How to think Positively and be Happy!

How to think Positively and be Happy!

Written by Professional Academy Management & Leadership Tutor, Kathryn Knights

Do you feel you live in a world full of never-ending unsolvable problems?

Do decisions at home, work or in the wider world make you feel disappointed? When things don’t go your way do you channel your thoughts into negativity? Concentrating your energy in this way won’t help you in your pursuit of happiness. It’s time to start thinking positively. Here’s how.

What does positive mean?

The brain can’t process a negative statement without thinking about it. To try and not think about the colour green, for example, your brain has to first think about something that is green, like red. This process happens so quickly in the brain that we don’t notice it. Using this same logic, telling a child not to touch something is pretty much a waste of time. Telling them to keep away is better. Never tell a child what not to do. Tell them what to do instead.

Reality and imagination

The brain does not know the difference between reality and imagination. Thinking about something uses the same neurons in the brain as if you were doing it for real. So if there is something that you don’t want to see happen. Don’t think about it. Deliberately think about the opposite. Use that thought stopping technique to train your brain. Anything you repeat will get easier as you will create more neurons to do the job. That’s how skills are developed. And thinking positively is a skill. Meditation and hypnosis can also help you hone your positive thinking skills.


Feeling positive is related to trust while negative feelings are related to mistrust. It is inbuilt in us to feel connected with people, but our instincts force to only feel connected with people who are part of our culture or sub-culture. Research shows that as a football fan you are more likely to help a fellow football fan and you are even more likely to help if you support the same team. But we can do something about this – to create more opportunities for connection.


Oxytocin is a hormone used in social bonding. It connects mothers and babies during breastfeeding. It’s also produced when we hug each other. When our oxytocin levels increase we feel empathy, connection, trust, respect, love and happiness. According to research eight hugs are needed a day to keep your happy feelings going, but one is a good start.

If hugging feels alien to you then start stoking your pet more as this has a similar effect. Oxytocin levels are also raised when you share a meal with your family, listen to others or exchange thoughts. To a degree even social media tools like Facebook are a booster of Oxytocin – because your brain is connecting. You just need to be viewing content that relates to people you know (rather than those you don’t) to make it effective.

What can I do?

Get out there and get connecting. Put yourself in positive situations and when faced with difficult scenarios force yourself to think about the exact opposite. Keep a journal to track your progress and make sure you review it. After three or four weeks you should start to see a reduction in the number of times you have negative thoughts – making you a much more positive and happy person. Try it and see for yourself.

If you need further advice, get in touch via My Website or Linkedin.

Professional Academy offer a range of Management & Leadership Training as both bespoke in-company training with the option of accredited CMI qualification pathways and Management & Leadership qualifications for individuals looking to progress in their management career. Why not contact us today to see if we can help you with your personal development as a manager and a leader?