25 Ways to Make Positive Thinking Work For You

December 08, 2015

This happened a few months ago.

Due to a situation not turning out as I expected it to, I was sad.

A friend came over, sat next to me and asked, "What's wrong?"

Happy that she cared to ask...I narrated what had happened.

Here comes the twist.

Just like any person would, I expected a comforting response.  Instead received this,

"Oh! That shouldn't be a problem for you. You can't be sad. You're always so positive.

Don't worry. You'll soon get over it”.

She gave me a pat on the back and left.

I sat there, going over what had just happened and smiled in disbelief.

I drove back home feeling numb.

There was no ill feeling towards my friend. No sadness that she had left me there on my own to deal with my hurtful emotions.

However, there were tons of questions popping in my head.

She said, "I couldn't be sad".

Is a positive person not supposed to be sad?
Should I get over it because I'm positive?
Was I wrong to expect somebody else to comfort me??

Suddenly I had this aha moment!

I understood that her perception of being "Positive" was simply different to mine.

Looking on the bright side....
She helped me shift my focus from my actual issue to something absolutely interesting.

She had indirectly forced me to dig deep and look for answers to this pressing question:-

"What does being positive mean to you?"

 Before answering my question, I just want to share this quote with you,

"Thinking a positive person will never get angry, sad, discouraged or overwhelmed is like thinking a doctor will  never get sick or break a bone"


People with a positive attitude are not super humans. They have their own share of problems and issues to deal with. Thinking that problems is reserved only for those who are negative is naive.

Sometimes positive people need a shoulder to cry on, they do need someone to give them a long comforting hug and tell them, “Don't worry, it's going to be fine”.

People have this distorted assumption that POSITIVE PEOPLE are happy 24/7, nothing wrong ever happens to them, they have absolute control over everything, they do not need anybody's support and have a picture perfect life !!!

That's not true at all!

If a person with a positive attitude claims to have a perfect life, I can guarantee you they're lying.

Tal Ben-Shahar, an eminent Positive Psychology expert states if we wish to be positive there's one thing that we need to repeat to ourselves over and over again.

That's giving ourselves, "THE PERMISSION TO BE HUMAN".

Why do you think depression, anxiety and suicidal rates are on the rise?
We don't give ourselves the permission to experience our feelings.

Many people have greatly misunderstood the meaning of 'Positivity' so much so that they suppress their so-called 'negative' emotions and force themselves to be happy.

Just imagine forcing yourself to be happy when deep inside all you want to do is break down, and cry it out.

In the realm of Positive Psychology, suppressing one's feelings of sadness is considered to have disastrous results on our overall well-being.

We have to understand, there would never be such a thing as positive thinking if it wasn’t for negative thinking.

My personal experience with positive thinking has been a roller coaster. I've had a hard time trying to be positive because I misunderstood what positivity was all about.

I used to think it was a magic lamp that would automatically give me whatever I wished for.
I was wrong!

I thought it can instantly make me feel better and solve my problems. But digging deep into it led me to a truth I never expected. I was wrong!

Positive thinking simply put by Barbara Fredrickson (Positive Psychology Researcher),
"It broadens people's minds and allows them to build new skills to reshape who they are". 

Here's how to make positive thinking work in your favour.

1. Develop the ability to accept what you feel. Do not bottle up your emotions.
2. Sit down and cry if you have to, but get back up stronger and determined.
3. Refuse to allow whatever happened in your past to dictate your life.
4. Use your REAL-LIFE experiences to unlock someone else's prison.

5. Do not sit back and relax while somebody else is being hurt.
6. Stand up and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
7. If you believe somebody's presence in your life is harming you or injecting negativity into your life, let them go without any drama.
8. Stop putting pressure on yourself to be a perfect human being. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Love your imperfections, because they make you look authentic.
10. If you believe you can make a difference, do whatever it takes regardless of your circumstances.
11. Follow your dreams and desires no matter how crazy it might sound to others.
12. Allow yourself to make mistakes. After all, learning takes place whilst making mistakes.

13. When faced with challenges, remind yourself of the previous circumstances you encountered where things seemed hopeless, but you still made it through.
14. Acknowledge your fears but don't let them take over your life.
15. Be humble enough to admit when you don't know something and bold enough to ask questions.
16. If you use terms of endearment, do so like you mean it. Make others feel happy, special and loved.

17. Give a hug, love, smile, cry and laugh for real. Be REAL!
18. If you have a vision work your way towards it.
19. If you are emotional and sensitive. That's ok.  Don't be afraid to let others see that side of you. People are more likely to relate to those who show their weaknesses than to those who try to act strong 24/7.
20. Be always grateful and appreciate anybody who puts a smile on your face.

