12 Positive Thinking Techniques To Keep You Thinking Positively

Published by Paul Harrison on

Recently I’ve been trying some positive thinking techniques. They’ve helped me to have more automatic positive tho

ughts. And that’s… well… awesome. 

Because do you know the problem with positive thinking?

It’s usually forced.

Usually.

And studies show that forcing positive thinking is not a bright idea.

But I’ve learned a secret.

There are ways to make positive thinking automatic, little positive thinking techniques that make it oh so easy to think positively.  

As you guys know, I’m a mental health athlete. I train my mind the way an athlete trains their body. Every day I do mental workouts. I do them because I believe mental health is the most important thing in the world.

When we’re mentally healthy we enjoy every moment of the day. That’s why it’s so important to use positive thinking techniques.

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.

This week I’ve been practicing five positive thinking techniques

One of the most important steps towards feeling amazing inside is to change your negative beliefs.

There are positive thinking techniques that help.

I’ve been practicing five psychological techniques for positive thinking. And I cannot believe how much of a difference these techniques have made. They’ve toned my mind like a bodybuilder tones their abs. And if I could fit my mind into a bikini and parade it around the beach right now, I would.

My five positivity techniques are all about noticing good things happening right now.

All these 5 positivity techniques train the mind to focus on what’s good.

Have you ever tried Buddhist mindfulness? This is similar. It’s a way of training the mind to stay in the present moment while focusing on the positive at the same time.

Try each of these. They’ve made a huge difference to my mindset.

5 Positive Thinking Technique To Create Automatic Positive Thoughts

1: 100 good things

Trying to stop painful thoughts wont work. A better idea is to replace them with positive thoughts. 

One way to do this is to simply start focusing on the positive. 

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

For me, for instance, I will take a walk and begin to list things I like, such as the 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.

This is where it gets good. 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 you mind will naturally continue to look for sources of positivity. And this, in turn, makes positive thinking automatic. You naturally start to think positively without even trying.

This is one of the most powerful positive thinking techniques. 

2: Something nice in everything

Here’s a really pleasant positive thinking techniques.

This positivity exercise is a continuation of the 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

This will train your mind to think positively about people you do not get along with. So imagine how much easier it will be to think positively about other people in your life after you’ve done this!

This is a powerful positivity technique. It trains the mind to see the good even in things we don’t particularly like. This method is the best way to make positive thinking universal, so you’re always thinking positive no matter what you’re doing.

If you have automatic negative thoughts, this is a great way to change them and to start building automatic positive thoughts instead.

3: For a friendly positive thinking technique, give people compliments 

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

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 the 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, try practicing Loving Kindness Meditation. It makes us feel kind and loving to people and reduces personal prejudices.

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

Thiss positivity technique is one of the best cures for negative thoughts.

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

In this positivity technique we find 10 alternatives 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 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 regularly will have a huge impact on your mindset.

5: Describe what you like to other people

Have you ever notice how we all enjoy talking to positive people?

Positive people make us feel good because they make us thing about happy or positive things.

Mindful people are popular too. When people talk about what is actually happening around them right now and in a good way, we generally enjoy talking to them.

This technique combines mindfulness with positivitivy. (If you’ve read my guide to  mindful writing, this is similar)

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”.

This positivity technique 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 technique with a friend. It’s a real mood booster.

Those are the five positive thinking techniques I’ve been using this week. And I’m feeling pretty bloomin’ chipper.

But of course, as a meditation teacher I also use meditations for positivity. So let me get you up to speed on this.

How to use meditation as a positive thinking technique 

If you want happiness and success, you should probably start using meditation for positive thinking.

Meditation is one of the best ways that you can stop negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

Have you ever tried meditating before?

If you have never meditated before, start with my guide to the top meditation techniques (see the link above). In it, I will show you how to meditate in the traditional way (for free, naturally).

If you have meditated before you probably noticed how meditation gives you insight. When you meditate you get to see everything that is going on in your own mind (which can be either a wonderfully uplifting experience or a downright disturbing one).

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.

Once you are able to see what is going on in your own mind, you will be able to change those things. You will be able to change your beliefs and change your thoughts. So you can actually put positive thoughts and beliefs in your mind. No only will that make you happier, but it will influence your actions too.

