The Importance of Positive Thinking

The Importance of Positive Thinking

What is the relation between mental health and suicide?

People who are thinking about suicide frequently struggle with mental illness or challenging living circumstances. Suicidal thoughts may arise as a result of symptoms like negative thinking, very low mood, psychosis, and severe anxiety. Teaching people with suicidal thoughts about positive thinking may provide the individual with the skills and resources needed to deal with unpleasant or traumatic situations, build resilience, and enhance emotional intelligence.

Why is positive psychology important?

Positive psychology is a scientific method for examining how people think, feel, and behave. It emphasizes a person's strengths rather than their flaws, builds on their positive traits rather than repairs their negative ones. The objective of positive psychology in wellbeing theory is to increase flourishing in a person’s life and the world.

What is flourishing?

To flourish, a person must have high positive emotion, meaning, and engagement in life. In addition to being high on any three of the following: optimism, self-esteem, resilience, self-determination, positive relationships, and vitality.

How is flourishing measured?

There are five measurable elements (PERMA):

  1. Positive emotion
    •  Happiness and life satisfaction.
  2. Engagement
    • When a person fully immerses himself in what he enjoys and succeeds at.
  3. Relationships
    • Nurturing positive relationships can give life purpose and meaning.
  4. Meaning
    • Belonging and serving a cause that is greater than self.
  5. Achievement
    • A drive to accomplish a person’s own goals should exist.

Wellbeing is not defined by a single factor, but each one contributes to it. Wellbeing cannot exist solely in a person’s mind: it is a combination of having good relationships, feeling good, and accomplishment. A person should pick his path in life by maximizing all five of these components. Hence, the wellbeing theory includes all five elements, and these elements are underpinned by twenty-four strengths. 

What is the rational to teaching wellbeing?

Having positive thoughts improves a person’s learning and enhances his mood such as increasing his attention and allowing him to think more creatively. Negative thoughts, on the other hand, results in more analytical and critical thoughts, as well as a narrower focus.

How does a society flourish?

A society flourishes when everyone starts focusing on what they are doing right (their strengths) rather than what they are doing wrong (their weaknesses). Being aware of our strengths supports our willingness to change.

How can we know what our strengths are?

There is an online survey called VIA Survey of Character Strengths on the website below:

It is a 240-questionnaire called Values in Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths. It is meant to show the person his top 5 strengths. The survey usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Before taking the survey, a person can write stories about when he was at his very best. After taking the survey, the person can reread his stories and search for examples of his strengths.

Are there exercises that help increase wellbeing?

Yes. Exercises that focus on increasing optimism and appreciation in a person’s life shifts the perspectives towards positive thinking. A small modification in one's perspective can result in remarkable shifts in one's quality of life and wellbeing.

Exercise 1: How to build positive emotions?

We focus too much on what goes wrong in our lives and too little on what goes right. Of course, there are instances when it is important to examine negative incidents in order to draw lessons from them and prevent similar ones in the future. But more often than not, individuals focus on the negative aspects of life rather than the positive. This emphasis on bad things makes us more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Learning to reflect on and appreciate what went well will help you avoid this from happening.

Exercise 1:

Before going to sleep, write down or think of 3 things that went well today and why they went well. They don’t always have to be important events; they can be simple events like I finished all my work today.

Next to each of the 3 things, write down why did this happen? For example, if a person wrote that they finished all their work today, he could write “because I was focused and well energized.” It could feel odd at first to explain why the good things in your life happened but keep doing it for a week. It will become simpler. The likelihood is that six months from now you will be happier, less depressed, and addicted to this practice.

Exercise 2: Signature strength exercise

The aim of this exercise is to help you use your own unique strengths by identifying new and regular applications for them.

Exercise 2:

Make time to practice one or more of your signature strengths in a new way, whether at home, at work, or in your free time. For instance:

  • If self-control is one of your strengths, you might decide to go to the gym one evening instead of watching TV.
  • If appreciation of beauty and excellence is one of your strengths, you might choose to commute to and from work on a longer, more scenic route even though it will take you twenty minutes longer.

The best course of action is to develop your own new method of using your strength and document your experience. What emotions did you experience before, during, and following the activity? Was the activity difficult? Easy? Was time moving quickly? Were you fully emerged in the exercise? Do you intend on performing the exercise again? 

Exercise 3: The kindness exercise

Doing a kindness delivers the single most consistent instant rise in wellbeing compared to other exerciseس.

Exercise 3:

Find one completely unexpected kind thing to do tomorrow and just do it; notice what happens to your mood.

Exercise 4: How to build good relationships?

Strong relationships are more likely to be predicted by how a person celebrates rather than how a person argues. When a person shares good news with another person they care about, the response to the good news either strengthens or weakens a relationship. There are four fundamental ways to react, but only one of them fosters relationships:

Your partner shares positive event

Type of response

Your response

I received a promotion and a raise at work!

Active and Constructive

That is great! I am so proud of you. I know how important that promotion was to you! Please relive the event with me now. Where were you when your boss told you? What did he say? How did you react? We should go out and celebrate.


Nonverbal: maintaining eye contact, displays of positive emotions, such as genuine smiling, touching, and laughing.

Passive and Constructive

That is good news. You deserve it.


Nonverbal: little to no active emotional expression.

Active and Destructive

That sounds like a lot of responsibility to take on. Are you going to spend even fewer nights at home now?


Nonverbal: displays of negative emotions, such as furrowed brow, frowning.

Passive and Destructive

What’s for dinner?


Nonverbal: little to no eye contact, turning away, leaving the room.

Exercise 4:

When someone you care about shares a happy experience with you, pay close attention to what they are saying. Make an effort to answer in a proactive and helpful manner. The more time the person spends reliving the incident with you, the better. Request that they do so. Take your time in responding. Throughout the week, keep an eye out for good events and keep a nightly log of them using the table below:

Other’s event

My response

Other’s response to me




Plan ahead if you discover that you are not particularly skilled at this. List a few specific instances of recent good events that were conveyed to you. Note what you ought to have said in response. Spend five minutes each morning thinking about the people you will meet and the positive things they will probably tell you about themselves. Prepare an active, constructive response. Throughout the week, use variations of these responses.

Remember: Most of us struggle with it, so we must diligently practice it until it becomes natural.



1.         Better Health Channel. Suicide and mental health conditions 2023 [Available from:

2.         Seligman M. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being2012. 368 p.

3.         Ackerman CE, Nash J. What Is Positive Psychology & Why Is It Important? 2018 [Available from:



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