9 Habits of a Positive Person

9 Habits of a Positive Person
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Becoming a positive person, if you aren’t one already, may seem simple. But it’s not always so easy.  Choosing to think positively is especially important if we agree with the idea that we are what we think. And thinking positively and adopting an optimistic attitude has a lot of advantages. It’s much preferable to falling into the temptation of pessimism and defeatism.

But why is it so important to think positively? What benefits are there to being optimistic and thinking positively? And what do we have to do to switch gears and see things more positively? Can we really change our way of thinking and become a positive person?

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

-Elbert Hubbard-

A positive mind is a powerful mind

What we know for sure is that a positive attitude can take us to new heights that we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. In that sense, changing our way of thinking can mean the difference between the person we are and the person we hope to be

We often blame others for our own failures and difficulties. We think they contribute to our low moments, but it’s not always like that.

The next time a project isn’t moving forward or you have some kind of problem, do a self-evaluation and carefully examine the situation. Think about how the mind so often controls what we do and how we react to people and circumstances.

A positive person makes many deliberate decisions that play a huge role in their well-being. So we must ask ourselves, what do we gain when we choose to think positively instead of succumbing to the temptation of pessimism? Each individual thought and each decision we make has an impact on our lives.

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”

-Oprah Winfrey-

a positive person smiling

Being a positive person means changing some habits

Optimism is a learned trait. But that doesn’t mean we can’t re-program our way of thinking and seeing. Fortunately, as studies show, we can teach ourselves to see the world in a more positive way.

One of the keys to getting that different perspective is by changing our habits. The reason is that habits can help us be successful or they can be an obstacle that drags us towards failure. Habits, good or bad, are inevitable and form part of our lives. Lastly, they have the power to shape our environment, making up a large part of who we are.

Getting into good habits isn’t easy, even for people who are very successful. When the time comes to make good habits a part of our routine, the struggle is real. That’s why being proactive and making an effort to build good habits is a challenge for all of us.

Focusing on being proactive instead of reactive will help us create good habits and become a positive person. To start with, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s better to set goals to create positive habits than to try to get rid of old, bad habits.

Habits of positive people

Below are some habits you can incorporate into your life to cultivate positive thought. They will help you be more optimistic and become a positive person.

  1. Find an optimistic point of view in a negative situation: one of the simplest and most effective ways to view things more positively is to ask more useful questions whenever possible. The goal is to try to find the good in the situation, to turn the problem into an opportunity.
  2. Cultivate and live in a positive environment: choose carefully who you choose to spend your time with and what you do every day. The people you’re around, what you watch, what you listen to, what you read… To maintain a positive attitude it’s absolutely essential to have supportive and encouraging influences in your life. Look for people and activities that pick you up, not drag you down.
  3. Go slowwhen we move too fast things get tangled up. We think fast, we talk fast, we move fast… We end up living a stressful and superficial life. Acquiring habits of positive thought means moving more slowly.
  4. Stop – Breathe – Focus: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. It’s very easy to lose perspective, especially if you are stressed and moving too fast. Therefore, when you feel like negativity is consuming you, stop, breathe, and re-focus your thoughts.
  5. Add positivity to your surroundings: what you give is what you get. If you add optimism and positivity to those around you, you will get the same in return. The way you treat others and how you think about them also greatly affects how you treat and think about yourself. Start by helping, listening, and smiling.
  6. Have a healthy lifestyle: exercise regularly and eat and sleep well. This will keep your body healthy and your mind clear. You will have the energy to control your thoughts and spot any trace of negativity. 
    a runner tying her shoes
  7. Learn to respond to criticism in a healthy way: criticism is almost inevitable: the criticism you give as well as the criticism you get. The key is to learn to manage it in a healthier way. To start with, identify what is true or objective about the criticism, and what is a personal perception or opinion. In either case, there’s no reason to take criticism personally. Just let it go. In the end, a criticism isn’t a universal truth. And if you can learn something from it, if you can truly improve, great — take advantage of it!
  8. Start the day in a positive way: how you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. So pay attention to how you are spending your mornings.
  9. Smile! Positive people smile a lot, they always smile. When you smile you are showing optimism, good humor, respect, and you’re giving off good vibes. In fact, when you smile you send a message to your brain that everything is fine. Everything is easier when you are smiling.

It’s impossible to stop thinking, no matter how much our thoughts torment us. But what we can do is choose other thoughts. As they say in the movie Peaceful Warrior, “life is a choice. You can choose to be a victim or anything else you’d like to be.”

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.”

-Tena Desae-

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.