 

Meditation changes negative thoughts to positive ones.

Do you worry about the future too much? Click the link for a solution.

You’re human. So inevitably you will have a certain amount of doubt and worrying occupying your mind. I mean, even people who have absolutely nothing to worry about still end up worrying about their future.

To be human is to worry. Fear and worries permeate the mind. You’re never going to be truly positive until you get rid of all those negative thoughts.

If you’re worried or stressed, you should definitely start meditating.

Meditation allows you to see your thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. It  reduces the affect that negative thoughts and feelings have on you.

Try the technique below to train your mind to think positively.

  This meditation is on of the most powerful positive thinking techniques

  1. To do this meditation for positive thinking 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.

6. Appreciating whatever comes along:

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

Most people mean is that 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)

How to have this positive attitude:

  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.
  5. Read my guide to developing gratitude

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 one of the best ways how to have a positive attitudes towards life. 

7. Another great way to have a positive attitude towards life is to feel content:

There is a famous Buddha quote that says:

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

We are never truly wealthy until we feel content.

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.

8. To change your attitude towards life, see the triumph in adversity:

Most people eventually get the attitude that “life is hard”. It’s caused by repeated adversity. However you can overcome this two ways:

  1. Be more hopeful
  2. Appreciate a good challenge

To make life easy, appreciate the challenge.

There is this misguided notion that success means overcoming adversity.

Wrong.

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. We can stay positive in negative times.

9. Another way to change your attitude towards life is to live for the moment:

Enlightened people always focus on the present moment, not on the distant future.

There is a rule in psychology that says that we should only ever focus on the step we are on right now.

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 attitudes towards life 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.

10. Have love as an attitude:

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. 

11. Have Faith:

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.

And always remember how important hope is too.

12. Know what wasn’t meant for you:

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. One of the best ways how to have a positive attitude towards life is to accept 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.

And those are my top positive thinking techniques 

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

Combine these tips with my guide to confidence and you will feel simply amazing.

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

Health Benefits Of Positivity And Happiness Proven At Last. Scientists Shocked

  • Breakthrough study from Stanford University reveals the amazing health benefits of positivity.
  • Research from University of California: Irvine shows there are health benefits of happiness too,
  • 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.

Scientists discover the importance of positivity: Improved Health!

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 attitude.

People who do these positive traits are just happier and healthier than everyone else. 

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

Why there are indeed health benefits of positivity  

Yes, there are real health benefits of positivity. 

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

Here’s a stunning health benefit of positivity: It makes you live longer

Positive thinking is a big deal (click that link for a free guide). And not just for confidence

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.

So if you practice various kinds of positivity exercises, which make you think in positive ways, you will actually be healthier and fitter just because of your positive thoughts.

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.

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.

Some of these participants were followed for as long as 21 years. And 10% died during the study-time.

Scientists gasped when they found the health benefits of positivity

If you’ve ever wondered whether those positivity exercise and techniques you do actually work, the answer is hell yeah.

Even the researchers at Stanford could not believe their results.  

They looked for reasons why the data might be inaccurate. They could find no reason. The results were accurate.

What stunned the scientists is this:

  • 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 think they are less activate are 71% more likely to die than people who consider themselves to be highly active people.

We now know how to lower risk of death: by thinking positively.

CLICK TO TWEET: “Stanford confirms: people who think they are fit are 71% more likely to live than people who think they are unfit”.

thoughts and risk of death

Why positive thinking makes you healthier

So how can we explain these health benefits of positivity?

Well, ww can think of positivity or negativity as mental hygiene that affects the mind just like personal hygiene affects the body.

A positive mind is a clean mind, and a clean mind is healthy.

Spiritualists know this. But scientists are searching for measurable reasons to explain why positive thinking makes you healthier.

They think these results are caused by one of three things:

  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.

As well as these health benefits of positivity, happiness makes you healthier too 

  • The latest scientific research shows how happiness effects 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 positivity 

Turns out there are lots of health benefits of happiness too.  

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

Write a comment.

 

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Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation

1 Comment

Francois · April 17, 2018 at 3:00 am

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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