Train Yourself to Be More Positive in 5 Steps

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~Winston Churchill

I am constantly striving to see the positive in every aspect of my life. But it’s not always easy.

My dog is currently suffering from a disease from which she will never recover. My mind is still trying to adjust to my relatively new schedule of running Positively Present full time. My wallet is thinning out as I march forward on my entrepreneurial ventures. And, as I get older, I find myself moving in different directions from some of the people I’ve spent a great deal of time with.

My life—and all of our lives—is filled with challenges that make it very difficult to be positive sometimes.

However, I know that choosing to be positive has helped me the most in terms of becoming the person I want to be. Even when things are difficult, I know that being positive—and striving to make the best of whatever situation I’m in—really does make even the most challenging situations easier to bear.

More often than not, I find myself veering toward a positive attitude. (It’s something I never would have done years ago!) I firmly believe that this is because I’ve trained myself to be positive.

It doesn’t always come naturally for me—sometimes it’s a lot of work—but I’ve taken five steps that make it so much easier for me to see the good in life.

Step One: Believe a Positive Attitude is a Choice

This step was hard to take at first. I thought that people were either positive or negative (and I was in the latter category). I used to blame my negativity on all kinds of outside forces—fate, experiences, parents, relationships—but never really stopped to think that I could choose to be positive.

Teaching myself that positivity is a choice has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.

Now when I find myself in a bad situation, I know that it’s up to me to find the good, to be positive regardless of what’s happening around me. I no longer point fingers and place blame. I realize that everything happens how it happens, and it’s up to me to choose how I want to feel about it. I am in control of my attitude, and no one can take that away from me.

Step Two: Rid Your Life of Negativity

If you want to live a positive, joyful life, you cannot be surrounded by negative people who don’t encourage your happiness.

As a negative person, I attracted negative people. When I decided to make the change to live a more positive life, I had to rid my life of the most negative influences in it. No one is perfect—and perfection isn’t the goal when it comes to positivity—but there were people in my life who were consistently negative, who constantly brought me down, and I had to stop spending so much time with them.

This, as you can imagine, wasn’t easy. It can hurt to distance yourself from people—even when you know they aren’t good for you or your current lifestyle.

In addition to removing negative influences from my, I also had to get rid of some of my own negative behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse. I had to take a step back and examine which behaviors were good for me and which were not.

I learned to focus on the positive things I was doing—such as working on my blog and cultivating new, positive relationships—and let go of the negative ones. This process was not easy and, to be honest, is still ongoing, but I know this: It’s hard to live a positive life when negative people and behaviors continually pull you down.

Step Three: Look For the Positive in Life

In every person, in every situation, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not obvious. We have to look. And sometimes we have to look hard.

The old me was content to sit back and just glance around. If I saw negative, I went with that feeling. I didn’t want to look harder or think too much about the good. I found it much, much easier to sit back and just accept what I saw (which was usually the bad).

Now, when I’m faced with a difficult or challenging situation, I think to myself, “What is good about this?” No matter how terrible the situation might seem, I always can find something good if I take the time to think about it.

Everything—good and bad—is a learning experience so, at the very least, you can learn from bad experiences. However, there’s usually even more to it than that. If you really take the time to look, you will usually find something good, something genuinely positive, about every person or situation.

Step Four: Reinforce Positivity in Yourself

Once I started thinking more positively, I realized I had to reinforce these thoughts and behaviors in myself so they would stick. As with any sort of training, the more you practice, the better you get—and, yes, you can practice being positive.

The best and easiest way to do this is to be positive when it comes to who you are. Tell yourself you’re awesome. Tell yourself you look good. Tell yourself you did a great job at work or raising your kids or whatever it is you do.

Be honest with yourself, but do your best to look for the good. And, whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative. It’s okay to not like everything about yourself, but don’t focus on what you don’t like. We all have positive attributes, and it’s up to you to remind yourself of them every day.

Step Five: Share Positivity with Others

Not only do you need to be positive with yourself for this training to really take effect, but you need to be positive with others. You have to share your wealth of positivity with the world.

The best way I’ve found to do this is quite simple and basic: Be nice to other people, no matter what. Tell someone s/he looks nice today. Tell someone s/he did a great job on that presentation.

Tell your parents or children (or both!) how much you love them and how great they are. When someone is feeling down, do what you can to cheer him or her up. Send flowers. Write notes. Don’t gossip. Be kind to all living things.

All of these things sound basic enough, but for someone like me, they didn’t come easily.

I never wanted to see the good in myself and, therefore, didn’t want to see it in others either. I used to be critical and condescending. Now I strive to be encouraging and supportive.

I try not only to treat others as I would like to be treated, but I also try to consider how they would like to be treated. People appreciate positivity, and the more you share it with others, the more you are practicing it your own life.

When you start feeling like the idea of being a positive person is daunting, remind yourself that all it takes is one small step in the right direction to move yourself toward a more positive attitude.

Believe in yourself and remember the most important lesson of all: A positive outlook is a choice that you can always make.

Photo by wjklos

Lori’s Note: Dani just launched her first book, Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present. She’s generously offered to give away three free copies—one hard cover, and two eBooks. Leave a comment on the post for a chance to win! You can enter until midnight PST on Friday, October 27th.  UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha for free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!

