How to Stay Positive: 12 Ways to Improve Your Life

  • Time to read: 14 min.
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In life, staying positive is essential for achieving success and happiness. It can be hard to maintain a positive outlook when faced with difficult challenges or negative people. However, having an optimistic mindset can help you stay focused on the things that truly matter in life and make it easier to achieve your goals. As you stay positive, you boost your self-esteem, reduce stress levels, and support mental wellbeing.

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking patterns, but by making conscious efforts to stay positive we can create lasting changes in our lives that will lead us towards greater fulfillment. Here are twelve ways you can improve your life by staying positive every day.

Practice Self-Care

Self-soothing can be a great tool to help you manage difficult situations. It’s all about creating a safe and comforting space for yourself, where you can work through your emotions and find the inner strength to confront whatever challenges you’re facing. 

Start by focusing on your breath. Take in a few slow, deep breaths, allowing each inhalation and exhalation to fill your body with calmness and serenity. This will help create a sense of safety and peace within you, even if everything around you feels chaotic or overwhelming.

Next, practice mindful awareness. Notice the sensations in your body, such as tightness in the chest or pounding of the heart – bring compassion and kindness towards yourself as you acknowledge them. This will allow you to stay grounded in the present moment and keep perspective on what’s happening around you without getting carried away by fear or anxiety. 

You can also use self-talk as a way of self-soothing. Talk to yourself in an encouraging manner, using positive affirmations that remind you of your strengths and resilience. If negative thoughts arise, try reframing them into something more supportive – this will help shift how your brain processes information so that it can focus on solutions rather than problems. 

Finally, make sure to take breaks when necessary – give yourself permission to take a step back from whatever is causing distress so that you can recharge and come back with fresh perspective and energy. Taking care of yourself first is key for finding the inner courage needed for challenging situations.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Surrounding yourself with positive people is key if you want to have a better life. It’s not always easy to do this, especially when it seems like everyone around us shares the same negative outlook, but it can make such a big difference. Positive people help feed into our growth and motivate us to be better versions of ourselves.

They also give us different perspectives on how to approach problems and difficult situations. By surrounding ourselves with these people, we create an environment that nurtures positivity and encourages optimism. This helps us stay focused on our goals and stay energized even in tough times.

These positive people don’t always have to be those closest to us – they can be mentors, co-workers, friends, or someone we just met through mutual interests or causes.

The important thing is that their attitude is one of positivity; they should be lifting each other up and offering kind words instead of criticism and doubt. They should also be great listeners which allows for open and honest communication so that both parties can encourage one another towards their respective goals.

Positive relationships also come with emotional benefits; being surrounded by people who make us feel appreciated, valued and understood helps build self-esteem and confidence in ourselves.

Additionally, having positive connections can help reduce stress levels since there are people around to provide support in times of need. All of this combines to create a more productive lifestyle that ultimately leads to greater success in all areas of life – from personal happiness to career advancement.

Be Mindful of Your Thoughts

Being mindful of your thoughts can be an incredibly powerful tool to help you improve your life. The key is recognizing that our thoughts have a lot of power over how we feel and act in any given moment, and making sure that those thoughts are positive and productive. 

When we practice being mindful of our thoughts, we’re able to identify when our thinking is not serving us well, such as when we become overwhelmed by negative self-talk or anxious about the future. With this newfound awareness, we can then make conscious decisions about what kind of thinking will be most beneficial for us in the long run. 

Having a mindful approach to thinking also allows us to better recognize patterns of unhelpful behavior and make changes accordingly. All too often we act in ways that don’t serve us without even realizing it; mindfulness gives us the ability to take note of these behaviors before they become deeply rooted habits. 

In addition, being aware of our thoughts helps us stay focused on our goals and create more meaningful connections with others.

When we observe how our emotions affect our actions and reactions, especially through self-soothing techniques, it’s easier to understand why certain relationships may not be working out so well or why progress toward a goal seems stagnant. Without understanding our own patterns of thought, it’s difficult—if not impossible—to make meaningful changes in our lives. 

Express Gratitude Every Day

Expressing gratitude every day can have a dramatic impact on getting your life together. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for achieving greater contentment and feeling more fulfilled.

Gratitude helps people recognize the good things in their lives and appreciate them, instead of focusing only on what’s wrong or missing. People who express gratitude tend to be more optimistic and resilient, which helps them manage stress and setbacks better.

Moreover, it strengthens relationships by helping people appreciate their friends, family, and colleagues. People who regularly practice gratitude report having stronger social connections, higher levels of self-esteem, and increased feelings of accomplishment. Additionally, expressing gratitude not only boosts individual well-being but also has a positive effect on the environment around us.

Studies have shown that those who regularly express appreciation are more likely to help others, act generously toward others, volunteer their time to worthwhile causes, and be supportive when facing challenges themselves.

