10 Steps to Positive Thinking

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Your outlook on life helps to reduce your stress levels, boosts your self-esteem and even improves your health, according to the Mayo Clinic. Additional health benefits include lesser rates of depression, improved resistance to the common cold and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Positive thinking helps a person to enjoy life by having a healthy outlook and attitude when life's adversities come your way.

Identify Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts prevent you from looking on the positive side of life, according to the Mayo Clinic. Four types of negative thoughts exist. Filtering, where you focus only on the negative; personalizing, where you blame yourself for accidents that occur; creating catastrophes, where you make an event out to be worse than it is; or polarizing, where events are only negative or positive. By identifying negative thoughts, you can then discard them.

Start Your Day Positively

Negative thinkers tend to begin a day thinking something will go wrong. Instead, focus on the aspects of your day that could go right and what you are looking forward to about your day.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

A lifestyle that emphasizes healthy eating and stress relief helps you to help your mood positively. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising three times a week equals a more positive mood.

Say a Daily Affirmation

Affirmations are positive thoughts you say aloud to encourage yourself. Your affirmation can be anything from "I will have a good day today" to a favorite quote. You also may choose to think a positive thought about yourself and repeat it when negative thoughts enter your head.

Assess What Could Be Different

Sometimes, issues within your own life can cause you to think negatively. Identify what areas of your life you would like to change, such as an ill-fitting job, says Russell Bishop, a California-based educational psychologist, in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post website.

Find Positive Friends

Surrounding yourself with positive people can help you find the support and encouragement you need to live a positive life.

Seek Humor

Whether watching a funny movie, reading a book of jokes or seeing a stand-up comedian, laughing and being open to humor can help you feel more positive, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Do Something You Love

When you find something that makes you happy and continue to practice what you love, you feel uplifted. Whether pursuing a new hobby or creative outlet, try something you have always wanted to do and allow yourself to succeed. Do not think about the negatives or how you could fail.

See a Situation a Different Way

When it comes to positive thinking, outlook matters. By assessing a situation you had previously viewed as a negative and thinking about how you can approach it positively, you can learn to adopt a healthier outlook on life.


When it comes to positive thinking, practice really does make perfect. The more you reinforce positive thinking, the more likely you are to continue this line of thinking, according to the Mayo Clinic.