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12 Ways to Boost Your Positive Energy

energy2.jpgWhen mainstream America thinks of the stereotypical “positive person,” they envision someone with his head buried in the sand, ignoring life’s challenges, smiling like a gomer as his life falls apart.  

But devil-may-care personalities do not fit my definition of a positive person. A real positive person seeks to be a positive force in the world, to make a difference. He also keeps his head out of the sand and works to correct his problems instead of allowing them to bear down on him year after year. And perhaps the defining characteristic of a positive person is his willingness to think happy thoughts as he works against insurmountable odds.

After all, if we’re going to change the world (or ourselves), we don’t get extra points for being miserable.  With that in mind, here are 12 simple surface techniques to help anyone be more positive while overcoming life’s challenges:  

1. Smile: If you smile, you’ll notice two things: smiles are contagious, and they actually improve your mood.  People respond to smiles with friendliness and generosity, which could turn your whole day around. Smiles even work during telephone conversations, where they can be heard clear as day by whomever you’re speaking with.

2. Project Confidence: Boost the positive energy in your communications by providing additional non-verbal cues: upright posture, firm handshake, uncrossed arms, calm demeanor, and appropriate eye contact.  

3. Dress the Part: You don’t have to dress like James Bond everyday (unless maybe you’re a caterer), but dressing near the peak of appropriateness for your surroundings has 2 important effects: people may lend you greater legitimacy and respect, and because of this, you may feel and act more empowered.  Superficial or not, the effect is real.    

4. Say Something Nice: Every day, life presents you with another opportunity to say something kind, generous, and genuine to somebody. Whether it’s complimenting a co-worker on his new tie or admiring someone’s accomplishment, boosting the positive energy in someone else’s life boosts it in your own too.

5. Increase Positive Relationships: If you surround yourself with positive, supportive people instead of deadbeats and abusers – well, that’s half the battle, isn’t it?

6. Group Learning: Find something productive that you love to do (writing, dancing, acting, programming, or whatever) and then find a group of like-minded people who are interested in learning this activity with you. The group is your support structure and your growth catalyst, and it will help you accomplish something you can be proud of.

7. Morning Gratitude: Every morning, remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful for: relationships, shelter, food, family, and whatever else makes you feel happy to be alive.

8. Turn a Problem into a Puzzle: Sometimes a single word can make all the difference, and “problem” is one of those words. I’ve often wondered if children would take more readily to mathematics if we called them math puzzles instead of math problems: problem is such a negative, hopeless, impotent word. When a problem descends upon your life, think of it as a puzzle. Is there a way to solve this puzzle? If so, start putting the pieces together, calmly and with confidence.

9. Fill that Glass: Yes, the world is full of negative circumstances that require your attention, so don’t bury your head in the sand. But do remind yourself that there are just as many positive forces in the world as negative ones; your fixation on the negative is a matter of perspective and choice.

10. Make Negative Thoughts Count: Make sure the time you spend thinking unhappy thoughts is productive: planning solutions, developing serenity, or learning a valuable lesson.

11. Positive Introspection: Take time to inventory the characteristics that make you valuable: skills, attitudes, generosity, capacity to love, and so forth. Be aware of all the wonderful abilities you bring to the table. Write them down if you have to. Everyone has something valuable to contribute.

12. Positive Affirmation: I’ve never been much of an affirmation specialist, but my motto on affirmations is simple: as long as affirmations are representative of reality and are not keeping you from dealing with true problem areas, they’re good; do them if they work.

To some, positive thinking sounds like a bunch of Ned Flanders hogwash, but isn’t it better to greet your problems with a burst of enthusiasm than a Doldrum of despair? As long as you remain aware of your challenges, a positive train of thought is more likely to get you from here to there so you can resolve them.     

Of course, even the most positive person in the world isn’t happy all the time, nor should that be the goal. The goal, ever elusive, is to remain positive whenever it’s helpful.   

Negativity and unhappiness have many causes, each requiring its own unique treatment. But as you work to solve your life’s problems, these 12 simple surface techniques can improve your relationships, state of mind, and general outlook. Think positively, and live powerfully.

