Can You Find the Good? How to Cultivate a Habit of Positivity

May 8, 2024 | Resilience | 0 comments

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Like excellence, positivity is also a habit – something to practice. And practicing leads to more positivity.

And yet, it’s easy to go into negative thinking and emotions. I don’t know about you, but I can get overwhelmed or lose my temper when someone is rude or a driver cuts me off. You may be going through a hard time personally  – reading the news or worrying about your kids or your job. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive, calm, or notice what’s good. That’s because our brain is wired to notice the negative.

This negativity bias originated to protect us, but it can become too pervasive and get in our way. We default to feelings like anxiety or fear or self-criticism. We repeat negative thoughts in our mind, and those feelings grow stronger. 

The good news is you can rewire your brain. When you choose to seek the good and cultivate a habit of positivity, you become more resilient and joyful. 

Start by Noticing and Enjoying

I am guessing there are good things in your life, yet they may go by unnoticed. But practice looking for and noticing the good is a great way to shift to positivity. And the good includes moments of beauty, kindness, joy, strength, delight, gratitude, awe. 

These don’t have to be grand gestures or extravagant beauty. They can be simple and small — but noticed

For example you might: 

  • Notice the colors of the sky at sunset
  • Smile back at somebody who says hi on a walk
  • Savor your first sip of coffee
  • Appreciate an offer of help
  • Enjoy moving your body

These are just a few examples, but you can see that they might slip by. Pause and notice. This only has to take a few seconds, but let it register. 

If you’re having trouble noticing, try specifically paying attention. Walk without your phone and see what you notice. Stop talking while you take the first taste. Step outside and look around until something catches your eye. Notice and notice how you feel. 

Add Joy to Your Resilience Toolbox 

Every time you notice something kind or beautiful or delightful, every time you express gratitude, you are strengthening your own positivity and building your resilience. 

It’s easy to default to negativity, but when you make positivity a habit, you can overcome that more easily. Joy can become one of your tools of resilience. 

To build a habit, start small. Maybe you say, I will find one positive thing to notice on my walk today. Maybe at the end of each day, you look back and find one positive thing. Notice, you aren’t listing 10 things, just one. 

As you get more practiced in noticing the good, you might start listing three positive  things each day. Habits build in small increments. 

Often once you start a habit of positivity, you’ll find yourself noticing more, expressing gratitude more, or more easily. Building this habit might sound like a “should” but every step you take toward more positivity in your life pays off. Can you take the time to pause and notice? To be right there in the moment. There’s so much to be gained.

Wishing you more joy, beauty, delight, and positivity in your life, even in hard times.

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Hi, I’m Melanie!

I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.

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