How To Be More Positive: 20 Tips To Begin Today

If its a struggle for you to stay positive in our ever-increasing negative world, check out these 20 positive thinking techniques you can implement today.

It Was a Typical Day

I stared at an old friend’s family Christmas picture. She seemed to “have it all.”

I was alone on a weeknight after a crummy day at work and eating leftover pizza, while my children spent the evening with their dad. I knew I shouldn’t believe all the perfect pictures on social media, but that evening I wouldn’t listen to reason.

With a couple of clicks, I hid her from my timeline on Facebook. Then hid a few other happy, smiling fellow friends. While it may sound like I handled the situation wrong, choosing to stop comparing my situation with social media’s false ideal of other’s lives was healthy.

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.” –Mahatma Gandhi

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Positive Thinking Technique: Step 1 – Turn Off the Negative

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Teddy Roosevelt

Social Media Can Steal Some Serious Joy

As I learned that holiday season, it’s hard not to get caught up in the comparison game as you scroll through your social media feed. You don’t have to give up social media completely to be more positive, but at least try one of these techniques.

1. Take a Break

how to be more positive mind quote

Challenge yourself to take a break from Social Media for one day a week. Assess how you feel afterward. If you feel calmer during those days, consider a whole month away from social media.

If you feel the need to explain why you don’t know about your cousin’s new job, announce on your social media feed you’ll be off Facebook for a while.

2. Make it Difficult

If you have trouble taking a break from your phone, make it more difficult to access those apps from your phone. Log out of the app each time you’re done.

This will be a reminder to you each time you click on the app because now you must log in. Or delete the app from your phone so you have to access it via the browser which is more of a pain. You will be less likely to do so.

3. Disable

If nothing else, disable all notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. {insert social media channel you’re addicted to here} from your phone. You decide when you’ll check in with the world, not the other way around.

Consider The Media

I quit watching the news, including reading the paper and online versions of it when my kids were born.  I didn’t realize until then how negative every news story was. As soon as my children were born, I began imagining my children in every story. I couldn’t take it anymore.

4. Remove the News

Bring your news intake to zero. New stories have only gotten worse since the last election. It’s no wonder CNN is also referred to as “Constant Negative News.”

Trust me – everyone around you will keep you well informed. Try it for a month and see if you notice any difference. Expect more peace in your life.

5. Remove Radio

Quit listening to the radio. Recently my car radio was tuned to a local channel and the first “news story” was about an animal cruelty case that the DJ insisted on going into detail about. My youngest was in the car and the story upset him. I didn’t understand how the animal cruelty story qualified as news or entertaining.

What do You Bring to Your Work?

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For 65 percent of Americans, work is the number one stressor in their lives. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to try to bring positivity into the workplace. Often when you do so, and it fails, it can have the opposite effect, and you fall further into depression.

6. Establish Boundaries

Unless you’re a doctor, is it vital to check your phone constantly and be available 24×7? I worked in the IT world for 20 years, and we operated like we were saving lives if a system went down.

Often the stresses we’re under, we put on ourselves. Many want to appear to be the best employee, and always available. But, at what cost? If you’re going to spend your evenings locked onto your phone, being the first to answer each email, recognize the costs, both physically and emotionally.

For every reward, actual or perceived, there is always a cost.

7. Take a Break

Take breaks at work. Take your lunch break. If you can’t leave for lunch, then go outside for a walk, read in your car, listen to music, or go out for sunshine. Most often all we need is some time away from our stressors so we can have a fresh perspective. If your job gives you breaks, take them.

8. Listen While You Work

If your job allows it, listen to audiobooks while you work. This allows your brain to not focus on the negative for the whole eight hours. You may occasionally get off track and rewind the book, but it can keep your mind focused on something other than the situation at hand.

Having a mini-escape during the day is an excellent way to experience more positivity. With your mind busy and headphones in, it excludes you from being included in gossip as well.   See some suggestions for excellent escape books below.

9. Complain Free Zone

Challenge yourself to not complain for a certain period. If you have certain co-workers that complain or gossip with you, bring them into the challenge with you. If that’s uncomfortable, have a list of topics written down or in your head, you will bring up first, so the conversation does not go towards the negative.

Having topics in mind to discuss is important because, in the process of learning how to be more positive, you’re removing something negative from your life. To do this, you need to replace it with something positive or else you risk slipping back into negative behavior.

