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How to Think Positive Every Day

How to Think Positive Every Day

Many of us may have heard of the importance of positivity but few can really tell why it’s important.

Barbara Fredrickson, a university professor in Psychology, discovered how negative emotions affect our minds.

In the experiment, participants were asked to tally some objects they listed. Results showed that participants with negative emotions named remarkably fewer than those with positive or neutral emotions. [1]

The conclusion is, negative emotions do narrow our mind, forcing us to pick from limited options. This phenomenon is especially observable when we are in life-threatening situation, where we have to take immediate action.

When we are trapped with a reduced number of choices as a result of emotions coming into play, we make wrong regretful decisions.

So it’s really important to think positive.But… how?

Thousands of articles online teach us how to think positive in the most clichéd ways possible. You should cheer up, crack a smile, look on the bright side of life…blah…blah..blah…

Don’t worry! The tips you are going to see below are nothing like those. We aim to offer some practical and specific tips for you to start making REAL changes.

Start with your posture: sit up straight! It’s more than etiquette

While one may think cultivation of positivity always requires conscious effort, indeed it doesn’t.

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Sitting up straight may appear irrelevant to positivity. But a study reveals the association between posture and positive thoughts.

The result shows that people are more likely to generate positive thoughts and recall positive memories when they are sitting up straight.[2]

So, sit up straight right now! Sometimes tiny things in life all contribute to our well-being without us noticing.

Have a teaspoon in your pocket

What else can a teaspoon do other than stirring our refreshing cup of coffee? Well, a Quora user, William Peynsaert, thinks of a brilliant idea to use a teaspoon for our evasion from negativity. [3]

All we need is a teaspoon. Nothing more.

Well, technically, we also need a pair of pants with pockets. In case we are not wearing any.

What we do is to put the teaspoon into either one side of the pocket. Whenever we feel like formulating a negative thought, put the teaspoon into another pocket. Just that simple.

The principle behind is that the action occupies our brains so we don’t have spare resources to bring up any negative thoughts. Usually we are quite impulsive to have negative thoughts and by the time we finished transferring the teaspoon, the urge is long gone and SNAP! We successfully stop a negative thought.

At first we may find ourselves doing it over and over again. But eventually, we will do this less and less.

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After all, we can choose whatever utensils or stationery or anything that fit us. It’s just a medium.

It may sound silly but it does work.

Instead of news, read something uplifting in the morning

It is common to watch morning news reports. For the sake of keeping abreast of the latest news. This is definitely good not to block ourselves off the outside world. But, what news is mostly about?

Car crash. Terrorist attack. Natural disaster. All sorts of disheartening incidents.

I am not suggesting us not read any news but a trade off. Devote part of your morning on something more uplifting.

Start our daily confidence programming habit. Instead of news update, begin our day by reading a chapter of an empowering book. We can also go for our favorite spiritually boosting and inspirational materials.

Here are some suggestions for books if you are struggling to begin with:

These are some popular good books for you. Of course you can look for your perfect ones.

List 3 things you’re grateful for every day

It is simple and easy to do. Try to list at least 3 things we are grateful for every day. In the end, we won’t realize how much it helps us.

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Researches [4] reveal a multitude of benefits in expressing gratitude on a daily basis. Being grateful is associated with our well-being. It can also improve relationships and help with emotional maturity. Gratitude can simply promote happiness.

It’s true that we can always find dissatisfaction in life. Same to satisfaction. Half-filled and half-empty glass.

It’s actually a piece of cake to find things we can express gratitude on.

Start of weekend. Cats and dogs outside. Hiking trip cancelled. Meh!

Well, at least we have a home sheltering us. We even have Netflix to entertain ourselves.

Or, year review.. NO pay raise. Can it be worse?

You are not sacked, aren’t you? You still have a stable job.

Or even, back to very basic. We are still alive, right? We are still living in this world of mystery and amazement. We still have lots to explore. There’s nothing to mourn on.

There are always angels and devils in our brains. While we are usually the devil’s advocate, try to stand on the angel’s side now.

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Use the app “Happify” to cultivate positivity scientifically

Ever imagined an app to ‘happify’ ourselves. An app to delight ourselves and brighten our day?

