5 ways to think more positively right now

April 28, 2017
Do you struggle to be positive? If you are stressed out, mentally or emotionally exhausted, or unable to see the “silver lining,” you may think you are stuck feeling this way. This is common, but there are ways to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

There are good reasons to improve your outlook on life and your mental health. Studies have shown that people with healthier mental habits are at a lower risk for heart disease and other illnesses. 

Luckily, there are many ways to influence and change our thoughts. One way to be happier is to adopt an optimistic outlook, which is often easier said than done. Here are five ways to think more positively right now. 

Meditate

According to the American Heart Association, mental health issues, including depression, can affect heart disease. By taking time to meditate, we can clear our minds of negative thoughts and reduce stress.

Simply put, meditation means to engage in contemplation or reflection. Meditation involves clearing your mind of all thoughts, and then strategically choosing what to think about. Whether you go to a guided meditation class where an instructor leads you through a dialogue with a series of focal points or you simply set some time aside to think about your life in a positive way, the key is to think, reflect and focus on what is good and uplifting. 

Surround yourself with positive people

Again, simply deciding to be positive is easier said than done. But by consciously practicing positive mental habits, over time we can become more optimistic about life. One way to think positively right now is to spend time talking to someone who is positive. Whether you talk about a specific struggle you are facing or about something else, just talking to someone who is empathetic and positive about life can turn your outlook downside up.

Try speaking to a doctor, counselor, friend or family member. It helps not to isolate yourself when you feel down or to surround yourself with others who are negative. Your thought patterns are influenced by your peers, so choose your company wisely. 

Volunteer


Many times when we’re overwhelmed by negative thoughts, we’re focusing on our own complicated situation. By shifting our attention to someone who could use a helping hand or encouraging thought, we can gain perspective about our own circumstances. Volunteering lets us take a break from the personal issues that were overwhelming us, and reminds us that we are capable of being positive by encouraging others in need. 

Exercise

This is an important one. Calming exercises like yoga or going for a light run or walk can help people think more positively by relieving stress and releasing endorphins. The AHA says exercise improves your mood while you’re doing it and the quality of your life overall.

Take a breath

Proper breathing techniques can regulate and revitalize your body, energy levels and mind. Shallow and improper breathing can create and increase anxiety. Deeper breathing can ease anxieties and help you begin thinking more positively.