10 Proven Ways To Cultivate An A+ Positive Mindset

how to build positive mindset for happiness
How To Build Positive Mindset For Happiness

A positive mindset is crucial for achieving happiness, life satisfaction, and wellbeing in life. But how do you cultivate a positive attitude that stands strong in all weather?

To solve your problem, we bring you the ten most effective tips to build an incredibly positive attitude you’d wish you knew before!

What Is The Meaning of Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is an attitude of focusing on the bright side of life, hoping for good outcomes, and keeping a positive approach — in good and bad times. It means keeping an optimistic attitude and making positive thinking a habit. It is a mental and emotional outlook aiming at the best results.

Beware, however, positive thinking does not imply looking away from bad or stressful situations, but viewing the bright side when into one of them.

Positive thinking means approaching the challenges of daily living with a positive outlook. It means having a positive stance on your present and your future life. It means seeing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.

Happiness is a subject that has attracted public interest in the last few years more than ever. Happiness is a subject of study in positive psychology, a branch of psychology that studies positive emotions, positive experiences, and positive institutions.

Positive psychology says a positive mindset is a key characteristic of happy people.

Why Is A Positive Mindset Important

First of all, a mindset of positive thinking doesn’t mean one keeps their head buried in the sand to save themselves from facing difficult and unpleasant situations in life. 

Having a positive mindset helps to improve our lives in many ways. It can help us acquire a more robust mental health by adding to our happiness, satisfaction, and meaningfulness in life. In addition, a positive attitude also benefits out physical health.

Mayo Clinic informs us: Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

Here are 10 beneficial health effects of a positive attitude:

  1. More years of productive life
  2. Less incidence of depression
  3. Lower levels of stress and anxiety
  4. Better mental and physical wellbeing
  5. Reduced risk of heart-related diseases
  6. Stronger connection to nature and humanity
  7. More kindness, helpfulness, and charitableness
  8. Better and more cherished relationships with others
  9. Greater resilience and coping skills in stressful times
  10. Higher overall immunity, specifically to common cold

Cultivating a positive mindset increases your life-satisfaction. You also notice a better ability to cope with stress. A positive attitude can also improve your health and increase your life expectancy.

A positive mindset helps us refresh our minds and relieve our stresses. A positive attitude can make out a silver line even in the most louring clouds of anxiety and cynicism.

The fact is, we always have some sound reasons to feel pessimistic about the future, and that’s how life goes. More so in these difficult times of this Covid19 pandemic.

But when we know it’s outside our control until a vaccine is in place, a negative mode of thinking will trigger only more misery and insomnia.

Therefore, despite the difficulties and uncertainties ahead, nurturing a positive outlook can make our present happier.

A positive mindset is built around a sense of savoring, a stance of appreciation, and an attitude of gratitude. And all these are proven mechanisms in positive psychology to enhance our happiness and wellbeing.

Positive thinking also increases your self-esteem and self-reliance.

A mind that is positive, optimistic, and worry-free can contribute to a more resilient immune system. With a positive attitude, thus you can protect yourself from several illnesses.

Since positivity is grounded in gratitude, it makes you feel grateful for the many blessings in your life. And when you express that thankfulness and kindness along with your love, your relationships grow into more fulfilling ones.

An attitude of positive thinking and having positive emotions broaden and build our mental resources and skills, and this opens us to new possibilities (Fredrickson, 2004).

However, you must be aware being positive does not mean you keep a smile on every hour of your day, or try to stay cheerful every minute of your life.

Having a positive attitude actually means you can focus on the positive things in life while also staying attentive to negative things. It is, most importantly, about your positive-focused attitude in times of distress.

How To Develop A Positive Mindset

The first questions to spring to mind when we talk about positive attitude or a positive way of thinking and behaving are:

  • How to develop and cultivate a strong positive mindset?
  • How to practically harness the power of a positive thinking mindset?
  • How to build a positive attitude and have a more optimistic outlook in life?

Of course, cultivating a positive mindset is a learnable skill. Even if one doesn’t have it, they can acquire a positive attitude by sharpening the skills that make up the six qualities of a positive mindset person.

