Seven Habits to Make Positive Changes in Your Life

The habits to positively change your life are little actions that have a place in everyone's day-to-day life. They lead to serenity, balance, and better attitudes and decisions.
Seven Habits to Make Positive Changes in Your Life
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 07 May, 2023

One of the central tenets of Zen is calming your thoughts and emotions so you can create lasting and stable inner peace. Inner peace is fundamental if you want to behave appropriately and enjoy well-being. The goal of the habits we’ll share today is to make positive changes in your life to foster the right environment for reaching that inner balance.

“Wherever you are, be all there!”

-Jim Elliot-

If you keep your thoughts and emotions calm, you’ll have the clarity to act and the strength to concentrate. It’ll be easier to avoid wasting your energy, and everything you do will have better results. Some of the habits you need to make positive changes in your life are the following:

1. Breathe

You’d be surprised how much your life can change if you just take the time to do some intentional breathing every day, especially when things get tough. Breathing is absolutely essential for your mind and body to function well.

So, one of the habits for making positive changes is just that: breathe. Take some time every day to slow down your breathing and focus on your breathing when things get difficult.

A woman outside enjoying the sun.

2. Change the narration

Almost without realizing it, you often create a script for your life that’s doing much more harm than good. It includes all of those negative thoughts that tell you you can’t do it, that things won’t turn out well, that you should be afraid, etc.

One of the habits you can incorporate into your life to change that tendency is to be aware of those repetitive negative thoughts. Take note of them and then change them. Get rid of any ideas centered on blame, guilt, and minimization.

3. Smile

Sometimes, it’s good to give yourself little challenges. This one involves greeting someone with a serious face one day and a smiling face the next. Take note of what kinds of feelings and thoughts come up for you and what you observe in the other person’s reactions. You’ll undoubtedly notice a significant difference.

Studies show that the act of smiling releases a series of neuropeptides that have a positive effect on your mood. Thus, if you’re having a bad day, practice smiling in the mirror. Make your smile your most common gesture.

4. Reprogram pain perception

Most of us are of the mind that a good life is a life free of pain. That isn’t only unrealistic but wrong. All big events in life involve some degree of pain – including your own birth.

Pain isn’t something you should try to avoid, but a natural part of life. If you’re able to learn from it, then accepting that pain is normal is another step towards making positive changes,

5. Spend time in nature

Don’t wait until you’re on the edge to disconnect from your routine. Another habit that’s important for your well-being is to avoid getting stuck in a rut, reconnect with nature, and allow it to fill you with peace.

Going to the park or for a walk in the woods shouldn’t be an occasional thing. Being in nature needs to be a regular part of your life. This may surprise you, but it’s as important as working, keeping your commitments, etc. The effect nature has on human beings is wonderful and lasting.

6. Live in the present

Focusing on the past or the future is an exercise in futility. You have no control over those parts of your life; the only thing you can do with them is turn them over and over in your head. Most of the time, thinking about the past or the future only feeds nostalgia or triggers anxiety.

It’s important to be aware of where you came from and where you want to go. That being said, the absolute most important thing in life is the present moment. As soon as you lose sight of that, it’s too easy to fall into dark and unproductive moods.

A woman at the beach trying to make positive changes.

7. Meditation

Meditating doesn’t necessarily involve sitting in the lotus position on a cushion and ascending to Nirvana. You can meditate while you wash the dishes, walk home, or in practically any situation that doesn’t require a lot of external focus.

In a nutshell, meditation is all about getting in touch with yourself. Feeling yourself and your emotions. Paying attention to how your heart beats and the movement of your breath in and out of your body. Being aware of the thoughts that come into your mind and the emotions you experience in your body.

These seven habits can help you make positive changes in your life. They’re simple and applicable to people from all walks of life. The only thing you need to put them into practice is the desire to transform your life and the discipline to make it happen.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Nardone, G., & Watzlawick, P. (1999). El arte del cambio. Herder.

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