“I can’t just be happy all the time.”

“I can’t pretend everything is fine when it’s not.”

Positive thinking often gets a bad rep – people assume it’s about being in denial, pretending that the world is great when things are difficult, or wearing a fake smile all the time.

The question goes, “Glass half full or glass half empty?” – positive thinking is about examining what may be a not-great situation and actively trying to find the good in it, or at the very least, conceding to it and accepting it for what it is.

Optimists live longer and are healthier. Don’t believe us? The science says so!

From a 2019 study: “Optimism is a psychological attribute characterized as the general expectation that good things will happen. Our results suggest that optimism is specifically related to 11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond. Optimism may be an important psychosocial resource for extending life span in older adults.”

Now doesn’t that just make you want to beam with positivity?

Myth: I must be happy all the time
Not at all. More than anything, positive thinking first asks for acceptance of a situation. Can you change it? Did you try? If there’s nothing to be had from there, the positive thinker makes his peace and moves on – it’s about contentment, not “happiness.”

Myth:  It’s easy to think positive!
Like a muscle – positivity needs to be developed and honed. It’s something you need to feel naturally, an emotion that swells from within. So, what do you do? Practise. Like a new language, a new skill, or a workout. Practise being grateful when something good happens, smile when something works out, feel excited at random things – all these little and big gestures add up to real positivity.

Myth: If I’m positive everything will work out
Nope. Positive thinking isn’t a magic wand that will make everything fall in your lap just by thinking it. You still need to apply yourself to your goals and aspirations. And in fact, “bad” things will still happen. Positive thinking is about how you deal with all the circumstances of your life.

Myth: No negative vibes please!
Being a positive thinker doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that no negative thoughts cross your mind. That would be unrealistic and improbable. Bad things, bad thoughts, bad feelings – these happen. Positive thinking equips you to deal with these feelings better and more reasonably.


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.