6 Qualities of A Positive Person

A positive person is one who carries a positive attitude, especially in hard times. A positive attitude mindset can be learned and honed by building up a repertoire of the following six qualities.

There are six key characteristics that make up a positive mindset or a positive way of thinking. These can be remembered as MOGRAH:

  1. Mindfulness – staying aware in the moment
  2. Optimism – keeping hopes about good results
  3. Gratitude – appreciating life
  4. Resilience – bouncing back after falls
  5. Acceptance – accepting human nature to fail
  6. Honesty – being upright at all times

6 Ways To Become Positive In Life

The 6 practical pieces of advice to become a more positive person in life are:

  1. Get away from negative people
  2. Change the negative self-talk
  3. Embrace your negative emotions
  4. Find joy in every little good thing
  5. Socialize most with positive people
  6. Create a positive environment

7 Practical Tips To Stay Positive In Life

Larry Alton’s 7 practical tips on Success will help you find more positivity in your attitude:

  1. Start the day with positive affirmations (find positive mindset quotes as affirmations or mantras near the end of this article).
  2. Focus on the good things, however small they are.
  3. Find humor in bad situations.
  4. Turn failures into lessons—and learn from them!
  5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
  6. Focus on the present instead of getting mired in the past or losing your way in the future.
  7. Find positive friends, mentors, and co-workers to support and encourage you.

10 Proven Effective Ways To Build An A+ Positive Mindset

Science suggests certain exercises to cultivate a top-class positive thinking mindset. Once you put these practices into a regular habit, you would find your ability to maintain a positive attitude gradually increase. Apply these ten science-backed techniques to cultivate an A+ Positive Mindset.

Here are 10 positivity-enhancing exercises and techniques to build and maintain a positive mindset:

#1. Start A Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is a key ingredient for building a positive mindset. Being in gratitude means appreciating the good things in your life, and being grateful for them.

To nurture an attitude of gratitude, start a journal. Take a notebook and write down 3 things that happened today for which you were grateful. It’s called the Three Good Things happiness exercise.

[Read the shortest guide on 3 Good Things exercise here.]

Sometimes, a bad event can fill your day with stress, fury, anxiety, and other negative emotions. A single rough event from work, or from your morning commute, can be enough to darken the rest of your day.

On such days, your gratitude journal will help you get to bed with a lighter mind.

A positive mindset means focusing on the bright things in your life, and this is where a gratitude journal comes to aid. Gratitude reaps a heap of benefits into your life. It helps improve relationships, increase happiness levels, protect you from stress and negativity, and makes you an overall better person.

#2. Rise Above The Win-Loss Paradigm

You always have goals to reach out to. And always, some of these will fail to stay within your total control. Now, we all know our fulfilled goals bring us joy, and the unrealized ones leave us loaded with frustration. The first gets us motivated, the second gets us demoralized.

However, if you have a positive mindset, you do not brand your failures as frustrating, loss-making points. You see them as windows of learning. Once you sign up for this failure-driven learning slot, you raise your game above the win-loss paradigm.

Once you sign up for this failure-driven learning slot, you raise your game above the win-loss paradigm. Click To Tweet

A research on video game players found not only winning but also failing can be so much fun that it can keep a person playing longer. Sometimes the wins that come after we have failed, learned from them, and tried again, are more satisfying.

The famous game designer Jane McGonigal writes in her book Reality Is Broken:

As long as our failure is interesting, we will keep trying… and remain hopeful that we will succeed eventually.

So, rise above the win-loss archetype, overcome self-criticism and see your failures as opportunities to learn and improve. See them as your chance to try again harder.

Just today onwards, you could start to see your failures as opportunities to learn and use those to find new solutions. And this moment on, you could start to use more positive words to talk about your life and experiences with others, and even to yourself.

So, stop defining your efforts and processes in terms of winning or losing. Instead, tell yourself you can win, or you can learn. That’s one helpful way to step out of the shadow of a fixed mindset and walk into a growth mindset.

Dweck's Fixed vs Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck’s Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Watch Dr. Alia Crum, professor and psychologist, whose research focuses on how a change in mindset can change one’s reality, talk at TEDx:

Change your mindset, change the game | Dr. Alia Crum | TEDxTraverseCity

[If you still think it’s hard, here’s help: 7 Proactive Steps To A Successful Life.]

