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Think Positively and Reduce Your Stress

Updated on March 22, 2010

If you work in an environment where you are under pressure, it can be easy to have lots of negative thoughts. So, how can you learn to think positively?

Thinking positively

Top tips

  • Replace negative "I can'ts" with positive "I cans"
  • Walk tall - stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and hold your head up
  • Don't let little things get you down
  • Motivate with encouragement not criticism
  • Don't be too hard on yourself
  • Learn from your mistakes

Think positively, not negatively

One of the easiest ways to start thinking positively is to stop thinking negatively. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Think about the following statements:

  • I can do this.
  • I can achieve my goals.
  • I am who I am, and people like me for being myself.
  • I learn from my mistakes. They increase my experience and help me draw lessons for the future.

Instead of thinking about all the things you can't do, think about what you can do, and how you can improve your performance for next time. Don't let little things get you down.

Thinking positively will help you improve your self-confidence, and behaving positively will increase the confidence others have in you. Positive thinking can improve your mood and general outlook on life. There are some very simple steps that can help you think more positively:

Look at your posture. How do you hold yourself when you walk? Do you slouch and stare at the floor? Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, and look straight ahead as you walk. You will immediately feel more confident and more positive. It is difficult to feel negative when you have your head held high.

Make the best of a situation

Positive thinking allows you to see the best in a situation, and in yourself. It can be used as a technique for fighting stress and can also help you maintain a good working environment with your coworkers.

Your behavior directly affects those around you. If you are miserable and grumpy, this often rubs off on your coworkers, and they either feel like they have to be extra careful when they speak to you, or they become grumpy in return. Being bright and cheerful will also rub off on your coworkers and make you much more approachable.

Replace criticism with encouragement. Encourage yourself and your coworkers by giving them a compliment or a pat on the back instead of criticism1.

Benefit your health

If by improving your outlook you can reduce your stress levels, then you are also benefiting your immune system. Stress activates hormones, including cortisol, which can have an adverse effect on your immune system. If your immune system is depressed, you are more susceptible to infections. Reducing your stress levels benefits your health in many ways.


1. Positive thinking vs. mental misery: empower yourself. McKinley Health center. Student Affairs/ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 


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