Surround yourself with positive people.

If you are with negative people who complain about everything, you will become a complainer and see the world as negative as they do. You can stay positive but you will not change them. Connect with people who love their life, have new ideas, and are interested in many positive aspects of life. It will make your whole life better.

You can’t always choose the people around you, but you can be cautious about how much time you spend with them. If you’re with a negative bunch, be careful not to participate in the negativity. Take breaks and go for a walk rather than immerse yourself in negative drama and gossip.

2. Fill your mind with positive input.

Feed your mind! Listen to positive music, podcasts, and uplifting audiobooks whenever possible. Encouraging books and videos will also help improve your outlook.

3. Control your language.

Be conscious of the words you use when speaking and thinking. The structure of a language affects your view of the world and the way you think. The language we use every day has a cumulative effect on how we think about ourselves and those around us.

Do NOT see your day as filled with tasks but instead filled with opportunities. The former is tiring and arduous, making you feel trapped in a daily grind. The latter is exciting with potential.

Find a positive way to view everything and everyone.

4. Create a routine for the day.

Routines give us a good fall-back structure. A morning routine is especially good since for most of us it’s when we’re most alert and awake yet sometimes not able to buckle down and get started.

Create a routine that helps you get the most important things done first! Take breaks and leave the less arduous responsibilities for later in the day. Most of us get tired by the end of the day, so don’t leave tough work for then.

5. Be nice to other people.

Being kind to other people makes you and them happy.

A study in the Journal of Social Psychology found that doing something kind for people has the same effect as trying new and exciting things when it comes to feeling happy.

A study in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that the memory of doing something kind for someone causes us to want to do it again.

If you make being nice to other people a regular thing, it’ll become a cycle of generosity and happiness that makes you feel good and causes those around you to feel happy as well.

Appreciating and recognizing others will go a long way in making your day better and theirs as well.

6. Don’t rely on an outside source of positivity.

Carry a positive attitude with you.

Think of a positive attitude like a survival tool: carry it with you at all times for emergencies.

Whether you rely on a phrase that you repeat over and over when times are stressful or you have some other trick to help resurrect and keep a positive attitude, be sure to come up with a mechanism that doesn’t rely on someone else or a specific situation.

7. Create high points in each day and week.

One of the best parts of an exciting vacation is the days leading up to it when you have it to look forward to. Knowing something good is coming can make otherwise dreary days more bearable.

You can create the same effect by creating small “high points” in each day to help you get through projects or days that might otherwise seem draining. This is why taking breaks is important, but not every break is as valuable as they could be.

A few suggestions:

  • Don’t turn to unhealthy food or drinks as a reward.
  • Take breaks outside when possible.
  • Consider a walk, solitude, silence…
  • Find a comfortable place to read a book in a different area.

Daily high points should be small and simple, not requiring money or creating a habit that could have negative effects on your health or budget. Weekly or monthly high points can be a bit bigger. Maybe every Thursday you eat lunch at a restaurant. Whatever it is, create something to look forward to.

8. Assume responsibility, and choose your response.

Refusing to take responsibility for your actions and your situation or not taking control of how you respond kills a positive attitude immediately.

After all, if something happens and you’re at fault or in some way responsible, refusing to acknowledge it means you can’t correct the behavior and it will happen again.

You will be more positive seeing life as something you have some control over rather than at the mercy of fate. Think of it as an equation: E + R = O (event + response = outcome). How you respond has an effect on the outcome, even when events are out of your control.

9. Decide your reaction to known problems ahead of time.

There are some things that you are always going to dread dealing with. If you know they upset you, decide beforehand that they will not.

Choose to be calm and do not let it bother you. Try to look at the situation in a different more positive way. 

10. Breathe deeply.

Breathing deeply tricks your body into calming down. Calm people have better attitudes. If you find yourself getting a bad attitude, find a place where you can be alone, and do some deep breathing exercises. Not only does it reduce stress, but it helps you clear your mind and see the situation in a different way.

When practicing breathing think of 5. Breathe in for 5, hold for 5, and breathe out for 5.

11. Make a mission statement.

Do you have a personal mission statement?

A personal mission statement will help you define your purpose in life and help motivate your behavior. It’s a good thing to fall back on when things get crazy and you’re confused about what it is you’re doing. When you feel like you have a purpose, you will be positive.

12. Have personal goals.

Goals are specific things you want to achieve. They’re the rewards that give you something to look forward to. However, goals aren’t just “fun in the future”, but are the actual guides that you use to achieve. It’s tough to be positive if you think you’re going nowhere. Goals are proof that you have a plan and you’re working towards something. They are evidence of forwarding, positive motion.

13. Remember that no one owes you anything.

One of the worst killers of a good attitude is going through life thinking people owe you.

No one owes you anything. Life’s not fair. Believing anything else sets you up to be in a constant state of blame, victimhood, anger, passive-aggressiveness, and joylessness. Negativity is the standard state of existence if you think the world owes you.

How do you get rid of an attitude of entitlement?

  • It’s up to me to make things happen.
  • Hard work is what brings good things.
  • I have to be willing to accept change quickly.
  • When things are difficult, I still keep going.

If those four concepts are in your head, you’re not going to be wallowing in negativity waiting for the world to do something for you.

14. Stop complaining.

Complaining does nothing. If you’re around people who complain a lot, get away from them. Try to see the situation in a positive or different light.

Complaints are a way of seeing everything in a negative light without considering any other explanation. It’s a one-way road to dissatisfaction that builds the further you travel it.

15. Embrace laughing.

Laughing is good for you physically, and of course, it helps you feel much better. Who doesn’t love a good laugh?

Humor is especially good when things are going terribly wrong. Who doesn’t love the person who, in the middle of some nightmare situation, offers a quip that suddenly makes the entire mess seem hilarious? Be that person. Try to find humor wherever you can.

Laughing with people is different than laughing at them. Never joke about others to get a laugh at their expense.

16. Be curious and embrace learning.

A mind that is closed to learning new things grows stagnant and negative.

Be a person who is willing to learn and is curious about many things. Your attitude will be positive because you are forward-looking and want to understand instead of closed off. Being curious about a new situation or what’s going on tends to make you mindful and aware of the present moment, and that tends to force out negative attitudes.

17. Look to long-term instead of short-term.

When the situation is difficult in the short-term, adjust your vision to the long-term.

Short-term situations tend to be heavy on the emotion. Making decisions or taking action based on that is not only a bad idea, but tends to feed negative attitudes. Viewing things in the long-term, on the other hand, make the challenges of the now seem much less terrible because the bigger picture reveals an exciting outcome.

Thinking realistically in the long-term provides a positive spin to your day and helps you construct your goals.

18. Fake it until you make it.

The reality is that sometimes we don’t always “feel” the emotion we want. Sitting around waiting for it to come upon us is a sure way to make certain it never comes. You often have to fake it until the real deal arrives.

Don’t feel happy or excited about a situation? Fake it. More often than not, real emotion will show up. You’re not going to feel super excited and positive every day, but don’t let that stop you from the behavior that goes along with it.

Drive your emotions; don’t let them drive you.