Article on positive thinking

How can positive thinking benefit your mental wellness? There is not a single person who hasn’t had bad days, hasn’t gone through struggles, or hasn’t faced difficult challenges in their life. To excel in life you, unfortunately, must experience these ups and downs to gain experience and learn. As difficult as it is, that’s how we grow as individuals. When people go through demanding times there is a flood of emotions that will naturally affect our physical as well as our mental wellness. So, just how much truth is there in the Dalai Lama’s quote: “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your entire day”?

7 Benefits of Positive Thinking for Your Mental Wellness

Matt Kemp coined the phrase: “When you think positive, good things happen.” When you listen to, for example, cancer survivors, most of their testimonies include positive thinking and a positive attitude. Your mind is a powerful thing which can heal you. There is a lot of evidence that indicates that those who “look on the bright side of life,” have both a healthier mental and physical state than those with a pessimistic outlook. When you think positive thoughts, you will attract positive results and see definite changes within yourself and your own life.

Positive thoughts:
  1. Help you stress less and deal with stressful situations calmer and better.
  2. It equips you with good coping skills to deal with change and trauma in a more positive way.
  3. Lowers your risks of depression and emotional downward spiralling.
  4. Increase your immunity and lifespan, making you feel physically and emotionally energised.
  5. Enhances your productivity, making you feel more accomplished which will leave you feeling positive about life.
  6. Boosts your job satisfaction and prevents burnout.
  7. Intensifies your gratitude and makes you happier.

Remember, being a positive person or practising positive thinking does not mean you hide your negativity or feelings of disappointment, anger, or stress. It’s not as simple as slapping a smile on your face while your eyes are crying out for help. Positive thinking should be practised daily. It must become a habit and this you can only do by training your brain.

15 ways you can improve your positive thinking.

There is an anonymous quote that reads: “A positive thinker sees the invisible. Feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” It sounds easier said than done, but the good news is that you can teach yourself to think positive and then attempt to have a cheerful outlook and thoughts day-to-day.

Try this:

  1. Start each day with a positive thought and speak it aloud so that you hear and affirm it, to believe it.
  2. Stop playing the blame game, even blaming yourself. You can’t be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.
  3. Don’t overthink things. You can’t control everything, so learn to accept what you can’t control or what you can’t change.
  4. Change how you view a situation. Try looking at the negative scenario from a positive perspective.
  5. Practice gratitude. Instead of seeing the negative in something, look for something in that situation for which you are grateful.
  6. Stop taking yourself and every situation so serious. Learn to use humour, fun and happiness to combat disappointment and stress.
  7. Don’t anticipate the worst…train your brain to expect the best in every situation.
  8. Practice positive self-talk daily.
  9. Don’t think in an “it’s all or nothing” way. There can be joy in the “grey areas.” A lot of people are not happy if it is not ALL good, when in fact there is always something good in most situations if you look for it. Be careful of thinking you’re a complete failure just because you were not able to succeed in all aspects. Look for the silver lining.
  10. Focus on good memories in troubled times. Remember similar situations that had a good ending and shift your attention to that.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people who build you up and don’t break you down.
  12. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to change for the better.
  13. Celebrate the good times even if it is small victories. Stop minimizing your achievements and take the win. Very often, we blow up the terrible things that happen to us out of proportion, but when something good happens we tend to shove it aside quickly.
  14. Don’t expect a total turnaround overnight. As with everything, it takes time. Be patient and practice continuous improvements on positive thinking techniques frequently but take baby steps.
  15. Reflect and evaluate every day before you go to sleep. Embrace the smiling moments, the learning opportunities and for what you are grateful. This will help you wake up the next morning with a positive mind.

Take the advice of Peter Pan, “Just think of happy thoughts and you’ll fly.” Being angry, stressed, overwhelmed, sad, disappointed, and overthinking everything you have ever done wrong is not worth sacrificing your happiness. Teach yourself to go with the flow. Take charge of your own life and happiness.

The Mindspa Institute offers a variety of online or in-person training sessions, workshops and courses aimed at motivation and various soft skills to improve yourself and your thinking. Visit or contact us on 010 110 0226 or email us at

Tickets to the SACBW Women’s Summit on June 4 are available here – We have four amazing speakers in four power hours talking about how to Get Your “Happy” Back and the importance of mental wellness

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