Perhaps you’ll find satisfaction in being a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day, a sign of hope when the world is bleak, or a voice of encouragement in a sea of hecklers. Or maybe you’ll be happy simply knowing you met every challenge with a hopeful heart.


21 Responses to “12 Ways to Boost Your Positive Energy”

  • George says:

    Good reminders, John. I especially liked the “turn a problem int oa puzzle.”

    Keep up the great work.

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thank you, George.

  • Trey says:

    I was about to leave this post after having been affected by it without leaving a comment. Then, I said to myself, “Isn’t this the kind of thing he was just talking about?” You were completely right that I do have to time to say something generous, to compliment somebody today, and I now know that that’s what will make today just that much better. I can already feel my mood improving and will go to bed knowing that I did something good today.
    You really helped me out more than you could ever know. Thanks for your words of wisdom.
    I subscribed!

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thank you so much, Trey. I am happy you were able to glean something helpful here.

  • Gene Wilson says:

    Smile, I remind myself all the time to smile and it brings remarkable benefits to my life.

    Today I went to the local immigration office in Davao City Philippines. After filling out the paperwork I waited for my name to be called to the cashiers window. When I was called and went to the window the clerk said she did not have change, I smiled and said o.k. at which point she smiled back and asked her supervisor for 10 peso (about 22 UC cents. I smiled at him and said thank you. He smiled back.

    I observed other foreigners there getting their papers renewed. There were few smiles and many scowls. I think in their fears and feelings of inadequacy were obvious to anyone who looked at them.

    I had a nice visit there and felt nice seeing all the smiles including my own which I still feel as I write this comment.

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thanks for sharing, Gene. Yes, the amazing thing about smiles is how they affect other people and ourselves simultaneously. And it’s so easy to put one on. :)

  • Peter says:

    Nice article as always John.

    Funnily enough my most recent article is related to #5 – although it is more to do with eliminating/ limiting negative relationships.

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thanks Peter.

  • Miss Ladybug says:

    I read this post from start to finish. I was particularly inspired and feel these tips, if followed, could really turn a day around. I am a firm proponent of making others feel good and passing along positive energy…giving, I find, is far more rewarding. I am sure you are helping many, including me, of course, with your wisdom. Keep it up. :)

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Miss Ladybug.

  • Good article. Exercise also helps alot.

  • […] tend to put their positive emotions behind their negative feelings. This is one of the biggest problems that people come across […]

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  • dave goodwin says:

    No one will even remember his name
    No real friends to mourn him now
    That’s the way it is when you die in shame
    Crack ! Heroin ! Cocaine !
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    It will only drive you insane !
    How many more will die in disgrace ?
    Fated to die in shame
    Wondering around lost in space
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    Just another victim of smack ! or crack !
    Found dead with a needle in his vein
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    Don’t put that poison in you vein
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    He now stands at heavens door
    A lesson for all who remain !
    Just another victim in this deadly drug war
    Crack ! Heroin ! Cocaine !
    Don’t put that poison in your vein
    It will only drive you insane !
    You don’t have to go the same way
    Don’t be led by so called friends into drugs shame
    More will die day after day !
    Crack ! Heroin ! Cocaine !
    Don’t put that poison in your vein
    It will only drive you insane !
    Read then understand my words
    Then spread the message you have heard
    Drugs aren’t welcome whatever their name
    Crack ! Heroin ! Cocaine !
    Don’t put that poison in your vein
    It will only drive you INSANE .


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  • sidak says:

    nice…..this is so true

  • aslam gowani says:

    can you please define a positive energy for me? thanks

  • 12 Ways to Boost Your Positive Energy is always good.

  • gyan prakash sharma says:

    Hi this gyan i m working in a automobile company. I am working on increase positive energy during duty hours.Your tips is very use full for us and we will follow on this. Pl if u have any other tips for increase positive energy send me. I want to give you the definition of positive energy—

  • you have a great blog here!

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