Then try Happify, an app designed specially for us to handle our negative emotions. It provides us with scientifically-proven tools and techniques to promote our emotional well-being.

    It consists of short activities and games for us to relearn situations and be more aware of the subtle little things we should be grateful for.

    While we usually the gadgets are taking a toll out of us, it is now possible to cultivate positivity right back from it.

    Celebrate your small wins every day

    One easy way to start cultivating our positivity is to write down our small wins on a daily basis. And research has reassured the potential benefits of doing so.

    Progress is a lot more than just a step closer to success, as Amabile and Kramer suggest. In fact, if we properly record our progress, no matter how small it is, we instantly receive a confidence boost!

    Teresa Amabile from Harvard Business School and Steven Kramer read through approximately 12,000 diary entries written by 238 individuals from 7 different companies. The employees were asked to write about their emotions and moods, motivation levels, and perceptions of the work environment as well as what work they did and what events stood out in their minds on a daily basis for 4 months. [5]

    The result showed that any accomplishment, regardless of its size, activates the reward circuitry of our brains. Once activated, a chemical dopamine is released and this chemical is associated to the feeling of pride and achievement.

    More importantly, the chemical also motivates us to continue on with the taking challenges and to attempt to repeat the same achievement next time. This forms a positive reinforcement loop that makes us more likely to be successful.

    So pay close attention to what you achieved. Ran for 400m? Got up 10 minutes earlier? Mark these down and recognize yourself! It’s never too much.

    Reference

    More by this author

    Jeffrey Lau

    Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

    A Dull Resume Can Kill Your Job Chances, Here’s How You Can Write an Appealing One The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach 20 Most Fun Jobs in the World (That Also Pay Well) How to Think Positive Every Day How Our Brains Trick Us into Believing the Wrong Things

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

    30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

    No one can live a positive life without failing. However, many people experience a fear of failure, despite its inevitability in life. Failure, as you will see from these 30 success and failure quotes, is the key ingredient for the recipe of success!

    Today’s society is obsessed with success and achievement, and failure is definitely NOT part of the equation. Failure and making mistakes is hidden away or seen as a human weakness.

    However, if you avoid making mistakes in life, struggle to do everything right, and are obsessed with perfection and order, then living and experiencing a successful and happy life is going to be impossible.

    Embrace your failure, whether it is one failure or many failures, because with the right attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you are guaranteed a lifetime of success. Here are some uplifting quotes about failure and success to help you get started.

    1. “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.” -Anonymous

    This quote is important for those of us who feel downtrodden after every failure, heartbroken, if you will. If you let failure get you down for more than a couple of days, you’re wasting away your chance to bounce back from it.

    On the other hand, if you allow yourself to build an inflated ego after every success, future failures may be even harder to cope with. Maintain a sense of humility and gratitude for each success and failure you find.

    2. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” -Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe is spot on with this one. The first person who should be there to catch you when you fall is you. You have to be your own best advocate, the person to build you up when it feels like everything is going wrong. The others in your support system are just icing on the cake.

    3. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” -Mickey Rooney

    In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to understand that almost no one experiences failure before they experience genuine, lasting success. Failure is what forces you to learn in order to achieve that goal you’ve been working up to.

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    4. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” -Chinese proverb

    Everyone falls. Those who refuse to pick themselves back up, no matter if it’s after two days or two years, are the true failures.

    5. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

    There are many success and failure quotes on this idea, and that’s because it’s so very important. Learning doesn’t happen when things are easy. It happens when things get tough and you have to find a way through challenges.

    6. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

    No one can escape failure. If you let it keep you down and shying away from achieving your goals, you’ve failed again. If you learn from it and continue on your path toward greatness, it wasn’t a true failure but a lesson.

    7. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandion

    Determination is one of the best antidotes to failure. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still moving forward with grit and determination. Keep going!

    8. “Fear regret more than failure.” -Taryn Rose

    At the end of your life, what do you think you’ll feel worst about, failing or never trying?

    9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

    If anyone has enough insight to offer us success and failure quotes, it’s Nelson Mandela. He learned that that path to success (and freedom) is full of setbacks. His determination, however, led him to make amazing changes in the world around him. Now that’s success.