#3. Invite Positive Words Into Your Vocab

If you think the way you talk about your experiences and life does little to influence your mindset, you’re dead wrong. The words you use day-in and day-out to describe your life make you accordingly a negative or positive mindset person.

A few negative words you throw at yourself carelessly, and you could be spending a long part of your day overwhelmed by a resulting negative emotion.

For example, you just came back from a hike. Now, if you were to describe it as tiring, boring, and soul-sapping, your brain will start making a negative thought pattern of this.

Soon enough, you’ll start to see and describe your other life experiences too as insipid, chaotic, and bad.

But if you force yourself to see the joyful parts of your hiking trip, and recount your experience as lively and relaxing, your brain will begin to wire up for a new pattern of thinking as a positive mind.

Using positive words to describe your life while trying to see the good things in most situations can help you reinforce your positive thinking mindset.

So, fill your vocabulary with positive words. Soon, your mind will stock itself up with positive thoughts, and your life will start to brim over with positivity.

When you talk about the present and future in optimistic and positive terms, it automatically sets up your mind to expect good things. You could apply this technique to the past by remembering the positive takeaways from any event that was problematic or difficult.

#4. Feel Grateful For Your Chances

Life is full of responsibilities, big and small. Each day you find yourself constantly hurtling from one to another. You have to wake up, have to eat breakfast, and have to go out for work. You have to go shopping to buy food and clothes. You have to pay for the insurance for your car and house.

You see, your life is full of these things that you have to do. But what if you make a little change in your approach? What if you start seeing these burdens of daily life as things you’ve been blessed with?

  • You got a chance to wake up today, so why not savor this morning and this day?
  • You got a chance to have your breakfast and go to work, so why not be thankful for these?
  • You got a chance to go shopping for food and clothes, and pay you insurance, so why not feel grateful for having the money to do those?

When you see them as burdens, they sound imperative and carry a negative undercurrent. But when you see them as chances, they feel permissive and carry a sense of gratitude.

And so, by changing the way you see these everyday things, you take a step forward to place up your positive mindset.

Begin to savor the things you get the chance to do, and feel grateful for the good things already there in your life. Stop taking life, and everything good about it, for granted.

Look up and say thanks for the many chances of bliss you’ve had today. Try being a little more thankful to every blessing you have, and every person you come across today. It will develop your attitude of positivity.

#5. Pay Attention To Your Breath

You have probably noticed your emotions impact your breath. If you are angry or anxious, you begin to breathe faster and shorter. This is called hyperventilation.

By breathing fast and shallow, you make your brain think something bad is happening or about to happen. This triggers your stress response. You start becoming oversensitive to negative stimuli. And then it induces an anxiety or panic attack.

Now, the great thing is, not only the emotions influence your breath, but your breath can also influence them.

If you pay attention to your breath, you can control it. If you manage to keep your breath smooth and calm, you start to observe a lifting of your mood.

Getting to a calm and positive mindset via deep belly breathing (which stimulates our vagus nerve) doesn’t take much time or practice, so you could start away right now. Once you include this into your day, you would feel strong, peaceful, and positive even when stressful events unfold.

Bring this positive change in yourself today. Try the 3 Minute Breath Meditation by Cory Muscara (author of Stop Missing Your Life: The Power of Being Present) now:

3 Minute Breath Meditation - Cory Muscara

#6. Focus On The Process

We’re not asking you to take your eyes off the problems in your life. No.

Keeping a positive attitude doesn’t mean you always try to avoid the negatives or bypass the problems. Being positive in mindset means to acknowledge the problems and then focus on the process of finding solutions.

It is easy to fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on the problem because it derails your train to goals. But focusing back on the process itself, and changing tracks to find new solutions, you’ll help yourself get into a higher state of positivity.

It helps immensely to have a sharp focus on the process if you know how to get into a flow state. A flow is a state of optimal happiness, where there’s a perfect balance between the task difficulty and skill level.