About Dani DiPirro

Dani DiPirro, founder of, is the author of Stay Positive, The Positively Present Guide to Life, the Effortless Inspiration series, and a variety of e-books. She is also the founder of Twenty3, a design studio focused on promoting positive, modern graphic design and illustration. Check out her new books on Gratitude and Living in the Moment!

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  • Thatmellongirl

    Dani, this is absolutely amazing. Your words are my exact thoughts. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to read more.

  • Dani

    Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed this article!

  • Dani, great words and great attitude! Your words will echo with me all day! Positive thinking is a choice! Thank you!

  • Jlyne Hanback

    Amazing advice that all people should take the time to read and implement. I will be sharing your post with others and can’t wait to see your book! Thank you for the dose of positive inspiration – it is exactly what I needed. 🙂

  • Cathy G

    Great reminder to try to find the positive in every situation. Just trying to find the positive is uplifting.

  • Dani

    You’re welcome! So glad this advice hit home for you. Thanks for sharing the post!

  • Dani

    You’re welcome!!

  • Dani

    Grate point, Cathy! Just the act of trying to stay positive really makes you more positive.

  • Andrea

    good points!

  • I needed to hear this today. Struggling with staying positive on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing

  • Carrie Hammer

    Loved this piece! It takes so much more energy to be negative than to be positive! + > –

    I would love to win the book!!

  • Dani

    So true, Carrie! Being positive (hard as it might seem sometimes) is much easier than being negative.

  • Dani

    Glad this is what you needed to hear! Being positive on a daily basis can be difficult, but don’t ever feel like you have to be positive all the time. The important thing is to do the best you can!

  • Dani


  • What great steps/tips to follow. Reframing from a positiive outlook opens pathways we might not have considered when focusing from a negative point of view. Thanks Dani!

  • Cathe

    I really like this message. I have always tred to be an optimist regardless of the situation.
    It makes life so much more pleasant. I agree it is hard to let go of old friends who keep you down but it is worth it to help yourself stay positive.

  • Shawna

    I must say,from someone who is so used to feeling negative at the first rise of the sun, its great to hear someone its possible to be positive but not everything is always easier said than done.I really needed this, thank you.

  • KK

    Great Post! 5 simple tips. I think the hardest part for me is staying positive even when you live with negative people, or circumstances that aren’t in your control. I can get really bogged down being frustrated feeling stuck.

  • Mrs Kumar

    I really very much needed to read these points today. I always try to be positive but sometimes the enviornment, people around you retreat you back. It’s hard to be positive at first. Self-realization and positivity will go hand in hand to stay positive. Good article

  • Connie

    Wow, I need to read this every single day. My life has taken a turn down a path I would rather not go on, so looking at it as a positive thing is something I know I need to do. Thank you so much for this blog!

  • Chavela

    Good message.

  • Dani


  • Dani

    Yes, seeing the positive even in the tough times is so important. For daily inspiration, check out!

  • Dani

    Thanks, Mrs. Kumar! You’re so right about self-realization and positivity going hand in hand. Being aware of your own state, beliefs, and mindset can really help when you’re faced with negative people or situations.

  • Dani

    I know just what you mean. When something is out of your control, it can be really hard to put a positive spin on it. If I find myself in a situation like that, I try to focus on what IS in my control (which is usually a lot more than I originally thought!).

  • Dani

    Being positive can be very difficult, but the more I’ve worked at it, the better I’ve become at doing it. For me, it’s been all about practice. The more I do, the better I get.

  • Dani

    Letting go of negative people is one of the best ways I’ve found to live a more positive life. It’s not always possible, but in many cases we hold on to people for the wrong reasons. I’m glad you like this message!

  • Dani

    You’re welcome! Choosing a positive outlook isn’t always easy and, even after all these years of writing Positively Present, I still struggle with it, but it really is eye-opening when I choose to look at things with an optimistic outlook

  • Jawread

    Thank you for these 5 simple steps. I collect quotes and paste them to index cards. Each morning I select a quote to set the tone for the remainder of the day. Your Winston Churchill quote will be part of my collection and a reminder for me to choose positivity.

  • Ree

    When I was younger I shut down my heart in many ways to keep it from hurting. I finally realized that I am sensitive and caring and that is a good thing! My heart needed and wanted to be opened. Now I am on my path to a more positive existence. You are right, it takes practice and some days I might not rise to the challenge, but that is okay; I gently correct myself and try better the next day.

  • Tom


  • Sounds great. You’re doing amazing work well done. Hopefully I’ll win a copy of the book.

    Paudy byrne

  • ntrong

    It isn’t easy to be positive but your suggestions are taken to heart. I have been trying for years to be positive and slip quite often. I agree, thinking positive about yourself is probably the hardest and where you need to start to think positive about other people and situations. Thank you for the great post

  • Great post!! I love the breakdown into five steps. I’m a pretty positive person in general, but I’m working harder and focusing more at the moment on thinking positively more often and on looking for the best in other people. It’s easy to be critical of others and make assumptions, I’m trying to cut people more slack and be more understanding – this will make me happier and spread more positivity since I won’t be focusing on negative thoughts and emotions.