Lastly, expressing gratitude is a great way to stay motivated as it helps remind us that we can create our own happiness through small acts of kindness—toward ourselves as well as others.

Here are 15 more tips on what you should do to have a good day.

Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors is a great way to improve your life! Not only does it give you the opportunity to be out in nature, but it also has many health benefits. Studies have shown that spending time outside can reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall life satisfaction. Additionally, being in nature can help you focus better, improving productivity and creativity. 

Outdoor activities are also a great way to stay physically active without feeling like you’re exercising. Going for a hike or bike ride is a fun activity that gets you moving and increases your heart rate while taking in the beauty of nature around you. Plus, research shows that being exposed to natural sunlight helps regulate our circadian rhythm and improves sleep quality. 

Finally, spending time outdoors is a great way to connect with friends and family. Whether it’s going for a picnic or taking a walk together on the beach – simply enjoying each other’s company while surrounded by nature can create some of the most powerful shared experiences we have.  

Get Creative

Getting creative can really help you improve your life in hundreds of ways. For starters, it can tap into an important part of your brain that is essential to thinking critically, problem solving and coming up with new ideas. Creative activities, such as drawing, painting, sculpting and writing can also help you destress and relax.

When we take a break from our day-to-day lives to get creative, we tend to look at things in a different light and find solutions to problems more easily. Additionally, creativity helps us look at the world around us with wonder and joy — it gives us a sense of purpose and helps us stay connected to our passions. 

Creative activities also have tangible benefits beyond just mental health — they often lead to greater career success. Studies show that people who engage in creative activities are more likely to come up with fresh solutions for work challenges or develop new products and services.

In fact, research shows that employers prefer applicants who demonstrate strong creative skills such as good communication skills, teamwork abilities and original thinking compared to those without them. So if you’re looking for a job or want to advance in your current one, getting creative could be just what you need.

The best part about getting creative is that it doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge — all you need is an open mind and some willingness to try something new. You can start small by taking on simple tasks like writing down your thoughts in a journal or sketching out ideas for projects you’d like to do.

As you become more comfortable with being creative, challenge yourself by trying something more complex like learning how to paint or starting a business venture. No matter what avenue of creativity you choose, the possibilities are endless when it comes to improving your life.

Focus on Progress Not Perfection

Focusing on progress rather than perfection can have a huge impact on your life. By setting realistic expectations and small goals, you are able to focus on the progress that you make rather than the ideal outcome that you may never reach. This shift in thinking allows you to stay motivated and to keep building upon successes rather than dwelling on failures. 

When you break down big dreams into smaller, achievable tasks it allows you to experience a sense of accomplishment as each step is completed. This encourages continuous improvement and growth without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed when faced with larger goals. It also allows you to witness your own growth over time, providing a huge boost in motivation and satisfaction with yourself. 

Focusing on progress also encourages creativity and problem solving skills which can lead to greater success in all areas of life. When we focus solely on the end goal, it leaves little room for adapting or making changes if something isn’t working out as planned. Focusing instead on the process gives us more opportunities to explore different strategies and solutions that could prove beneficial in the long run. 

Start Doing What Makes You Happy

Being happy is key to improving your life. When you’re doing something that brings you joy, it not only increases your energy and motivates you to tackle other tasks, but also boosts your overall wellbeing and productivity. For instance, research has shown that having meaningful leisure activities can reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem, and help with emotional regulation. 

Moreover, when you’re doing something that you genuinely enjoy and believe in, chances are it will give a sense of purpose to your life. It might even lead to greater success down the line as it enables you to stay focused on the important things in life despite the inevitable bumps in the road. Additionally, when you take pleasure in what you do, it allows for more creative thinking which helps drive progress and innovation. 

So why not start doing things that make YOU happy? Take up a new hobby or revisit an old one; spend time with family or friends; practice mindfulness; volunteer in your community; create art—the list goes on.

Don’t be afraid to try something different or out of your comfort zone. While making yourself happy may seem like a daunting task at first, giving yourself permission to take the time and energy to prioritize joy can ultimately have a positive impact on every aspect of your life.

Learn Something New

Learning something new can be a great way to improve your life. Stepping outside of our comfort zone and trying something that we are unfamiliar with helps us become more flexible, open-minded, and creative. It also gives us the chance to develop new skills that can be applied to many different areas of our lives. 

For example, learning a new language can help you communicate better with others or understand different cultures. Additionally, it can help you navigate through new environments or find job opportunities in different countries.

Likewise, taking classes in a field such as psychology or computer science could give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and even help you become an expert in a certain area. 

Moreover, acquiring knowledge in various topics can expand your interests and allow you to engage more effectively with the world around you. Learning about history, for instance, may give you an understanding of how the world has changed over time and inspire you to think critically about current issues.