The instant feedback from your state of flow prepares you to learn more from your experiences, and rely less on your expectations from them. When you focus on the process while problem-solving, it gets you more optimistic and positive.

effort-counts-twice

In a way, this is the easiest method to cultivate your positive way of thinking. Because all through the day you’re into doing one thing or another. When you become skilled in focusing on the process of whatever you’re involved in, it takes off your mind from the future uncertainties.

#7. Show A Little More Generosity

The society today actively promotes egoism and egocentricity, with the social media bombarding you from all sides to get on that “me-first” bandwagon. It’s almost a trend to obsess about how one could make their own lives better first and always.

But if people choose to go easy on that, they could spare a thought about others who are not as blessed or privileged as them — and do a little bit for them. You can do that, right?

You don’t need to buckle under that toxic social pressure. You don’t need to forget you always had the power to look up from your smartphone to do things that put smiles on people’s faces.

You can donate a little, tell a funny story, take your best friend to a movie — and make their lives a little bit happier. If you’re reading this, you probably have the means to make someone else smile today. You just need to use that power more often.

Making and seeing people get happier because of you also bring joy and life-satisfaction to you.

Generosity is a bonus in itself.

#8. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk, which is modifying the talking head inside our head.

Self-talk can be negative or positive, but frankly, most of the time those unspoken thoughts that run in your head are negative. Like the rest of us, your inner voice is prompt at telling you that you’ve done the wrong thing. It criticizes your actions and mistakes. It points out you could have done better, and even say you’re not good enough.

But if you constantly stay tuned to that negative self-talk playing in your head, you gradually change into a person with a deeply negative mindset about yourself.

Over time, this will add up to a pile of excuses for why you’re not good enough for anything. You’ll begin to notice more and more of your mistakes, and come to think you’re no good as you ‘only make mistakes.’ In time, it will become a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

those-who-dare-greatly

But you could turn this negative self-talk into a positive one. And even prevent it from happening.

For that, you have to give yourself permission to be human. You’ve to accept it’s okay to slip up, as every human is prone to mistakes. Then you’ve to push yourself to see the positive things you have also done.

Give yourself permission to be human. Accept that it's okay to slip up sometimes like any other human. Click To Tweet

Appreciating yourself for the human you are, and for your constant efforts of improving yourself. It will help you get rid of that toxic self-berating voice in your head, make your attitude more positive.

#9. Focus On The Present Moment

Sometimes, what makes you act negatively is a memory of a bad day, a negative situation, a negative person, or a sorry mistake from your past. These force you into having negative feelings.

Soon enough, that one act traps you into a noxious loop of overthinking.

Yes, the past is important for learning from your mistakes and not repeating them. But why fill your today with only memories of failed yesterdays?

When your mind rewinds your past flaws, it acts like a hamster on a wheel – running fiercely but reaching nowhere.

As Mr Anonymous said,

Don’t ruin a new day thinking about yesterday. Yesterday is gone; why drag it back by overthinking?

At other times, it’s worrying about a future moment that gets your thoughts muddied up. But when it comes to the future, no one knows for certain what will happen tomorrow. We must live in the future to experience it, and that’s the only way to do it!

As His Holiness The Dalai Lama said,

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.

Overthinking quote by Dalai Lama

And in all this melee, the present moment seems to have been pushed out of attention. Despite the fact, it is this present moment where reality is taking place now.

You cannot change the past. And you can only hope to influence the future. But you can take charge of and change the present. You just have to pay attention to it.

So, why not start by being aware of the present moment?

Focusing on the present makes you more mindful of your behavior and emotions in the now. You become aware if your behavior is hurting you or someone else. You get conscious if the emotions rising in your mind are trying to tell you something.

And, when you become mindfully aware of what is happening around you in this present moment, you allow yourself a fair chance to change your future behavior.

#10. Do Not Engage With Negativity

Sometimes, the people around you are each a little swamp of negativity. They always tend to say and see things from a point of pessimistic and negative attitude. They maintain a rigid focus on the negative aspects of life, even those they have no control over.

For example, it’s so common to hear some of our friends always whining about the weather. Hey, just think of that now!

Watch out for them. Don’t let yourself get pulled into their little and large complaints. Their gripes are mostly about things they can’t change.