  • SMReidy

    Thank you – I firmly believe that being positive is a choice. There are times when I’m scared or sad but if I meditate on what is positive, I am better prepared to deal with those times.

  • Dani

    What a great idea! I love that you’ll be using that quote for one of your start-the-day quotes. It’s a great one.

  • ugh

    Ever notice that once you find the positive’s in things and share it with the world, people still try to rip happiness down?

  • Dani

    I know what you mean about closing yourself off. It took me a while to learn to be more open to people, but the more I do it, the more positive my life is. Every day is a chance to start being positive!

  • Dani

    You’re welcome!

  • ugh

    great post btw! I really needed reassertion

  • Dani

    Thank you! I hope you win as well!

  • Dani

    It’s okay to slip up on being positive. It doesn’t come naturally for everyone (including me), but the important thing is not to give up!

  • Dani

    Refraining from judging others (and ourselves!) is one of the best ways to stay positive. It’s great that you’re working on being more understanding of others. That’s an excellent way to stay positive!

  • Dani

    Yes, unfortunately, negative people often try to bring down positive people. It’s for that reason that it’s important to distance yourself from people you bring you down. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your happiness!

  • blue fairy

    Thanks for spreading positivity!!! Great post and reminder!!

  • parfae

    This can be an ongoing struggle for me – it’s always good to have a simple reminder!

  • Comet

    I work with young children and their parents – it is so easy to judge both, and even though I believe I appear to be a loving and kind teacher, I can often be throwing daggers with my thoughts. I find that “walking a mile in the other person’s shoes” really helps me keep me positive. My job is very stressful and thankless in many ways, but there are also gems of wisdom spoken and miracles witnessed every day that can still thrill me after 25 years in my job. Thank you for the great practical steps to stay positive; by taking your advice to heart, I hope to help free myself from fear, worry, stress, and sleeplessness!

  • Jillian

    Great post! Excited to read the book…

  • I worked hard to become a positive person! My husband is currently fighting with his own negativity. I try to help, but it can be hard. I’ll be sharing this with him. Thank you so much!

  • I can really relate to this , gives me hope and encouragement

  • Katie McG

    Have recently reframed my life into one of vigilant positivity! Would love a copy of hte book.

  • Jessica

    I’m wondering what your take on looking at the positive vs. ignoring negative might be? I think sometimes people think that in order to be positive everything negative needs to go. I don’t think that’s possible or a healthy mindset either. I’ve been working on being positive and finding silver lining, but I will admit it’s been hard because when I was more negative, people removed me from their lives and distanced themselves… because that’s what they needed to do. What it did to me was cultivate more negativity. I felt kicked out with the trash. Now, I don’t hold grudges and work hard on retraining my mindset, but I have SUCH a hard time distancing myself from others who aren’t doing as well. I know I personally can’t change them, their attitudes, or outlook, but I hope that I can at least share a little, very subtly if needed. When people talk about letting go of negative relationships, i suppose it is all relative to the situation, but unless I know someone who is lying to me, robbing me, hurting me, cheating me… I can’t find a good reason to turn anyone away. Distance, sure, but I think I’m always going to be there. Any thoughts?

  • Johnny

    During my college years I found it very easy to be positive and live a stress-free lifestyle…I also smoked copious amounts of marijuana. I got married shortly out of school and over a decade put my drug use to rest, but along the way I came to realize that my addiction served to mask a deep anger that came to the surface once the weight of the smoke had cleared. I transitioned from a seemingly carefree and positive person into a negative, condescending, judgmental person that I grew to loathe. By this time I had kids that were learning from my behavior and I knew I had to change myself if I wanted to provide a better example for them. It feels damn good to be back on the path I had found in college, and even better to have found it without mind-numbing substances. It has been a difficult path to find again, but an easier path to forge each day I choose to stay on it. At the end of the day I know I have my way back and I feel happy that I can provide a template for my kids to follow.

  • Fantastic advice; thank you, Dani! I shared it on Facebook 🙂

  • MLY

    I’m currently working on becoming more positive about myself and to have a better outlook at life. It’s not easy at all. You see, I have been very negative most of my life. I always loved to dress up but I could never do that to work because I was afraid of being judged–of being too dressy. I would wear dull and boring sweaters and cardigans to work. Two weeks ago, I started a new job and decided that I had to change. I wanted to be myself and that I wasn’t going to care about what people thought of me. For the first time in 10 years, I finally wore a dress with boots to work and I felt great that day! I can’t say that I am all comfortable and confident now because I am not but I am learning to take it slowly and one day at a time. I also notice that it really helps with boosting my self-confidence which helps me to stay and be more positive. I also put the quote, “What you do have control over is how you react to what happens in your life,” from Oprah as a reminder every morning when I get ready to go to work. It helps a lot to remind myself that I could have a great day by staying positive and don’t let others get to me. : D

  • Faith Harper

    Very cool, sharing this with my clients!

  • Natalie

    Great Article!! Very introspective and made me think about my reactions to similar situations. Keep it up! I hope to read Dani’s book in the near future 🙂

  • Jessiebee

    I really needed this message today. I hit a wall as I prepare myself to enter a training course to open my own business and I lost faith in myself. I forgot to look for the positives in being my own boss! I would love to receive one of Dani’s books to use as a reminder of what I can achieve when I remember to be happy, be disciplined, be positive and be focused!!!