21. Listen to people's problems and help them if you can but never force anybody to do something unless they're ready for it.
22. Never forget the wrongs done to you. Because those wrongs are reminders of your pain and they help fuel your ambitions.
23. Accept it when bad things happen and look at it in a less destructive way. 
24. Love yourself for who you are and what you will become and strive to improve different aspects of your life every single day.
25. Practice in becoming a better not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection.

Many of us are sceptical about being positive as we believe it is too hard to put into practice. I do hope from now on you’ll see positivity from a new perspective and motivate yourself to tackle the ups and downs of life courageously.

What's your take on positivity?
How do you manage to stay positive in the face of adversity?
How has positivity helped you in your life?

Looking forward to your comments :)

Before I leave you I'd love to share my first official you tube video. This is going to be first of a four series of four videos where I'm going to share with you 4 Tips to get you started on 2016.

It's by no means the perfect video, but I tried my best to send you a message of positivity at this time of the year.

This was shot at the Grampians National Park which is located to the West of Melbourne.
My husband and I spent a few days at this stunning location and we were treated to spectacular views. We couldn't resist the temptation of making a few videos. More coming soon.

Enjoy and do leave me your thoughts.

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  1. Hi Hema

    Positive thinking is a key to success. It helps us focus on the brighter side of life. I agree with you that people think that if someone has a positive attitude that person is always happy. It is not so. The difference lies in the way of thinking because everyone has ups and downs in the life.

    There is a famous quote: “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” ~Dalai Lama
    A small negative thought can turn into a huge problem while a small positive thought can solve any problem. so to make positive thinking work everyone should follow these 25 tips.

    Thanks for sharing a lovely post!

    1. Hello Sonal,

      First of all I'd like to thank you for taking time to read my post and leaving me your valuable comment.

      You're spot on. They manner in which we deal with various situations in our lives is what I call positive thinking.

      That's such a meaningful quote by The Dalai Lama.

      Thank you for your thought and I wish you a wonderful rest of the week :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this ,I am so much inspires to reading this it was as osmmm.. :)

    1. Hello Neil,

      I believe this is your first time here. I welcome you.

      Thank you for your time and for dropping me a comment of encouragement.

      I'm glad it inspired you. That's what I always strive to do with my posts.

      Wish you a wonderful rest of the week :)

  3. Hey Hema,

    Great work on the video. Wow you started working on your public speaking. You walked towards a fear and delivered. And it was wonderful.

    Your post certainly brings up amazing points. Positive people are always perceived to have no problems at all. However reality always tells us differently. It is just like FB and other social media platforms, we only show our better side.

    As to your questions. I am good at remaining focused. When I want to achieve something I push out all my low energy or negative thoughts and focus in on what I want to achieve.

    When I am by myself I do let it all out. I am good at that as well. In fact I like that about myself. Typing out my anger or voicing it into a recorder. Because I don't think others need see that. But it keeps me on track, that is a fact. I need that.

    When I was reading your friends response, I thought maybe she was uncomfortable that her Hema, that friend that is always so positive was down. Maybe she did not know how to manage that. But it generated a great post. Thanks for the uplifting information.


    1. Hello Rachel,

      I am so glad to see you here again after sometime :)

      Thank you for watching my video. You're right! I knew I had to start somewhere. I procrastinated a lot on this one Rachel and I thought, I have to get it done. I know it's nowhere near perfect. I still have tons to work one. But I am happy to have at least started.

      Thank you for your encouragement dear friend.

      Wow! Thanks for your response to my questions. It's great to know you how you achieve what you want. Haha! I do that too when I'm by myself. That's the permission we sometimes are afraid to give ourselves. The permission to be human. I love how you go about managing your emotions and of course nobody needs to know :)

      Sure...something positive did come out of my experience.

      Thanks a lot for your thoughts.
      I wish you a great week :)

  4. Well said!

    Thinking positive doesn't mean that we are immune to negativity or that Life only brings us happy moments. We cannot deny our emotions and if we try we miss the great opportunity to see what we need to learn or improve in our lives.

    Positive people do fall, we just understand that is part of the process and that within even the most painful events is a gain to be made. We need only seek it.

    Great article and great video!! Thank You for sharing!!

    1. Hello Robert Fuller,

      I believe this is your first comment on my blog. Welcome and I'm honored you read and dropped me a great comment.

      You've said beautifully. Positive people are just as humans as anybody else. We simply try not to let our circumstances or emotions get the better of us.

      Thank you for watching the video too. It's one of my first videos. Still a lot to improve on. But it's great to be encouraged.

      I wish you a wonderful day and would be great to see you here again :)

  5. Oh and I Love Tal Ben-Shahar. Have you had the chance to go through his positive psychology lectures? He has a whole semester of them on YouTube. Here's the link if you haven't and want to see them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8qpn6kNfPc&list=PL28D16304BA57DD7E

    1. Hello Robert Fuller,

      I came across Tal Ben Shahar when I started my course in Positive Psychology. He's awesome and delivers great meaningful content.

