What Is an Example of Positive Thinking?

Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2021
what is an example of positive thinking
Positive thinking isn’t about ignoring reality, but focusing on the bright side of life. Learn about how positive thinking can improve your health

Positive thinking isn’t just about just looking cheerful and pretending not to see reality, but about a tendency to focus on the bright side of life and expect things to go well. 

Here are some examples of positive thinking and how it can affect your attitude:

  • Scenario 1: You get assigned a project you’ve never done before. Rather than feeling defeated or discouraged because you’re sure you’ll fail, positive thinking can help you look at the situation as a valuable opportunity to learn something new.
  • Scenario 2: You end up at a party or gathering where you don’t know anyone, and no one makes a move to talk to you. Rather than feeling resentful or hurt and thinking negatively about yourself, positive thinking can help you focus on practicing starting conversations with others.

Traits associated with positive thinking include:

  • Optimism
  • Resilience
  • Gratitude
  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance

What are the health benefits of positive thinking?

Your thinking can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Having an optimistic attitude can improve your health in the following ways:

Physical health

Mental health

Positive thinking can not only help you reduce stress and related inflammatory conditions, but also help you recover faster from some diseases. 

Of course, if you have serious health issues, you can think your problems away with an optimistic mindset. Consider it a way to enhance the effectiveness of medical treatment.

How to think positive

Having a positive mindset isn’t something that you can cultivate overnight, especially if you are naturally pessimistic. But positive thinking is a skill that you can practice and improve. Steps that can help include the following:

  • Smile more. According to one study, smiling can help during stressful situations, even if the smiles are fake. Find ways to smile and laugh to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, whether it’s watching a funny video or spending time with your friends
  • Reframe the situation. Sometimes, simply accepting that things just aren’t going to go your way can help you destress. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, you can accept the fact that you can’t do anything about it, and instead of focusing on the negative, look at it as an opportunity to listen to music or an educational podcast.
  • Be grateful. Practice gratitude about the things that you have. Write down what you are thankful for each night and nurture those thoughts.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious food and exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. This can help you fuel your mind and body and release stress. Practice yoga and meditation to help you unwind and relax.
  • Avoid bad habits. Too much caffeine, smoking, or alcohol can make you irritable and grumpy and have an overall negative effect on your thoughts.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2021
References
Mayo Clinic. Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

Sherwood A. What Is Positive Thinking?. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/positive-thinking-overview