  • Hope

    Dear Dani,
    When I read your article, I relate to it as I was surrounded by negative people everyday and always being judged at. I feel really sad that I can’t make my partner see that he judge me and throwing negative words at me everytime if I try to say something or giving my opinion, ended up I keep quite most time. It is hard for me to leave the negative environment as I love my partner very much. I tried everyday to stay positive everyday moment but deep inside I am very hurt and a damaged person. I know there is a saying, you can’t change a person but to change yourself, so much so that I now very afraid of even talking therefore there is hardly conversation between us, because everytime I say someting, it’s wrong and being judge at, even misunderstood my goodwill. It is very sad. Things that I say, is always misinterpreted to Negative view ( being judged) and in real fact I really genuinely trying to give a hand or give support!!! I know he came from a very abusive and hard childhood and are still a victim to his dad. It is very sad that he doesn’t see that he is a Big Negative energy, he explode on every little things. I tried very much to stay positive every moment,everyday. Till now I leave it to God. Have faith.
    Thank You for sharing your articles with us and all the best to you Dani.

  • Stella*

    Since I turned 25 I went through my quarter life crisis. Up until that point I was always negative, egocentric about everything. I had to be perfect, have the best of every new technology, product, whatever to always outdo friends, rivals whoever. I’d buy my boyfriend at the time the best of the best and he never appreciated it. The difference was he was content with himself, and us (when I wasn’t acting crazy trying to be some perfectionist about Us). Then we broke up, my parents got divorced, and my perfect lifestyle and world came to a halt. I went through a HUGE transformation. Then I got to a really good place, I was content – for awhile – then the ego slipped back in, the negative forces of family drama surrounded me and my life dipped back into another low. I am now again at a time of great transformation. You always know because everyday you get worn out by life yet somehow at the end of each day or the next morning when I wake up and I’m sitting in bed gathering myself to take on the day, I realize what I learned, what I accomplished yesterday, and remind myself that today is a new day. A fresh start. A new beginning. And life is a constant cycle, as are the seasons. Every spring plants and animals have to go through the challenges of g-r-o-w-i-n-g again, and this is a great reminder that so do we. Winter can come, and we can get a little stagnate but the changing of each season (if you happen to live in a 4 season location) is a constant reminder to keep going, keep growing, keep rejuvenating yourself. And those dead ends… you let them break off and keep going. I am definitely NOT in the same state of mind I was in prior to turning 25, but at 27 I am happy to say that I learned more about myself the last 2 years than I ever did prior to that.

    A separate thought: I feel I have found my fountain to happiness… Think back to your true childhood ages 2 – 12. The world to a child is nothing but a passion of discovery. Everything is new, and you have no l-e-a-r-n-e-d bias. You ask a million questions and want the answer to every single one. Including where does Santa come from?!
    When I finally hit rock bottom, this was my first step to re-finding myself. Eliminate everything I’ve learned or think I know and start from scratch. And really tell yourself “I have to try this again – even if you had before – because the result just MIGHT be different this time.”

  • I couldn’t agree more with this article. You have to be vigilant when it comes to being positive. Well-meaning people, often your family and friends, will try to make you be realistic by pointing out all of the negatives and telling you not to set yourself up for failure. You have to focus on every step you take, and to appreciate every little thing around you. I think that helps a lot with staying positive. And definitely surround yourself with positive people who want the best for you, without dragging you down.

  • Kelly

    You have no idea how much I needed this today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • Cecilia

    I can relate to you being sorrounded by negative people. People in my office, in my department in particular, it’s so hard to be positive when you are sorrounded with people who’s ego are bigger than their head, literally. For a year I’ve been on my journey to enlightenment and I love who I become.

  • kelly

    I really, really needed this today. Thank you so much!

  • Jayne

    At this very moment, I am grateful to have seek positivity and to have landed on your blog. Thank you for the simple yet so profound explanation on how to incorporate a way of life that is beneficial for the human race. I do my best to practice your advice daily (prior to reading your blog) and you are absolutely right about the challenge on a day-to-day. I just gave my parents who have been married for 30 years and still argue and nag advice about focusing on the positives with one another even when the situation makes it difficult to see it. Thank you dani for your post! Much love!

  • Olive

    this stuff really works!

  • Marcin

    As usual a great post. It really makes a difference to shift one’s perspective on life.

  • Vladica

    I love your article and you pretty much described everything I try to set my mind to!Being positive is a way of life,longterm thinking.If you stay focused on being positive and having positive thoughts about things,soon it will go your way and the best part is that it links to other things!My experience was that when I started thinking that way,everything kind of fell in its place.It was like a POSITIVE CYCLE!Of course,there were and are things that won’t turn out they way you were hoping for them to turn out,but it’s important to remember that we did the best we can and that the next time it will be better.
    That is my experience with being positive,but I would be more than curious to read your book!Im sure I’d find out new and great things that I didnt know before and I include them in my life and way of thinking.I hope there is a chance you pick me for the eBook copy,because Im from Europe,Serbia,to be specific,so even if I wanted to,I could not buy your book from here.Paypal is still trying to come through here,so you get the picture,lol.
    I’d really appreciate it and feel thrilled if you would meet me half way,but if not,Im gonna stick with your blog 🙂

  • Tazchick

    I used to be a very negative person and had a lot of self-hatred for myself.

