can seem like heaven or hell depending on whether we think positive or negative.

And we’ve known for years that negativity is a killer. Seriously. Just look at this  shocking (and enlightening) article on negative thoughts.

Stress (which is ultimately dwelling on the negative) is the number one killer in the world.

I have personally suffered what is called Acute Stress Disorder. This was a time when my thoughts controlled my life in a bad way.

PsychCentral says Acute Stress Disorder is “characterized by the development of severe anxiety, dissociative, and other symptoms that occurs within one month after exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor (e.g., witnessing a death or serious accident).”

Negative thoughts really can kill. So it any surprise that there are health benefits of positivity?

heaven and hell

It makes you live longer

Positive thinking exercises don’t just make you happier, they make you healthier too.

Today, Stanford published a breakthrough study by the journal Health Psychology.

This study proves that people who think they are unhealthy are at greater risk of death.

But the research goes even further.

What you will find absolutely stunning is the fact that thinking you are healthy is actually more important than actually being fit.

That’s right. Thinking yourself healthy is more important than actually being fit.

Just by knowing how to think positive always (especially in the difficult times in life) you will become much healthier.  

Sounds remarkable. Yet this is a study on the health benefits of positivity by a leading university, and it took more than a decade to complete. The researchers examined information collected by the National Center for Health Statistics take from over 60,000 people from 1990 and 2011. The people studied were all from different backgrounds and had a diverse range of fitness levels and health conditions. So make no mistake about it: This was a legit study. Some of these participants were followed for as long as 21 years. And 10% died during the study-time.

Specifically, the study looked at:

  • Health benefits of positivity
  • How often people performed different exercises and activities.
  • How active people were
  • Whether they smoked
  • How often they were sick
  • How active and healthy people thought they were.
  • How much physical work or exercise they did each week
  • The study also looked at an extensive range of demographic details.
  • This shows why it is so important to know how to have a positive mindset.


Scientific research into positive thinking exercises

So now you know how to think positive always, you might wonder if there are any health benefits that come with positive thoughts. 

Researchers at Stanford looked at long-term data for people who have predominantly positive thoughts. 

  • The data showed that if people think they are less fit than their peers they will have a significantly higher risk of death.
  • Risk of death is 18% higher for people who think they are less active than others.
  • People who predominantly think positive thoughts about exercise are 71% less likely to die than people who consider themselves to be unfit.

Yes, there are big benefits of positive thoughts.  This is why I personally believe that “positive mindset training” should be talked about in the same way physical exercise is. Because it is incredibly important to our health. 

thoughts and risk of death

More benefits of positive thinking exercises

So how can we explain these health benefits of positivity?

Well, we can think of positivity or negativity as being a kind of mental hygiene. It affects the mind just like personal hygiene affects the body.

A positive mindset is a clean mind, and a clean mind is healthy. That’s why ait is so important to know how to hiave a positive mindset. 

Spiritualists have known this for millenia. But it’s only recently that science is learning about it. And they are trying to discover why thinking positively matters.  

3 ways to explain the benefits of having a positive mindset:

  1. Mindset affects motivation.  If we feel inactivate we will be inactive and this will lead to us exercising less, leading to declining health. This is why mindset is critical when losing weight.
  2. If we think we are less active than other people we will feel stress about it (stress is the number one killer in the world).
  3. Placebo: The way we think about ourselves has a profound affect on our wellbeing.     

In a nutshell: think you’re a healthy, active person and you will lower your risk of death.

Being Positive And Happy Makes You Healthier

The latest scientific research shows how being positive and happy affects health. Scientists are surprised to find that our mind and emotions play a pivotal role on our health.

  • Research confirms the views of ancient spiritual texts, which state that mindset and consciousness change our physical state.
  • Researchers are excited. They suggest that soon our doctors might prescribe a dose of positivity instead of medication.
  • These findings back-up the science on the health benefits of a positive mindset.

Turns out there are lots of health benefits of happiness too. Of course, the positive thinking techniques we looked at above will make you happer. And that will boost your wellbeing.

Positive emotions have a positive influence on the immune system and cardiovascular system according to the latest scientific research from the University of California: Irvine.

So while you’re getting the health benefits of your positive mindset, you might as well get the health benefits of happiness too!

Sarah Pressman [associate professor of psychology and social behavior] and a team of researchers were surprised to find that cultivating happiness and positive perceptions improves the immune system and cardiovascular systems (note that spiritual texts have been saying this for approximately 3000 years).

Happiness may even help heal injuries and illnesses.

“…Greater contentment, optimism, a sense of life purpose, low stress and other indicators of subjective well-being are tied to better health and longevity, including surviving serious diseases, and even avoiding acute illnesses,” Pressman said.

Researchers are stating that in the near future, when we’re sick, doctors may prescribe a course of positivity alongside medication.

“We now have to take very seriously the finding that happy people are healthier and live longer, and that chronic unhappiness can be a true health threat,” said Prof. Ed Diener.

Mental suffering (stress, depression and anxiety) are major threats to cardiovascular health and to the immune system, the researchers tell us.

What does mean for us?  A lot.

  • It means school bullies don’t just upset kids, they actually make them ill.
  • It means if your boss gives you too much stress he is seriously effecting your immune system.
  • It means society has a responsibility to force those in authority to protect the safety of our emotional well-being.
  • It means if you’re hitting the gym in order to keep fit and healthy, you should do these positivity exercises at the same time, because happiness is paramount.

The mind and spirit are the sources of our health and vitality. Doctors need to stop hurling medication at us and start asking “How is your spiritual and psychological state?” instead.

Health is not found in pills. It’s found in a conscious, healthy mind.

These health benefits of positivity and  happiness prove one thing: It’s all about your mindset.

And now you know how to have a positive mindset always! So you can enjoy all those heath benefits! 

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Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a yoga teacher, meditation teacher and writer. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. thank you, I been doing meditation for at least 40 years, this confirm my wife and I are in right path.

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