How to Be More Positive – Every Day

Do you have a friend or colleague who complains constantly?

If you do, you’ll know how you feel after a conversation with them: tired, drained, feeling a bit fed up about your own life.

Do you know anyone who’s always cheerful and positive?

If you talk to them, you’ll feel quite differently afterwards: enthused, re-energized, happy.

I’m guessing you can see why positive thinking matters. By being grateful for the good things in life – instead of moaning about the bad ones – you’ll find that your mood is better, and that almost miraculously, more good stuff starts happening to you.

It’s easy, of course, for me to tell you to “look on the bright side!” – but I know that’s easier said than done. So here are five ways to be more positive about life, every single day:

#1: Recognize That You Have a Choice

When something “bad” or “good” happens, you choose how to respond. If you’re finding that hard to believe, think about how other people might react to the same event: your dad, your best friend, the President….

Whatever happens to you, you can always learn something. If you made a mistake and got something wrong, at least you’ll know what not to do next time!

#2: Wake Up Positive

Start your day off with something that you can really enjoy. That might be your favorite food for breakfast, or a gorgeous scented soap in the shower. If you’re looking forward to just one little thing when you wake up, then you’ve got your day off to a good start.

You might want to deliberately end on a high note too – you could read a few chapters of a great novel before bed, or have a long, relaxing bath.

#3: Watch Your Language

When you talk to colleagues, family or friends, what sort of language do you use? If you tell your partner “I’ve got a horrible day ahead, I’m so stressed just thinking about it,” then you’re putting yourself into a negative frame of mind.

If you and your colleagues habitually whine about work, look for more positive topics of conversation. Try asking “what are you looking forward to this week?”

#4: Reframe Events

“Reframing” is a popular technique in life coaching, where you make a negative event into a more positive one by deliberately viewing it in a different light. So, “I’m really busy, but we’re out of milk, and I have to go to the store” can become “I’m going to take a quick walk to the store, grab the milk we need, and have a mini-break from work so that I can come back refreshed.”

For lots more advice on reframing, there’s an excellent series on life coach Vlad Dolezal’s blog.

#5: Write Down Three Good Things

You might have come across the concept of a “gratitude journal” before, where you keep a record of things you’re grateful for. This is a surprisingly powerful practice which can help you to not only feel better, but to also take action to keep improving your life.

You don’t have to spend hours writing a long-winded journal. Today, try writing down just three things that you’re thankful for – you can use single words, or short phrases.

For more on positive thinking, check out Pick the Brain’s other posts:



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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