    Recently, my ex-boyfriend told me he thinks I should move on. This is not easy. Even though we broke up over a year ago, we maintained contact and it seemed that there may have been a chance to get back together. But now, I think he has said his final goodbyes and so have I.

    It hurts. He was such a great guy and I took him for granted. I would want nothing more than to go back in time and be a positive person.

    But I understand– even though I feel I’ve changed– why he’s not willing to find out. I was so negative to him for so long. I just dragged him down.

    Now, I must learn to move on. It’s hard, but I just tell myself that he is happier without me being in his life. And though the outcome is not what I wanted– I have become a more positive person because of our relationship.

    Thank you. This is a very nice article, reminding me to be positive and that I can choose to see the good that this relationship/break-up has brought to my life.

  • Jackie Strawder

    I was married to the most negative man in the world it took 32 yrs to learn that I could never make him happy and that I needed to get away so I could find my own happiness. I couldn’t be happier now…thanks for sharing.

  • preeti

    There could not have been a better time to read this tiny yet wonderful piece of positivity..Today at the age of 45,i was ,i am desparetly trying to come up and like myself for what i am.i have wonderful kids,who are my support system,but deep down i realise they don’t respect me ,my family takes me for granted,i used to blame everything around me,my husband,our failed marriage,myself being always ill,so many negative things,i hated morning i prayed to God,either change me or my perspective or stop this failed marriage and its ongoings.i got up opened my inbox,and read this article,i will not say it changed me,but it opened my eyes.that is important.i promise myself that from now on i will look for positive things in my life,and reinforce it to the best THANKS a lot.
    Can you please help me to deal with extra dominating husband?

  • Brittany Markaverich

    This is something I am working on for me. As a mother and Wife I have made my son and husband my top 2 priorities. This was at the expense of me and my happiness. I have recently started working on my happiness and being more positive. I enjoyed this thoroughly and would love to be able to read your book as well. Thank you for this post.

  • Thank you for the encouragement to stay positive no matter what. Definitely needed it today!

  • Ana Pears

    Thank you for this post and shift in perspective.

  • Karen R.

    It has taken me many years to realize that being positive is not just smiling when you are down, but believing in yourself. Choosing to be positive regardless of how much others try to bring you down with them. It’s surrounding yourself with the right people who support, motivate and accept you. It’s looking for the lesson in every difficult situation and not dwelling on the negative. It’s not only praising yourself but being kind to others.
    It hasn’t been quick or easy but I can attest that you can “train” yourself to be positive. It makes for a much more fulfilling and satisfying life.

  • CA

    Dani , this is too similar to our situation . I use to be that guy. I was abused from my father both physically and mentally. My advice would be to write to him via email or text and express to him what you’ve been feeling but also assure that you are totally committed. My girlfriend did this to me and it changed our relationship. I honestly didn’t know that I was being so negative because living like this for 16 years as a kid made it seem normal to me. It will also help to get someone in his family or one of his friends on board so he knows its not just you ” being crazy ” . After that email I received from my girlfriend , I booked counseling and it changed my life. I am not perfect now but she knows that I have changed so much. Hope this helps.

  • Emily

    Great message. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Karen

    As hard as I try to be positive, it is so easy to fall back into old negative habits. A delightful daily reminder can be a great way to help stay on track : )

  • Chucktuck

    Since I’m closing in on 50, I’m searching strenuously for some positivity!
    Seems I’m well practiced in accepting the negative. Looking forward to changing my style. I do believe it is possible… Cheers!

  • magladem96

    Thank you for the post! It’s just wanted I needed to hear this morning!

  • minhazzm

    Thank you for this post which offers practical ways to become and stay positive in life. Living in India and working with marginalised communities, trying to provide work and income to the poor often results in hearing and being witness to very difficult and tragic stories of deprivation, exploitation, loss and longing as well as some amazing stories about the strength and beauty of the human spirit. Usually, the mind-blowing humanity and grace shown by people who have so little in their lives materially but who are so rich in spirit is enough of an inspiration. But sometimes, the sad and difficult realities of life do bring me down and I need to find ways to stay positive, stay strong and not feel that whatever I do, it will never be enough. Your post highlighted that staying positive is always a choice that I always have no matter how hard or bad things may seem to be

  • Excellent. These are great. I think that once I started embracing #1 and then #3, the others felt like they came more naturally… Thanks for the message !

  • Adrienne

    I have become more and more tuned to the positive as I grow older. What is striking me, though, is the challenge of helping my son develop the ability (or courage) to understand that he can choose to see situation (the world) positively or negatively. He is only 10 years old but I so want him to learn and practice this skill now rather than so much later in his life, like I have done. How do I help him see and feel his own agency in choosing his outlook?

  • Amy53515

    Excellent post. Kudos for staying positive & sharing it with others like us who need the encouragement. Love your dog for as long as you can.

  • Leon

    Thanks for this comment.

  • Hiromi

    I am glad I found this article… I know it takes time, but still it is good to hear from somebody else.