Positive Thinking Technique: Step 2 – Turn On the Positive

My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy – Louise Hay

10. Gratitude

Bookend your day with gratitude. Begin and end each day with either a prayer of what you’re thankful for or write down ten things you’re grateful for each day.

I’d always heard to recite 3 things you’re thankful for each day. But recently I began to list 10 things every day that I was grateful for. Listing 10 items you’re grateful for each day is more of a challenge and causes you to meditate on the positives of your day for longer.

11. Morning Time

Learning how to be more positive can begin with prayer. Finding a morning prayer routine can set your day on the right path. A great book to help you establish a morning prayer routine is Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer.

happiness quote

Surround Yourself with Positivity

I don’t believe in ridding yourself of all the people in your life that are not positive (abuse aside). The truth of the matter is everyone, including yourself, is not positive all the time. We all need our friends and family to stick with us and endure the bad times.

But that doesn’t mean the outside influences in our life have to stay.

12. Be a Kid

Be a kid with your kids. When you get home from work, throw the weight of the world aside for a bit and do what kids do – play a game, throw a ball, play video games together. Our kids can be our best teacher on how to be more positive in our cynical world. They can more easily shrug off a hard day.

13. Exercise

encourage others quotes

Tell your kids you’re going bike riding or taking the dog for a walk if you need accountability. You don’t need much exercise before you start feeling better. Often, we need a little sunshine. Even 10 minutes of yoga a day can be just what you needed.

14. Find Your Passion

What do you love to do that you haven’t made time for in a long time? If nothing comes to mind immediately, then spend some time thinking about what you enjoyed doing as a child you could do now. How could you set aside time, even 30 minutes a week, for this activity?

Constant Intake of Positivity

15. Music

Listen to music that lifts your heart. If you’re in the car, you can listen to KLOVE which is a listener supported Christian radio station. No news, no commercials. Only positivity. Or create a station on Pandora.

16. Reading

Reading can be an excellent way to escape from the drama in your own life without bringing you down. Set aside 30 minutes before you sleep to read a fiction book. Reading quiets the mind and lets the worries of the day fade away as you become engrossed in another world.

17. Commercials

Commercials are another form of media to be careful with. The previews for upcoming movies, TV shows, and the news can be surprisingly violent and depressing. I choose not to watch any commercials. For years I recorded all the shows I watched, never watching anything live. Recently I canceled all my cable and only watch my favorite shows via Netflix and Hulu.

four quotes of happy people
Intentional Living

We don’t become the positive people we want to be by chance. Since negativity surrounds us, we must be intentional about positivity.

18. Goals

Do you have specific goals for your personal life? Your goals can be a simple one-page document that reminds you of your goal to keep the negative out and positivity in for all areas of your life. Ask yourself how to be more positive in multiple areas using a worksheet like the one found below in my Single Mom Toolbox.

simple goals worksheet

19. Affirmations

Hang up reminders of affirmation. Every week hang up a new affirmation to counteract the negative voices in your head. Use this printable of 24 affirmations of who you are in Christ to begin.

20. Spread the Kindness

Positivity, like kindness, is catching. Make it a goal to say something positive to three people each day. See if it doesn’t lift your spirits as well as theirs. This practice takes the focus off of you and onto to other people, day after day.

positive person quote

Daily Application

Today, I’ve unhidden that old friend from my Facebook feed. Her deliriously happy family photos don’t bother anymore.

On the other hand, I’m rarely on social media these days. I’m too busy forging my happiness on the nature trail with my dog and spending the moments I have with my kids as long as they will let me.

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” –Mahatma Gandhi

How To Stay Positive

Reading is one thing, application is another.

Learn how to apply these tips into your life with the 21 day Single Mom Positivity Challenge.

This post is part of a 7-month Single Moms series  “Secrets of a Successful Life” by Single Mom Bloggers.

How To Be More Positive: 20 Tips To Begin Today

4 Comments

  1. Hi Jennifer! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and will apply some of the concepts to my life. Congratulations on this new journey! I know you’re going to do amazingly well. Looking forward to following along.

  2. I love these ideas. I like your idea of listening to audiobooks to increase positive input. I listen to inspirational podcasts for the same reason. You also gave me some ideas to add to my books to read list. Thanks

  3. I love this! It is so important to be as positive as we can and keep the negative out of our life. I love the ideas!

  4. I’ve cut the news out and cut the people I follow on FB by a lot! Great tips.

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