How to improve your outlook on life (with pictures)

How to improve your outlook on life (with pictures)
How to improve your outlook on life (with pictures)

Life is full of obstacles, and it is very easy for you to let yourself be overcome by difficulties. While you can't control what life gives you every day, you can control the way you react. Positive design is within your reach! With a little introspection and a reorganization of your daily life, you can learn to react positively and improve your outlook on life.


Part 1 of 3: Changing the way you think

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 1

Step 1. Identify negative thoughts

You may be destroying yourself with negative thoughts without even realizing it. Start by simply becoming aware of negative thoughts and how they affect you. Here are some forms of negative thinking that might occur to you.

  • Downplaying the positive aspects of a situation while overdoing the negative aspects.
  • Seeing the positive or negative side of a situation, without seeing other possibilities in between.
  • The act of dramatizing or imagining only the worst-case scenario.
Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 2

Step 2. Focus on the positive aspects of your life

With a little practice, you can learn to transform your thoughts. Start following a simple rule of thumb: Don't say anything about yourself that you wouldn't say about yourself with a friend. Be kind to yourself. Encourage yourself as you would talk to a loved one.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 3

Step 3. Practice Optimism

It is a misconception that some people are inherently positive while others are inherently negative. In fact, it takes practice to be optimistic. Intentionally try to see the bright side of things. Rather than thinking like this, “I've never done this before” say this to yourself, “this is an opportunity to learn something new."

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 4

Step 4. Make an effort to silence your “inner critic”

We all have this inner voice that tends to criticize or question us. This voice can tell us that we are not good enough, not talented enough, or that we do not deserve someone's love. These thoughts are meant to protect you from failure or deep disappointments, but the truth is, they do nothing but hold you back. When these thoughts occur to you, ask yourself these questions.

  • Are these thoughts really real?
  • Is it possible that these voices are not true? Can I admit that they might not be?
  • Can I imagine the possibility that I actually am good enough, talented enough, and worthy of being loved?
Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 5

Step 5. Don't live in the past

If guilt, grief, or regret about a past situation is slowing you down, you can work to drive those emotions out.

  • Make the active choice to forget something. Write the thing in question or say it out loud.
  • Express your grief or take responsibility. If there's one thing you need to tell someone, say it even if what you need to say is “I'm sorry”.
  • Try to forgive yourself and others. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect and everyone deserves a second chance, even you.

Part 2 of 3: reframe your outlook

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 6

Step 1. Stop being a perfectionist

The “all or nothing” principle does not always apply in life. Striving for perfection means that you will never be satisfied. To overcome perfectionism, start by adjusting your standards. Do you set a higher standard for yourself than you would for others? What would you expect from someone else in the same situation as you? If you were happy with how another person accomplished a given task, give yourself some kind of positive recognition.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 7

Step 2. Do something that is outside of your comfort zone

Pick an activity you are not very good at, such as rock climbing, table tennis, or painting. Give yourself permission to do this task fairly. Try to find joy in an activity where you don't naturally excel. It will offer you new opportunities, help you to let go of perfectionism and improve your outlook on life.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 8

Step 3. Slow down and pay attention

Take a break to breathe. Try not to outdo yourself. Focus less on what other people think and more on what you are going through right now. Try to savor your food, look out the window, etc. When we strive to live in the moment, the times become more enjoyable.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 9

Step 4. Stop making up rules

If so, you say to yourself all the time "I should do this" or "I should have done that". These restrictions can make you feel guilty, anxious, or judge yourself. When you apply them to yourself, you limit your access to likely sources of joy. When you apply them to others, you risk becoming a rude person or a jerk. Give up the rules of life that are of no use to you.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 10

Step 5. Allow yourself to laugh and have fun

When you don't take everything seriously, you are better able to handle all kinds of situations. Humor can make all your good times even better, make them sad or a little more stressful.

  • Make a joke.
  • Run around you.
  • Find the mood in any day to day situation.
Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 11

Step 6. Focus on the positive aspects of your life

Most of the time, we spend all of our time looking for things that are right in front of us. We are chasing our dreams of making money or seeking prestige, when all we really need is comfort and acceptance. Instead of constantly focusing on what you believe you like, actively take a moment to appreciate what you already have. Focus on how healthy you are, on one of your latest accomplishments, or just woke up this morning.

Part 3 of 3: Having a good relationship

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 12

Step 1. Surround yourself with positive people

Make sure those around you are positive and supportive. Surround yourself with people you can count on. If the people around you are just gossiping, complaining, or creating conflicts, you will need to start pulling away from them. Meet new and positive people in your community, especially in a yoga class or in a hiking group.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 13

Step 2. Avoid making hasty conclusions

When you think you already know what is going to happen, you stop observing what is actually going on. You act on what you think, instead of using your senses. When you think you know what someone is thinking, you stop listening. This can create a lot of unjustified pain and tension. Instead of making quick judgments, try to actually listen and observe.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 14

Step 3. Don't dismiss your feelings

Many times we take actions that numb us in an effort to avoid sad feelings. However, sadness has its benefits: it makes us feel alive. In fact, sadness can have rejuvenating effects that increase our capacity for happiness. When negative feelings emerge, give them your full attention. Accept these feelings by writing them down in a journal or talking to someone.

Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 15

Step 4. Mind your own business

There is a Polish proverb that goes: “not my circus, not my monkeys. This saying reminds us that we should not interfere in other people's stories. Such stories can severely affect your mood.

  • Try not to interfere in other people's conflicts.
  • Refrain from gossip! Avoid talking about others behind their backs.
  • Do not allow others to get involved in arguments or push you to take sides.
Improve Your Outlook on Life Step 16

Step 5. Be nice

Make an effort to respect your fellow human beings and interact with them kindly in a positive way. This will not only make you feel better, it will also help you attract other positive people to you. Research has shown that when we make the effort to be positive (even when we are sad), we become happy very quickly.


  • Maintain your physical shape. A healthy body helps you fight stress effectively. A healthy body can promote a healthy mind!
  • Get involved in your community, whether it's a church group, a yoga club, or a sewing circle. Meet new people at school or in your neighborhood and make an effort to connect with people.
  • If you think you will be depressed, talk to a counselor or specialist doctor for appropriate treatment.


  • Suicide is never the solution.
  • Be careful not to fight with those who treat you badly. Instead, avoid them or deal with the problem with maturity and calm.
  • If the stress is suffocating you to the point where you can no longer take it, call a helpline. There are many resources available in religious centers and volunteer communities.
  • If you are a victim of sexual abuse or domestic violence, seek help! No one has the right to abuse you, but only you can find the courage to speak up.

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