Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when things aren’t going well at work or with the family. Our society understands that and has responded to the problem with a bevy of self-help books and the power of positive thinking messages. It’s still pretty impossible to have a positive attitude when you lose a job, a marriage fails, or a child is struggling with health problems. While it is possible to exude self-confidence that is reinforced by positive affirmations, it takes consistent effort. Here are some suggestions.

Give Thanks for Each Day

Whether you say it to yourself or pray about it, express gratitude for all the things you take for granted, including your home, family, employment, clothes, neighbors, transportation, education, sunshine, health, and freedom. Even if you have just some of these things, or small amounts of each—be thankful for that. Every new day is a belssing.

Count Your Blessings

In addition to general gratitude, look for personal blessings in your life. These could include things like a clear mind, trustworthy friends, health insurance and a host of other things that you don’t notice usually think about, until they are taken from you. You can even make a list and add to it as more things come to mind. Then when you are feeling down, read your list to be reminded of all the good things in your life.

Do A Mitzvah/Good deed

Isn’t it exciting to help people without their knowing it? Imagine the surprise on a single mom’s face when she receives an anonymous delivery of groceries or a gift card for a free oil change. How about a child’s delighted grin when he finds a bicycle with his name on it on the back porch or receives a gift certificate for his favorite store? An elderly neighbor might gasp in shock to find her flower beds weeded one morning. There are plenty of good deeds waiting to be done by caring people like you. The surprising backlash is you will feel better about yourself and the world at large, too.


Whenever you get a case of the grumps, look in the mirror and smile! Practice your smile in front of the mirror until you find one you like—then share it frequently with those around you to demonstrate the power of positive thinking. They will smile back. It’s amazing how contagious a smile is. Even when you’re sick, angry, or sad, remember to smile at work, in the supermarket, and especially at home among your loved ones. A smile promotes good will as well as a favorable impression of the one wearing it.

Forgive Someone

Holding a grudge for weeks, months, or years can keep a sour expression on anyone’s face. Contact the person who has wronged you and express your forgiveness in kind, not controlling words. You will feel empowered by your ability to demonstrate strength of character in humility and forgiveness, which can open the door to restored relations and help you feel better about your magnanimous actions.

Ask To Be Forgiven

If you have wronged someone but stubbornly refuse to admit it, now is the time to seek forgiveness. Call or write to say you’re sorry. If the recipient of your apology gives you a hard time, thank him for listening. By remaining polite and respectful, your apology will let you get the old burden off your chest, no matter how the other person reacts. You’ll feel better, stronger, and freer automatically.

Appreciate Your Belongings

Have you ever noticed the quality of shoes? How about the unbeatable taste of your wife’s pot roast? Do you enjoy the feel of the seats in your car or enjoy relaxing on your comfortable sofa after a trying day at work?

All of these material comforts may seem small when compared to other things, but they are priceless in their own way, providing emotional and physical comfort as well as ownership pride and satisfaction. Be happy that you can afford nice shoes, and that you have a wife who cooks for you and that you can relax in the privacy of your home. Many people do not have these comforts.

Compliment Someone

When you feel truly lousy and just don’t want to be bothered, say something nice to the next person you see. Making a positive statement about a person’s appearance, attitude, health, or job performance can help him or her feel better, and you will feel good, too, for improving that person’s day.

Admire the View

Find a comfortable seat outdoors and admire the scenery around you. This could be at a small park near your workplace, a cluster of trees in your neighborhood, or a country drive. Beautiful scenery will help to rid your mind of stressful images and are conducive for helping you to relax and feel good about nature and life.

Donate Something

If you have something in your home that you’re not using, give it to someone who needs it. People in need of these things may appreciate a television, a crock-pot, or a computer printer that you’ve replaced. If you don’t know someone who needs a spare, give it to a donation store and collect the tax receipt. Both outcomes should put a smile on your face.

Volunteer To Help the Needy

If you have a busy schedule, perhaps helping once a year will be enough. Otherwise, try to donate a few extra hours each month to aid those in need. This might take the form of delivering meals to shut-ins or driving elderly persons to the doctor. There are numerous ways to offer assistance, which will make you feel needed and appreciated.

Sing a Song

Admit it—it’s hard to sing and stay in a bad mood! When you start to feel down, hum or sing to yourself a childhood favorite or a contemporary pop hit. Either way, your spirits are bound to be lifted, boosting your self-confidence.

Now you know how to have a positive attitude. By repeating positive affirmations, you will become a positive person, the kind people like to have around, rather than the sourpuss that most go out of their way to avoid. Share your positive attitude with others to make the world a better place!


Ben-Gurion Matsas, Publisher/Editor of Image Magazine