  • Kt

    Wow! I came across this article at the perfect time. Funny how things work that way.

  • Jeanne Pace

    Thank you for writing this, I am 24 married with a son and I am soo negative and it’s hurting my family. I know I need to change and reading this and many more books/articles in the future is going to help me. I didn’t feel like I had any choice and I had nowhere to start but now I know it’s my choice and how to start changing.

  • JJ

    Great Post. I’m a great believer that people can train themselves to become more positive.

    I’ve just written an article on my blog on positivity if your interested

  • All

    Stella, I am so glad that you decided to make this investment in yourself..
    I currently am in a huge transitional time.. A very close friend betrayed my trust, and cruely tore me down then declared that she ‘needs a break from our friendship’ after belittling me to her other friends and talking shit about me and my family behind my back..

    i have often said, and find it to be true once again is that when things like this happen it is necessary to remember all the things that made me happy before all the learned bias and cruel behaviors of other people..

    I wish you the best..

  • PB

    Thank you for these wise words. I’ve just come across this article as I’m struggling with negative/positive thoughts. I’ve moved on a lot in life and find it hard when I come across someone negative and feel sucked in and drained by it all. Despite trying to put a positive spin on things, sometimes people don’t want to know or they think you’re some kind of do-gooder. I don’t want to be judgemental, but I can find myself being negative about their negativity… if that makes any sense.

  • Roberta Metalious

    I decided to get rid of the negative people in my life…and now I have no friends that don’t live hundreds of miles away. I’m 61 years old…it’s time I start making very drastic changes in my life. Becoming positive will be my first step.

  • Mayas0609

    I see a lot of positives in my life. I have been happily married for almost 8 years, with 2 beautiful healthy kids. My husband is not just a good husband, but a life partner, a friend, family …just everything I could have ever wanted in a man. He loves me, and I feel it AND hear it from him every day not just in words, but also actions. He puts me first along with the kids, he works so hard for us, and wants me to have everything I want, he is generous and never says a word if I buy anything expensive for me…I admire his extremely gentle character! He is also an amazing dad, involved in everything related to the kids, and would spend every single second of his time after work with us even if I try to get to go have fun with his friends, he wouldn’t go. Now, because he provides so much happiness, security and love in my life, I do feel sometimes scared of the simple thought that I could loose him, to death, illness or whatever other reason…I feel my entire world is collapsing if he is not with me..I am scared…really scared…to loose my current situation.

  • David

    Good article, just what I was looking for, I hope you all have a wonderful sense of contentment for the rest of your lives 🙂

  • Tomoliver

    Great thoughts on positivity! Thanks for sharing. We need to start a movement of positivity! Join me in making 2014 the year of smiles.

  • Angel

    One thought that always helps me when I start going down the road of negativity is that the idea of positive and negative generally only exist in the mind of (wo)man. They are molds that we have created for reality. Nothing is good, nothing is bad. Everything just is. Everything is just radiant love.

  • Joni

    This really brought me some light for todays sadness and negativity. Thank you so very much. Love and light <3

  • Sierra

    After marriage I have become so negative that i have started hurtng my husband because of negativity …. I have really lost all my self-confidence … I think people around me r knowledgable n i m dumm … I am really trying to come out of these n bring self confidence in me ..But its really hard to bring positive behaviour once u have become Negative

  • Brennan

    Thanks. I needed this tonight. Have been going through some things for a few years and recently decided that I need a pretty big change. As a whole, this website has been a pretty good guiding light as far as controlling my daily emotions. I reference it often.

  • Ewood

    So yiu stopped pointing your finger by blaming negative people for bringing you down? I think you may have misunderstood some of Buddha’s teachings.

  • Fatima

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Sean c

    I started tearing up in the middle of reading this because of the realization how weak I have been and how little effort i REALLY put into my life to make myself and my future bright. I have always been like a sponge for negativity and I still know It will be that way for some time. I just pray I can move forward day to day and become stronger to overcome the negativity that I have known all my life. I don’t know how to embrace this but I just know I need to practice this. I am so unmotivated and felt like giving up so many times that I know this will be one of the biggest challenges in my life. Thank you, You may have saved my life.

  • Hannah

    Thank you for this article! I too struggle with lots of negativity. I truly hate how it feels to be negative all the time and I believe my negativity is affecting my children. I want to change all that and I stumbled upon ur article. Thank you. I am going to use ur 5 steps and train myself to be more positive.

  • Sarah

    I am so glad that I found this, I needed to read this. I am just starting out my career as a nurse (10 months in ) and most days, before I go to work I already have negative feelings about what it’s going to be like when I get there. I am trying to stick out my job for at least 12 months to finish my graduate year but I feel like giving up every day. I have come to realize a few things about myself, not because I noticed, but because they have been pointed out to me by my partner.
    1. I always try to find an easy way out/ or an escape, meaning when things get tough, I want out.
    2. I complain a lot and can be quite the princess
    3. I almost enjoy being negative
    Since meeting my partner, he has been supportive but has zero tolerance for this behaviour, as he believes that being positive is an attitude of choice.
    This is your first step to being positive, but my god it is the hardest.
    I do well for about a month and then I relapse and my partner and I have issues.
    Anyway, the point of this message was to really just thank you and I guess explain my situation because I really want there to be hope for me, as do I wish hope for everyone else here.

