Positivity has the reputation of being a new made-up word, and many people don’t like it. It’s the most disliked word ending in “-ity,” even though there are plenty of other accepted words with the same ending.

It has a funny ring to it, but it’s actually been around for a long time. The origins of the word go back to the 1650s.

In this post, we’ll provide a working definition of positivity, plus give you 4 steps to increase it in your life for greater well-being.

A group of people with arms linked smiling at the camera.

The Definition of Positivity


According to Merriam-Webster, positivity means the quality or state of being positive, and also something that is positive.

It’s a pretty straightforward definition, and probably what you expect, given that the root of the word is “positive.”

As simple as the dictionary definition is, there’s a lot contained in the context of the word “positivity.” Let’s look at some of the aspects of having a positive mindset.

A Positive Mindset


When someone enjoys positivity, they’re generally a person who sees the bright side of things. They’ll usually exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Have an optimistic outlook
  • Stay centered in the present, not the past or future
  • Actively look for solutions
  • Enjoy daily life
  • Be productive and work toward goals
  • Feel gratitude for what they have
  • Consistently feel happy, joyful, successful, and at peace

The life of a person who demonstrates positivity is one where they attract more of the same because they consciously develop positive energy consistently.

These people may have an inherent tendency toward positivity, or they might be someone who has made an effort to cultivate a positive outlook.

A young woman smiling toward the camera looking positive with another woman in the background.

It doesn’t matter which it is, because the feelings attract more of the same, no matter how they originate. And, that’s what matters most.

The good news is, even if you feel there’s too much negativity in your life, there are ways to change that. And, the timeframe may be much shorter than you would think.

How to Increase Positivity in Your Life


You’ll see lots of tips around for increasing positivity in your life, such as forcing yourself to smile or getting in touch with people more often.

And while these are all good practices, what you really need is to create positive habits that will last. You don’t need tricks for the short-term, you need a mindset that will stick.

Use these 4 steps to create beneficial habits and increase positivity in your life that will last:

1. Create a Motivating Morning Routine

It isn’t enough to create a morning routine that gets you out the door on time or the kids off to school with full tummies. You need to create a personal morning routine that works to keep you motivated well into your day.

Now, if you’re a morning person, you’re going to find this easier than the night owls. You probably have more natural energy early in the day, so your routine will reflect it.

However, if you’re a night owl, you’ll need to work at developing a morning regime that gets you energized. It can be done with consistent effort.

A couple making a bed for a morning routine.

Everyone needs to determine what works best for them when they first get up. A morning routine is only going to best for you if it fits your circumstances. Everyone is different and needs to establish their own optimal activities.

The important thing is to take time to figure out:

  • Do you do better with or without caffeine?
  • Does an early morning workout get you going?
  • Will meditation early in the day motivate you or put you to sleep?
  • How much preparation do you need to do the night before?
  • Is background stimulation like music a good idea?
  • How much time do you need to make it work?
  • What’s the best way to avoid hitting the snooze button too often?

Spend time focusing on your current habits, what the early part of the day is like for you, and what will make it the best experience.

Then, establish a plan with habits that you can develop and stick to for that lasting feeling of starting the day with purpose.

2. Increase Your Focus on Gratitude

For this tip to work, it doesn’t matter if you’re a morning person or prefer the late hours of the day because it doesn’t matter when you do it. What matters is that you do it consistently.

Find a way to make sure some time each day is devoted to appreciating things in your life. You can use any technique, but a gratitude journal is a good place to start.

If you’re new to deliberately spending time with thankfulness, a gratitude journal used regularly is an excellent way to encourage the habit.

A pen and the words Today I Am Grateful For on a journal.

Other things you can do are:

  • Ask a friend to be a gratitude buddy.
  • Use words of appreciation more often in daily activities.
  • Tell people what you like about them.
  • Send texts, notes, emails, or letters that express your feelings.

The wonderful thing about gratitude is you don’t need to have authentic feelings before you do the activities. Doing them can actually create feelings for you. It doesn’t get better than that, and science backs it up.

The more you focus on feeling thankful, the more the feelings increase. It has a snowball effect which improves all areas of your life, including psychological and physical health.

3. Spend More Time Living in the Present

The main cause of most unhappiness and suffering is spending time fretting about things that happened in the past and worrying about what is yet to come.

Real joy and peace that are positive and healthy only exist in the present moment, which is when you’re aware of yourself and your surroundings.

The main thing with becoming more conscious is to find the method or technique that works for you. And, it doesn’t need to be a frustrating and rigid practice filled with rules to master.

Finding ways to become centered in the present can be as simple as:

  • A daily yoga practice
  • A simple meditation
  • Focusing on the breath
  • Drinking tea mindfully
  • Taking a mindfulness walk

It’s not about finding the perfect or most popular activity; it’s about finding the one that works for your situation and that you can easily fit into your day.

A glass cup of herbal chamomile tea with flowers and teapot on a blue table.

Some things, like focusing on your breath, are easy to do in any environment. Other methods, like a yoga routine, require more specific circumstances.

You can choose one thing to stick with or incorporate several into various parts of your day. They can be scheduled or more spontaneous.

The idea is to work up to the point where you are aware and present most of the time. You’ll want it to become your natural state of being. This leads to constant positive energy.

4. Say No to Toxic Influences

Until you take an inventory, you might not be aware of how many sources of negativity surround you each day. And they’re all influencing how you feel.

Turn off the news more often, avoid negative people as much as possible, and take breaks from social media negativity.

You might find it challenging to make the break at first. But the more you work at it, the easier it becomes to make better choices.


Use these 4 tips to form habits that support a more permanent mindset. It will increase positivity in your life and you won’t need to depend on one-off ideas that don’t create real change.

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