You can help them with advice, of course. But keep in mind, most of your good ideas would be counted as unsolicited advice.

Actually, they don’t want to change their status. They just want to complain about it. Even if it were within their power to change things they grumble about (not the weather, obviously), they wouldn’t want to change any of it.

Excessive complaining has been linked to decreased life-satisfaction. The habitual complainers also tend to live with a narrower range of emotions. Don’t engage with them as best as you can.

Forgive them who hurt you regularly and lighten your mind. And then, let them go from your life. Then fill the void with good people who talk and think with practical positivity. Till you find them it might help to practice positive imagery.

And keep yourself well-humored by watching some funny movies – we highly recommend the upscaled and colored version of Charlie Chaplin’s The Champion (1915)!

The Champion - Charlie Chaplin - color Version (Laurel & Hardy)

Remember to catch this post on how to embrace your negative emotions.

25 Positive Mindset Quotes

How do you stay happy and positive when you don’t have access to any of the means to carry out positive mindset exercises? Well, you quickly pick up a positive quote and recite it as positive affirmation mantra.

To help you, here are 25 famous positive mindset quotes:

  1. Convince yourself everyday that you are worthy of a good life. Let go of stress, breathe. Stay positive, all is well. ― Germany Kent
  2. A positive mindset can build a positive physical and mental structure for an amazing life. ― Hormuzd Dossabhoy
  3. A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart. ― Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  4. Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. ― John Wooden
  5. The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. ― Winston Churchill
  6. The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude. ― Oprah Winfrey
  7. We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ― Swami Vivekananda
  8. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. ― Albert Einstein
  9. Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. ― Willie Nelson
  10. It makes a big difference in your life when you stay positive. ― Ellen DeGeneres
  11. The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination. ― Carl Rogers
  12. You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ― A.A. Mine
  13. Positive thinking can be contagious. Being surrounded by winners helps you develop into a winner. ― Arnold Schwarzenegger
  14. You always pass failure on the way to success. ― Mickey Rooney
  15. Choose the positive. You have a choice. You are the master of your attitude. Choose the positive, the constructive. ― Bruce Lee
  16. Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ― Hans Selye, Father of Stress
  17. You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. ― Joyce Meyer
  18. Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. ― Zig Ziglar
  19. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. ― Vincent Van Gogh
  20. What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficult, and every difficulty has an opportunity. ― J. Sidlow Baxter
  21. When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple. ― Paulo Coelho
  22. Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude. ― Lou Holtz
  23. Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day. ― Alice Morse Earle
  24. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. ― Marcus Aurelius, The Roman King And Stoic Philosopher
  25. When we are open to new possibilities, we find them. Be open and skeptical of everything. ― Todd Kashdan
Todd Kashdan quote 2

10 Positive Mindset Books

  1. Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization – Scott Barry Kaufman
  2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  4. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life – Martin Seligman
  5. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind – V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Oliver Sacks
  6. The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life – Shawn Achor
  7. The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity – Catherine A. Sanderson
  8. The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck – Christian Busch
  9. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
  10. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Adam Grant

Final Words

Focusing your attention on things happening around you, not giving up your dreams in the face of adversities, and being grateful for the good things in your life, are three of the best activities you can do to build a strong positive mindset.

Positive thinking people accept that things always do not turn out as they want them to, because mistakes are what normal humans make. They also stay optimistic about the future as they learn from those mistakes.

Positive-mindset people tend to remain honest and maintain their integrity, whether anyone is watching them or not. Click To Tweet

Shaping up a strong positive mindset can look challenging. But what could make the challenge worthwhile would be your perspective on the outcome.

If you see ‘the future you’ as the best version of yourself, you can begin your journey to a ‘brand new you’ right away.

You only have one life, so aim to live the best and happiest version of it. Put these practices into a habit and see positive changes get cultivated into your mindset.

[Find out how the longest-living Japanese stay happy until almost their last days?]

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Writing Therapy: How Writing Can Help Overcome Past Negativity

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Authors’ Bio: Sandip Roy is a psychology writer, happiness researcher, and medical doctor. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related topics. Scott Mathews is a writer for Assignment Geek where he offers help for writing research papers. He contributed some parts of this post.


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