By  Miriam Aliberti —

What are you feeling right now? Happy, sad, angry, afraid, jealous, excited? Everyone experiences these emotions from time to time and it’s no surprise that emotions have a big effect on how we think, act, and respond to life. Staying positive is good for your body and your mind. Studies have shown that positive thinkers are not only happier and healthier, but also have better relationships and are more resilient.

Here are some ways to increase positive emotions:

Think Positive Thoughts

The thoughts that people have can have effect the way that they feel and respond to life situations. It’s been proven that positive people are happier and healthier. Try to recognize negative thoughts when they creep in. Consider where the thoughts are coming from. Is there another way to look at things more positively? Could the negative feelings be happening for some other reason such as being tired, hungry, sick, or stressed? Challenge yourself to look for the good parts even in negative moments and before you know it, thinking positively will become a habit.

Move Your Body

Exercise can help counter negative emotions. It can reduce stress hormones and increase endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood elevators. Harvard Medical School explains that exercise has the power to counter depression and dissipate stress. Consider going for a walk, run, or bike ride the next time you need a lift.

Being Grateful for the Good

Gratitude can help with your attitude. According to Harvard Health, studies show that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Reflecting regularly on the good things and people we have in our life can create positive feelings and refocus your mind on positive thoughts.


Believe it or not, taking a few deep breaths can improve your mood. Concentrating on taking a deep slow breath can distract you from negative thoughts as well as relieve stress. Try it for yourself: Breath in through your nose slowly filling your chest and lungs, hold it briefly, then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Envision releasing any negative thoughts or emotions.

These are just a few ideas to start you out. Below are some links for more ways to increase your positive emotions. Choose a few that work for you and try to build them into your daily schedule.


How Do Emotions Work?

How Do Thoughts and Emotions Affect Health?

Harvard Health on Exercise

Harvard Health on Breathing

Harvard Health on Gratitude