  • Kyle Laney Lane

    This is a great read I’ve been going through an anxious patch and I think this has helped me realise how much potential I have and how many good people I have around me 🙂

  • cawster

    Is it okay to lie to people? Like when you don’t think they did a good job, etc., but you still tell them so? Is that being positive?

  • Peggy

    I have left a 23 year marriage with a man who was masking his own anger and negativity brought forward from his alcohoholic father. The marriage was going down a path of verbal and mental abuse and leaning further.
    I didn’t want my daughter, who is visually impaired to think this was okay to be treated this way.
    I want to learn to be positive. For her and for me.

    I agree with finding something nice to say about a person. If they have a nice outfit. I willl tell them.
    I WANT to learn to be even more positive. So….I attrack positivity.

  • Sundial83

    I took from the article that you find things to genuinely appreciate about the other person. Lying to someone to spare their feelings isn’t what I would call genuine appreciation. In a situation where you can’t find anything to appreciate about someone, you may have to dig deeper. Sometimes, you may need to silently appreciate the fact that they are giving you a much needed challenge in the positivity department.

  • AntonyR

    Hi Dani, my wife has just undergone a life changing process and is now so positive.
    What it highlighted is I’m not! Your post is great and I am going to try and embrace this positive way from TODAY!

  • Sohaib_44

    crap ! , rid your life of negativity and thus achieve positivity , lolz

  • Kasandora kun

    Thanks for this article! It has helped me a lot. I am a negative person and have soon realized that it affects people around me too because I am negative myself since really long. It is difficult to change to being positive after you’ve always been negative. I’m trying my best to change and hope it helps. This post has encouraged me a lot. I always have to remind myself that being positive will be taking one step to the good side!

  • Ramone

    Hey everyone
    My Name is ramone
    I’m 15 turning 16 this summer
    Since I was a little boy ive been a sad depressed kid who was always ready to die
    I’ve tried to end my life a lot of times
    Last year I met this lovely girl who I am happily with
    All my life ive been confused about everything
    I have witnessed a lot of thing kids should not see
    I’ve lost my mind once its still lost but I’m gaining my mentel state back slowly
    One day I woke up and told myself
    I don’t want to live my whole life like this
    Everyday was a dark day
    I hope these steps work I gotta drop a lot of things I’ve got use to but I’m ready for change I’m sick of the way I feel
    I’m unhealthy
    Always sick
    I’m looking forward to the new me I don’t expect to see him anytime soon
    Everything takes time

  • Reyam

    It’s first time in my life that I feel down like this and I don’t even know the reason . after been together for 3 years , me and my boyfriend are planning to get married . but I feel that I am not happy anymore with him . I feel that all our dreams have faded away . I predict that we will get divorced if we got married . we are stuck together cause we suffered a lot to reach to each other . I left my country , my family , my friends and moved to work in UAE where he works in order to be together . after 3 years of suffering we are together but we are not happy anymore we can’t broke up and we can’t move on together . we are literally stuck in the middle !! and we are both desperate , helpless and dead

  • San Diego

    Don’t give up! If you work on being positive every day, even on dark days, you will grow into a person you love. I believe in you 🙂

  • Paul m

    My life saying is….’you can’t change what has already happened, but, you can change (your choice), the way you react to what has happened’.

    Life’s choices are made by yourself.

  • jilby

    tnx alot for givg ah better ideas…

  • Fred

    You see things n say ” why ‘ but I dream things that never were n say why not ? ..AlWAYS. Be positive. No matter wat Crisis your going thro ! 🙂

  • I’d rather post as guest

    1. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be happy, but I can’t. That’s why I’m reading this. Step 1: Just be positive??? Really????

    3. Sure, but the positive doesn’t always outweight the negative. “You learnt something” isn’t always much of a comfort, and it isn’t going to make you see things positively.

    4. Yeah, just being able to snap my fingers and magically like myself WOULD be nice, but as with step 1…

    5. Ah yes, the “just don’t have social anxiety!” step.

  • Gary Phelps

    step 2 contradicts step 1? if you are truly positive in yourself then no amount of negativity by people or situations and circumstance can affect your own self belief that you are positive. so why get rid of negative people why not accept them and realize that physics dictates opposites attract because with out negative how would you know what positive is?
    Some negative people are true real and honest and some positive people are the exact opposite and visa versa. Be real be positive accept people and circumstance for what it is to be truly happy. Positivity is and always has been an inside job, your job no one else’s.

  • Harish Kr

    great Great GREAT G R E A T

    great Great GREAT G R E A T

    great Great GREAT G R E A T

  • Barb

    Beautiful in thought, expression and personal reflection. I’m struggling in many similar ways and at a point of taking full responsibility for myself and my choices and remembering to be loving and kind to myself. Most importantly -be forgiving. None of us is perfect and that the human condition we all share. Love to read your book and though your contest is closed want to have an opportunity to receive one. Peace and God’s love on all our journeys.

