The Power of Positive Thinking

by | Mar 3, 2024


“The power of positive thinking can change your life.” – Devin McCourty

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A friend of mine, Mary, had a death in her family and she had to organize the memorial service. As if it wasn’t enough for her to write and deliver a eulogy, she had to arrange all the details. One of her friends said she’d take care of refreshments to be served after the service, and Mary, not wanting to put her friend out, demurred.

The friend pushed back a little and said, “I’ll make cookies!”

Mary replied, “Oh, no! Don’t go to the trouble. I’ll just buy some.”

The friend said, with disappointment in her voice, “But I want to. It’s fun.”

It was then that Mary realized she was being ungenerous, and she should let her friend do something nice for her.


When you accept kindness from others, you allow them to feel good, and that makes you feel good. It’s an upward spiral of positivity. In Mary’s case, she not only experienced a special connection with her cookie-making friend, she was relieved of having to worry about refreshments and could focus on all the other details of the service. A win-win in a simple, positive acceptance of help.


“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, and it sparks extraordinary results.”- Wade Boggs


While positive emotions feel good in the moment—a good thing in and of itself—they also are physically good for our well-being. Our hearts and minds expand, and we can be open to others. We can find positive ways to connect. We are more likely to understand others’ viewpoints, which makes us more liable to compromise and cooperate. Positive activities are triggers that produce prosocial behavior, which, in turn, produce a greater feeling of well-being.


“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson


When you’ve got a tough situation ahead, and negativity can easily overwhelm you, stop for a moment. Do what you can to summon some positivity before you deal with a challenging circumstance. If you emote positivity, you can affect those around you as well, since a positive attitude is contagious.


For example, if you need to tackle a problem with colleagues, begin by sharing positive attributes of those involved. What are their strengths? What do they bring to the problem-solving process? By emphasizing the positive, you build well-being among your co-workers, and  increase the likelihood that you will all be more open and cooperative.


“Doing Good is a simple and universal vision. A vision to which each and every one of us can connect and contribute to its realization. A vision based on the belief that by doing good deeds, positive thinking and affirmative choice of words, feelings and actions, we can enhance goodness in the world.” – Shari Arison


Practice daily acts of kindness and see what results you get among your close family and friends. Find opportunities to catch people doing something good and praise them for it. Or notice when a friend isn’t feeling up to his usual self and make an effort to be kind, whether through word or deed. Focus on making more positive comments than negative ones in your relationships. Then, if problems do arise, you have already developed a positive foundation.


Be grateful everyday, not just Thanksgiving. Practice being grateful in your private life and with your friends and family. If you meditate, the word “gratitude” makes a nice mantra. Studies show that those who practice gratitude are more satisfied than most with their life and their relationships.


When we feel good, we do good, and when we do good, we start an upward spiral of positive, happy emotions.



Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:



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