    10. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” -Paulo Coelho

    Each time you get back up, it will get easier and easier, and you’ll realize each time that those failures are the greatest lessons life will ever give you.

    11. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill

    Unfortunately, many people stop trying after a large failure comes their way. They lose their confidence, determination, and will. However, success usually follows quickly behind these huge failures because you’ve inevitably learned what not to do.

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    Don’t stop with the huge failure. Take a few more steps and see if it gets you where you wanted to go.

    12. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

    Through his success and failure quotes, Thomas Edison shows us that failures are only truly failures if you don’t learn the lesson they offer.

    13. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates

    Celebrating success feels good, but learning the lessons of failure is where growth occurs[1], which can lead you to even greater successes.

    14. “The only thing that separates success from failure is one last attempt. Try one more time and you will get lucky.” -Apoorve Dubey

    Every success comes from an attempt. If you don’t try one more time, you’ll never know if it could’ve been your big chance at big success.

    15. “Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.” -Zig Ziglar

    Many people get impatient with failure. They feel that it’s a stopping point, or a road that’s too long to walk. However, the patience to take that new road is exactly what’s necessary to find success. If success is easy to find, it likely won’t last very long.

    16. “In the real world, very smart people fail, and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ. Also, the idea that intelligence can be gauged by an IQ test is erroneous.” -Camille Paglia

    Failure is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, as Paglia suggests. Failure is a sign of great intelligence and great courage. She also points out the important point that intelligence takes many forms, and it’s often the grit and maturity to accept failure for the temporary setback that it is.

    17. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” -Oprah Winfrey

    Queens will always be queens, no matter if they experience success or failure. And you will always be you, so use that to your advantage, and take the risk of failure in order to reach success.

    18. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

    Living a life free of failure generally means you have lived a boring, uneventful life. Is it really worth it?

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    19. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -Richard Branson

    If you’ve ever watched a child learn to walk, you know that Branson’s success and failure quotes are true. Children are determined. They fall, and they get back up. And then they learn, and soon they’re running.

    20. “Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity.” -Walter Scott

    Scott knows that intelligence is less of a determining factor in success than determination or ruthless optimism. Set yourself up for success by cultivating both.

    21. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

    Michael Jordan knows failure, and yet we know him as an incredibly successful person. Why? Because he never let the failures stop him from moving on.

    22. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” -José N. Harris

    The secrets to success are pretty simple, and living a full life is only possible once you learn that getting up after a failure will bring a great sense of satisfaction and joy.

    23. “All people fail at certain instances in their lives, the only thing that makes them different is how they manage to stand up or how they choose to fail again.” -Unknown

    If you fail, you’re like the vast majority of the world. What makes you different is how you choose to respond.

    24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert Kennedy

    If you aim high, even if you fall short you’ll still likely be ahead of the majority of people. Take the time in life to fail greatly because that’s where you’ll find your true self.

    25. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.” -Michael Eisner

    If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’re not learning from your failures. This is when it becomes a destructive habit instead of a moment to propel you toward success.

    26. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” -Charles Barkley

    Only those who are willing to accept the hard emotions that come along with failure will be those who will enjoy the good feelings of genuine success.

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    27. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” -William A. Ward

    In his success and failure quotes, Ward points out something important. Failure is often seen as a death stroke, something that stops our success. If we shift our perspective and look upon failure as a teacher instead, we will likely feel very differently about those moments in our life and see that failure is delay, not death.

    28. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” -Maya Angelou

    We’ve been here before. Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. Let yourself get a bad grade on the test; you’ll study differently next time. Let yourself fail at a relationship; you know how to build a healthier relationship next time.

    Every failure brings a lesson. Learn it and move on.

    29. “Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” -William Saroyan

    If you think of the moments you learned and grew the most, were they easy times or hard times? Challenges make us better, smarter people[2]. You don’t get wise through an easy life.

    30. “Don’t fear failure—not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

    If you try to achieve something great, even a failure feels like a success. At least you had the courage to try. That’s more than most can say.

    More Inspirational Quotes

    Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Business Review: Strategies for Learning from Failure
    [2] Psychology Today: How Greater Challenges Help You Grow

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