How to think positively even when life seems full of negativity

-Jul 30, Hannah Hargrave , Mind -

If you’ve ever marvelled at the ability some people have to see the best in life even when it’s far from perfect here are some tips to give you access to those rose tinted glasses too.

Being optimistic can be a tricky game if things are getting on top of you but seeing the glass half full as opposed to half empty can not only make you happier, it can improve your health, your wealth and help you live longer too.

While you may not have been born a pessimist your outlook on life is vastly influenced by your upbringing and if you lived in a home with people who shared a negative view of the world, you probably adopted it too.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t shift your behaviour and learn to bring a little optimism to your life. 

Be realistic

Change doesn’t happen overnight but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen with time. Adapting from being a negative to a positive person is a timely and tricky process so try not to get disheartened when you catch yourself on a downer. Set yourself some goals, no matter how small and commend yourself when you do see the good rather than putting yourself down every time you don’t. 

Avoid negative company 

Pessimism and optimism are both contagious so it makes sense to surround yourself with people who bring you up, not down.

“Choosing the company you keep has an impact on your optimism and mood,” high performance coach Sarah Sparks explains to Lumity.  “When you compromise your mood, that means the chances are you are putting your productivity, relationships, health and wellbeing at risk.”

Spending too much time with people who zap you of your energy and drain you of your cheerfulness will not help you. In fact before you know it you’ll be down, moaning with them and once again everything will feel overwhelming.

Fake it

If to begin with the only thing you can do is look like an optimist then go with that until you feel it too. There’s evidence to suggest if you carry yourself in a positive manner it can impact how you feel on the inside as well. Lift your head up, shoulders back, smile and fake it until you make it.


It’s time to get moving! If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a 100 times but exercise is good for the mind, the body and the soul. It’s also great for releasing those happy endorphins which can go astray when you’re constantly feeling down on your luck. 

If pounding the treadmill just isn’t your cup of tea then take yourself outside for a brisk walk and appreciate your surroundings. Also a workout such as a bike ride, walk or run can be a great time to clear your head, problem solve and also release some of your stress.

Related: The exercise trend that will fill you with joy

Eat well

A bad diet does more than just play havoc with your waistline it can make you miserable too. 

Sarah explains: “Making sure you’re properly hydrated, and eating nutritious brain healthy food is so important to positivity. If you are living off caffeine, alcohol and processed foods you are not giving yourself the best chance of remaining optimistic, in fact I believe you are compromising your mood.”

If you feel sluggish, overweight and unhealthy it can directly effect your mood making you only see the bad stuff around you.

Try getting lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and balance in your diet and see how it improves your positivity along with your overall wellbeing.


When you’re tired you don’t always see things clearly – there’s a reason why your troubles seem worse in the middle of the night. Waking up fresh and with a spring in your step will impact how the rest of your day goes. Sleep deprived and angry doesn’t bode well and if you’re tired your stress levels rise

Sarah says: “If you want to stay optimistic you have look after your battery levels.  This means making sure you’re getting sufficient sleep, 7-9 hours on average every night is really what you need.”

Related: How to make sure you can sleep tonight

Write a gratitude list

A negative person instinctively looks for what’s wrong in their life, not what’s right. But if they took the time to actually focus on what they have they’re often pleasantly surprised. Every night take the time to write a gratitude list. Look around you and think about your day and write down three things that you feel were positive. It could be as simple as a great lunch or a smile from a stranger, but when you’re thinking about these things not only are you taking stock of your life but you’re not thinking about the negatives either.

If you enjoyed this article you might like to read more about one of Lumity’s inspiring women Sarah Sparks and also learn the best way to write a gratitude list of your own.

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