Positive thinking benefits and 15 tips to achieve them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 September 2022 | Published 7 December 2021

Updated 7 September 2022

Published 7 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A positive mindset can be the difference between a job and a successful career. Your thoughts can play a tremendous role in how your colleagues and prospective employers perceive you. If you're intent on thinking positively, you can create a positive work environment for everyone around you, inspiring more respect, creativity and productivity. In this article, we discuss what positive thinking benefits there are and what types of positive thinking you can engage with in your daily life.

What are positive thinking benefits?

Positive thinking benefits are all the ways you can gain physically and mentally from focusing on good thoughts rather than negative ones. Here are some of the key benefits of a positive mindset:

It can lower stress levels

Being more optimistic can help you remain focused on the positives, rather than the negatives so you can find solutions as opposed to more problems. One of the key benefits of positive thinking is that it can help you cope better with stressful or difficult situations. This helps to reduce the impact of stress on your physical and mental wellbeing.

It can increase productivity

Thinking happy, positive thoughts helps stimulate the brain, so it's functioning at its best. When you focus on the positive, you're able to make quick decisions toward solutions and you may have more of the energy and drive necessary to complete important tasks. Having less stress also helps you concentrate better, making for a more efficient mindset.

It can make you more solution-driven

Positive thinking helps you view problems as challenges and look for ways to solve them. People with a positive mindset are better equipped to solve problems, as they're less likely to feel despondent. This is an exceptional quality for a manager and if you're working in roles such as customer service and human relations.

Related: 10 good manager qualities that help teams succeed

It helps you develop additional skill sets

Thinking positively can help you become more open-minded because you're worrying less about the future. When you open yourself up to what's around you, you're more likely to pick up new skills, take in more information and respond to new opportunities. Having this open mindset means you may be more willing to try new things, such as accepting a new challenge or promotion at work. If you're excited about the future and willing to learn, it may give you more responsibilities within your job, allowing you to build your career.

It boosts communication

When a workplace encourages positive reinforcement, employees may feel more eager to open up and discuss their ideas. This can help boost creativity and information sharing between the team. It also helps to take constructive criticism, which is crucial if you want to progress in your career. Not everyone feels comfortable discussing their weaknesses. People who rely on positive thinking in life see criticism as an opportunity to learn, grow and improve.

What is a positive mindset?

A positive mindset allows you to see the best in all people and situations. Positive thinkers can approach challenges or awkward situations in an optimistic and productive way, expecting the best result as opposed to the worst-case scenario. Positive thinking is usually a case of managing the perspective of your innermost thoughts.

How to put positive thinking into practice

If you tend towards negative thinking, you're still able to train your mind into thinking positively. Here are some positive thinking examples that can help you achieve this:

1. Choose positivity

When your mind is full of negative thoughts, it's hard to break away from them. Changing your attitude is a valuable skill. Pay attention to the thoughts you're having and determine whether they're positive or negative. If they're leaning towards the negative, look for something that's positive. For example, if you're frustrated with a colleague, try to think of a task they've done well or a time when they've been good to you and focus on that instead.

2. Be present in the moment

Living in the present moment is a great way to control your thoughts. Often, negative thoughts creep in when you're worried about the future or looking back at your past. Stay focused on what's within your power right now and how you can improve and be happy with where you are and what you have. Focusing on one task at a time may help you achieve this.

Related: How to stop overthinking and increase productivity at work

3. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with

The people around you can have more of an impact on your mindset than you may think. Spending time around people who complain or speak negatively about colleagues or their job is likely to infiltrate your thoughts. Instead, try to spend time with positive people, like colleagues who lift you up and make you feel happy.

4. Find a distraction

If you think negative thoughts, distract yourself by focusing on something that elevates your mood. If you're feeling overwhelmed by a project at work, take a break and work on something else in the meantime. Put on some music or a comedic audiobook, go for lunch with a colleague or book a gym appointment. These necessary distractions help you manage your stress so you can feel more positive.

5. Use positive language

Be aware of the words you're speaking - are they positive or negative? Try to focus on only saying something that's constructive, whether it's self-talk or when you're speaking to others. Compliment your coworker on their outfit or a job well done to make them feel good about themselves. Be conscious of when you're complaining or saying something that isn't constructive.

Related: How to maintain a positive attitude in 11 simple steps

6. Create a safe space

Your desk is your sanctuary at work. Try to create an area where you feel safe to be yourself, one that encourages creativity. Bring in a plant, your favourite coffee mug or add a photo frame to your desk. Simply decluttering your desk and bringing a sense of organisation can help to reduce feelings of stress.

Related: What is a positive working environment? (With benefits)

7. Focus on your own life

When you work in an office and you're constantly surrounded by other people, it's easy to absorb their emotions. How our colleagues act and speak when they're around us can affect our mental and physical health. Try not to take a co-worker's problems on as your own.

8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Your diet and sleep patterns play a large role in how you feel mentally and physically. Self-care is a vital part of feeling positive. When you eat healthy meals, you're feeding your mind and body so they can function at their best. Getting enough rest, at least eight hours each night, helps give you the energy required to stay positive.

9. Stay off social media

It may be tempting to scroll through social media when you're on a lunch break at work. This can encourage negative feelings, such as thoughts of inadequacy, when you see only the highlights of other people's lives. Manage the accounts you follow and ensure they promote positive thinking and that the content they put out makes you feel good.

10. Reduce your intake of the news

You may scroll through news sites in between tasks at work. You may not realise it, but consuming this negative information impacts your state of mind. Instead, try to focus on good news websites or read a book to ensure the information you're consuming is overall positive.

11. Laugh every day

Laughter is one of the most effective ways to pull yourself out of a low mood. Focus on finding reasons to laugh or smile throughout your day. Chat with your colleagues, listen to an audiobook or watch a comedy show when you get home. A bit of light humour helps you stay positive, particularly after a stressful day.

12. Balance your work and home life

Having the right work-life balance is vital. Making enough time for your family is important and can help you feel happy and content. Try to establish boundaries between how much you work and avoid bringing the stress of the day home with you.

13. Be honest

If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's helpful to speak to someone. You can't always self-regulate if you're feeling stressed or depressed. Chat with a friend or coworker about how you're feeling. They may help you find a solution to a problem you're worried about or help draw you out of a bad mood.

14. Choose a mood-boosting hobby

It's easier to experience the benefits of positive thinking when you're in the right mindset. Make time for hobbies and activities that help you feel good. These include yoga, meditation, reading or spending time with your loved ones.

15. Practice gratitude

It's easy to absorb all the things that may go wrong during a workday. Switching your mindset to a more grateful outlook can help you realign these thoughts. When you're feeling down, make a list of all the things you're grateful for, such as having a good job, and earning enough money to feed your family or a colleague you can really count on.

Related:

  • How to be a positive thinker: 6 ideas for positive thinking

  • Ways to deal with negativity and feel more positive at work

  • How to think positively at work (in 11 steps)

  • Systemic thinking examples (with definitions and benefits)

  • What is convergent thinking? (Concepts and advantages)


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