Being able to evaluate information from multiple sources and make informed decisions will ultimately lead to greater success in all aspects of your life. 

Have Faith

Having faith can be incredibly powerful in improving your life. Having faith means believing in something greater than yourself and understanding that the universe is constantly working in your favor, even if you can’t see it or understand it right away.

Faith helps you stay focused and motivated when times are tough, as you know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It keeps you hopeful and optimistic, providing you with perspective during challenging situations. 

Faith also allows us to achieve our highest potential by allowing us to accept things that are out of our control. Instead of worrying about what we can’t affect or change, we focus on what we can do; trusting that things will work out for the best. We understand that everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t make sense at first. 

In addition to giving us strength and courage, faith leads us to create meaningful relationships with others who have similar beliefs and values.

These relationships provide us with a sense of belonging and comfort which can be incredibly beneficial for personal growth. They help us build our self-esteem as well as cultivate ideas for success – enabling us to reach our highest goals and aspirations with ease. 

Help Others

Helping others can be a great way to improve your own life! Not only does it make you feel good and give you a sense of purpose, but it can also foster positive relationships, create new opportunities for personal growth, and even lead to measurable financial returns. 

Volunteering your time is one of the best ways to help another person while still reaping the benefits yourself. You might find that spending time with the elderly or shelter animals brings you joy in a way you didn’t expect.

Helping out with a food pantry or disaster relief program could also provide satisfaction from knowing that you contributed to something meaningful. And many organizations offer volunteer positions that could lead to future job opportunities, such as working at a non-profit or other organization. 

Likewise, offering someone else your skills and knowledge is an excellent way to help them while still gaining valuable experience yourself. Mentoring someone can give them access to invaluable advice and resources while providing you with an opportunity to reflect on your own experiences and develop leadership skills.

Similarly, teaching someone else what you know can broaden your perspective by allowing you to see things from their point of view, as well as showcase your talents in front of potential employers. 

Perhaps most significantly, giving back financially has been scientifically proven to benefit both the giver and receiver in numerous ways.

Studies have shown that donating money increases happiness by releasing endorphins in the brain; helps strengthen relationships between people; improves physical health; and even leads to financial savings through tax deductions or earning extra income from charitable activities like crowdfunding campaigns. 

Love Yourself

Loving yourself is essential to leading a happy and fulfilling life. Self-love helps improve your relationships with others, boosts your overall happiness, and increases your sense of wellbeing. When you learn to appreciate and accept yourself as you are, it can help you cope with stress better, release negative emotions such as guilt or shame, and make difficult decisions that are right for you.

Self-love also allows us to identify our strengths and weaknesses, setting realistic expectations while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsibility. We can become more confident in our decisions and trust ourselves more, allowing us to stand up for ourselves when needed while remaining open-minded towards other perspectives.

Learning how to love yourself also gives you the courage to take risks and be open to new experiences because you no longer feel like a failure if something doesn’t turn out right.

What’s more, self-love enables us to surround ourselves with positive people who genuinely care about us.

When we learn how to acknowledge our true worth, even when facing a difficult work situation, we establish healthy boundaries so that others know that we won’t tolerate disrespectful behavior or manipulation from them. This helps create strong relationships based on mutual respect since people will respond positively when treated kindly.


By making a conscious effort to stay positive, you can open yourself up to more fulfilling experiences and create lasting changes in your life that will lead you towards greater success and happiness. Remember — positivity begets positivity. So take each day as it comes and strive to make the most of it. As you do, you’ll find that the more positive your mindset, the better your life will become.

FAQ – How to Stay Positive

How can I train my brain to stay positive?

The most effective way to train your brain to stay positive is through repetition. Whenever you find yourself feeling negative emotions, take a moment to practice some self-reflection and think about why you feel this way. From there, come up with ways that you can respond positively or constructively in similar situations in the future. Through repetition and mindfulness, you’ll soon find that your brain has been re-wired to stay positive in difficult or challenging scenarios.

How to stop being negative?

One of the best ways to stop being negative is to focus on the positives. When you find yourself feeling negative, take a moment to think about what is going right in your life. Remind yourself of all the things that make you grateful and happy, and be sure to express those feelings with others. Additionally, it can help to practice mindfulness, which is the practice of focusing on the present moment in a non-judgmental way, and to engage in activities that make you feel good such as exercise or creative expression.

How do you stay positive in a negative situation?

Staying positive in a negative situation can be difficult, but it is possible. The first step should be to take a deep breath and focus on your breathing for a few moments. This will give you the physical and mental space needed to observe the situation objectively. From there, try to remain optimistic and look for ways that you can turn the situation around. Thinking positively may be difficult, but it is essential to stay calm and think clearly in order to find a solution.