      Wow! What you have given me in this link is Alibaba's cave. I really appreciate you for sharing this link with me.

      Take care :)

  6. Hi Hema,

    Your experience is startling but not shocking at the same time. I think I have been through something like that before. I think people also tend to believe that people who are in a positive mindframe have all the luck and should have nothing to be down about.

    That's a great quote. It's really true. We can can experience different emotions regards of our principle perspective.

    Like you, in the face of adversity, I allow myself to have my feeling but then try to look for the silver lining or any solution I came bring. I'd rather move on from a bad situation asap.


    1. Hello Lea,

      Yes, many seem to be able to relate to my experience.

      You're spot on! Positive people have all the 'luck' right?
      Just because we think positive doesn't always attract positivity. We're living on planet earth and bad luck isn't reserved for the chosen few. We all have to experience it. We need to understand negativity to experience positivity.

      I'm glad you don't allow negative emotions to linger too long.

      Thank you so much Lea for your comment. It was nice to see you at my blog after a while :)


  7. Hi Hema,

    I can so well relate to the little incident shared above, as its happened with me too!

    Yes, you are right, the way people perceive things can be, in fact, is mostly different from the way we do, and it's not right to judge them based on their assumptions.

    True that we need to see the brighter side of things, and find the positive in the negatives. I do believe there is always something better for us on the other side, whether it is good or bad.

    Oh yes! Positive people are very much humans and they have their own share of problems to deal with, but they have the confidence and ability to know how to handle the situation and make the most of it, which makes them different from the rest.

    Loved all your tips on how to make positive thinking work in your favor. Speaking of myself, I stay positive by thinking of the positive. Being human, I allow myself to feel bad, but only for a moment, and then tend to see to the brighter side of everything and take it up from there.

    Many congratulations on your first video, which is wonderful indeed! How nice that you and your husband went on this trip, which I think was near your birthday, if I'm not mistaken, as I saw a few pictures on FB. Look forward to the rest of them.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)

    1. Hello Harleena,

      Looks like my situation is not uncommon at all. It does happen to many of us.

      Absolutely, simply because we're positive does not necessarily mean we don't have problems or that we're always happy. We do our share of ups and downs.

      It's nice to know how you practice being positive.
      Yes! It's alright to feel under the weather for a while but then getting back up is where all the strength lies. That is called 'being positive'.
      We shouldn't allow our negative emotions to linger for too long. We should learn to take control of negativity before it wreaks havoc into our lives.

      Thank you for watching the video. Still an amateur. But I just thought this can help me better my communications and presentation skills.

      Awww! You remember. That's true. It was close to my birthday.

      Thank you for your insightful comment dear Harleena.
      Wish you a wonderful end of the week and great weekend :)

  8. Hi!

    My first time here and happy to have found your blog. This post really hit home for me. I often get down on myself when I'm not feeling positive all the time. It was a great reminder that it is OK to feel sad every now and then as long as we don't ruminate on it too long. My husband is one of the most positive people I know and even he gets upset or down about things every once in a while. Like Lea said, he is one of those positive people who gets told he's "lucky" all the time. People tend to forget how hard he has worked and the risks he has taken to get where he is.

    Lately my strategies to stay positive have included keeping a gratitude journal. I have found the practice of writing down 5 things I'm thankful for each night before I go to bed has helped me to be able to turn negative thoughts into positive ones on a much more frequent basis. For example, the other night I lost a very close tennis match. I got home and was pretty bummed out. That night I wrote how thankful I was to be healthy enough to play tennis, how I got some great exercise, and was able to spend time with friends doing a sport I love. It totally turned my mood around and helped me to sleep that night instead of going over all the mistakes I had made in my head.

    Lovely video in a beautiful setting. Looking forward to seeing more of those from you! :)

  9. Hello Dana,

    Thank you so much for visiting and leaving me your thoughtful comment.

    Absolutely we're humans not robots. We should learn to accept how we feel. Because suppressing our emotions will only create havoc in our lives.

    I honestly don't like it too when I'm told I'm 'lucky'. I know how your husband must be feeling. But that's ok. When somebody cannot achieve as much as you their only comfort is to tell you you're lucky. But we know better. Right? :)

    WoW! You started on a gratitude journal ? That's great. I have a gratitude jar. I do the same thing as you but the only difference all my gratitude notes goes in a jar.

    It's amazing how being grateful can shift your focus from the bad. Good on you.

    Thank you for watching my video. Still an amateur. Have so much to learn. Do check out my most recent one :)

    Wish you a wonderful year ahead Dana :)

    Warm regards


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