  • Jackson Ellis

    Thank you soo much for this article. I just went through a bad day of being super award with someone else after a a fun day with friends. I was being social and phisically awkard with someone that I was not dating. She thought it was really wierd since we weren’t even dating, I felt so bad and stressed about the whole situation. But, then after I read this, I started thinking what was good about the day, and what could of went more worse. I started being more posite about e situation and start moving on. It’s like what my father always told me, life is 90% of what happens to you, but 10% of how much you handle them. Not everybody is perfect. We just have to get time to forgive our mistakes and move on. We make mistakes because so we could learn from them and move on. That’s the whole point of life. My parents always told me to always stay positive no mater what. I should of listened to them, cause it works with life well. I think that, after you do something really stupid or stressful, being positive makes he process more faster and easier to forgive and move on. Thank you again for the article and I’ll practice being more positive!

  • sasaee

    it is amazing because I’m involving the same process so far and I found such practices so helpful toward having a better and more positive life. hope every one can get their desirable lifestyle. thank you alot

  • Brett Loadb Young

    I have found that a object can be a negative entity, me and my partner own a van that we are converting into a camper van for holidays. We have owned it now for 14 months and it has spent 9 of those months needing repairs and UN useable. So for we have spent £2500 on repairs as a mechanic I am doing the repairs myself but feel constantly defeated by how much needs doing, how time consuming and tiring it is and how it is financially draining. It is beginning to have a negative effect on our relationship, I get frustrated a lot which I think makes tasks seem more difficult? I seem to be struggling to see how it will be a good thing in the future, and every time I have to work on it fills me with dread. How can I change this from negative to positive?

  • Ramona Flowers

    Wow this is such a mind opener! I have read in Consumer Health Digest that living a positive life can really alter your health for the better. This guidelines are really easy to follow. Thanks 🙂

  • Carla

    Hello. I need some advise. I’m only 19 years old, turning 20 next year only.
    I’ve been dating a guy for just about a year and 3 months now. I’m really really really inlove with him. I’m struggling with life tho. If I’m not with him I feel sad. I work from 8 till 5pm. When I’m at work all I can do is think about him. I want to be with him all the time. But whenever he tells me he wants to do something with his friends I get sad and upset. And I just go back to my apartment and feel really shitty about myself. I feel like he doesn’t want to be with me even tho I know he loves me and was with me the pervious day whatever. I’m really negative about anything that actually happens. I’m also not so close to my old friends anymore because of him. I sit and wait till he tells me he can come over or whatever. And the thing is I know I’m being stupid about it. If someone told me this I just would’ve been like “go out with your own friends and enjoy your time” but now that I’m in this situation I can’t help it. I struggle to get myself out and positive. I need advise on how I can be more positive and feel better about myself. There’s so much more I want to say about how I feel but this is the best I could explain myself

  • Ivan Schneider

    if I were to follow any of the steps above, I would be a delusional airhead. If anything, I’ve attained and achieved more in life with a moderate amount of negativity.

  • anony

    A beautiful articles , thanks 🙂

  • Ak

    I am a 19 year old teenager and I was pretty much skinny I hated my self for being so and found negatives in me. But now I look forward for being positive I think it can make me accomplish more.

  • Anna Elizabeth Larose

    Hi guys!
    Staying positive,yes! Having a good mind set relieves stress my mother always said there’s two sides to every story and just like that there’s​ always two ways to look at any situation – can’t believe it’s that simple but ya… It is…
    Because your thoughts work with emotion and actions are just the follow through but if it works like that then trying to eliminate stress yes will help only if your in danger!
    Over reacting is negative thinking everyone has bad days let them cool off and see if they still feel the same way we’re hurt because they don’t understand how we grew up and we don’t understand them unless you have the talk (not while angry) about triggers and understanding them you can move forward and be positive (everyone’s got triggers and they’d be lying if they said they didn’t 😉 ) but communication with your loved ones in general is key it’s not always sun shine and rainbows but my mother had another old saying (pick your battles ) and this again is true look for red flags but it’s not fair to simply ask your partner or children to change – love is having an ongoing understanding of trust and friendship first and foremost I was never my mother’s friend but she taught me my most favorite lesson of all ( take only the good in every situation and leave the bad !) With that I hope everyone has a good evening!
    and I’m sorry in advance to any English majors about my punctuation errors and improper grammar I tried ☺

  • VVV

    Thank you for this reminder! To say it positively, I really learned the lesson in school about critical thinking, looking for the flaw in the argument, finding a problem that needs to be fixed. But I’ve noticed that I don’t need to extend this to my personal life. Toastmasters helped, because whenever I thought of a speech to give, it seemed natural that even if I was talking about a challenge, I wanted to end it with a gift of encouragement and lessons learned, both for my own sake and the eager listeners. When finding myself on the job market, it was again very useful to think of the positive in the situation (and that helped me get a job that was a better fit than the one before.) It’s all good to note and accept resentments or sadness. But you have to see and make use of what is working to have the resources to keep going, maybe towards even better situations.

  • Paula Cristina Go

    thank you for this post.. I am just starting to heal myself and start my journey to go back in being positive again. I have lost myself too much. I was so in denial that I will not step back and remove the things that turn my life negative. Now, I am starting to let go of all the things that make me feel negative and hopefully I can achieve the old me that was all positive in every situation.