a woman in a plaid shirt and hat smiling.

21 Happy Thoughts to to Brighten Your Day

Amber Murphy

Our thoughts have the power to make us happy or miserable. Replacing negative thoughts with happy thoughts is a healthy way to combat bad days. By choosing to focus on happy thoughts, you can improve your mood, become more optimistic, and live a happy life. In this article, you’ll be encouraged to brainstorm some thoughts of happiness so you can start overcoming obstacles and challenges that come your way.

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A Start to Thinking Positively

Positive people create their own happiness. While having a negative thought every now and then is completely normal, there are ways to prioritize your mental health. 

You can eat a healthier diet, get enough sleep, join a support group, listen to music, play with furry friends, and do things that’ll allow you to have positive experiences. You can also spend more time with a family member or make new friends. By living a healthy lifestyle, positive thoughts will come in much easier. 

We know it can be difficult to be happy no matter what life throws at you. However, if you take a few moments to practice a guided meditation on positivity, your self care and good vibes will come naturally.

What are happy thoughts?

Happy thoughts are joyful experiences in our mind that shape how we view ourselves and the world around us. Positive thinking improves our well being so that we can live a fulfilling life. Happy thoughts can make you feel instantly happy and improve your mood and lower your stress. 

When you look on the bright side, you can’t help but smile. If you spend time with a best friend, you can have them challenge your negative thought and convert it into positive thinking. 

You can also do this by finding a therapist, who will help you think more positively. They may even encourage you to write your thoughts down so you can challenge the negative ones, one by one.

21 Happy Thoughts To Brighten Your Day

To have an instant boost in optimism, here are some ideas for the kinds of happy thoughts you can start practicing and working into your everyday life. If you need some more inspiration, take a look at our happiness quotes for more positive thoughts.

1. You Are Not Your Past

Your mistakes and bad decisions in the past are one of the factors that contribute to to make you feel unhappy. Despite what happened in your past, your identity isn’t connected to the things you’ve done. Every person has a part of their past that they’re ashamed to even talk about. However, you deserve to move forward, just like everyone else.

By holding onto guilt and regret, you’re holding yourself back from being happy and positive thinking. Everyone makes mistakes, and it depends on you if you’re going to dwell on it or use it as a stepping stone to become a better version of yourself. 

you are not your past

2. People Are Changeable

You’re not a fixed person, defined by a personality. No one is actually defined by a set of personality traits. You can alter and make tweaks to your attitude, behavior, and responses at any time. Reading a book can teach you new skills to help you develop better ways at handling tough situations. If you’ve always been a pessimistic person, you can learn how to be optimistic. You have the power to decide how you will act and react to a situation in all cases.

The happy thought that people are changeable gives you the power to change anything you don’t like about yourself at every given moment. That’s exactly how you’ll get better with time because you can always learn to improve yourself and your circumstances.

3. You’re Always Growing

happy thought about new opportunities

No matter what situation you may find yourself in, everything happens for a reason. It may not be a reason that we understand, but it all makes sense one day. Even if a situation is painful to deal with, we can use that to grow and become better. If pain didn’t exist in our lives, then we’d never be forced to go out of our comfort zone and learn things.

You can’t become instantly happy without knowing what pain is. Pain can make you feel bad temporarily as you grieve a loss, a change, or a setback. However, all those experiences will make you feel more gratitude in the future. It’s a sign that things are temporary and we need to be positive when things are good and appreciate people while they’re around. Those roadblocks end up being the cause of our direct growth in the end.

4. You’re Trying Your Best

Happy thoughts like you’re trying your best are all about remembering that you’re only given so much preparation as many occasions don’t go your way. We can all learn and improve our situations, that’s true. But sometimes life throws us curve balls that we don’t exactly know how to get ourselves out of. Just know, that even small tweaks are proof that you’re trying.

Don’t beat yourself up for the challenges that come your way. Or the blunders you make as you uncover the truths. Context is everything and we don’t always have access to it. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make because you’re doing the best you can with the knowledge you have at your disposal.

5. There’s So Much To Be Grateful For

Why should you have to focus on the bad things that happened, when you can choose to focus on what you’re grateful for instead? One of the biggest benefits of gratitude is that it creates productively happy thoughts. While self-pity is an addictive and self-destructive drug, and focusing on the negative can be addictive when it’s the kind of thoughts you’ve been accustomed to.

It’s easier to focus on what you lack, rather than what you have. No matter how much you have, you’re always wanting more: more money, more attention, more of this and that. However, if you shift your thoughts to what you’re grateful for, this will impact your self esteem for the better. You become naturally more optimistic by focusing on what you’re thankful for. Consider adopting an attitude of gratitude to feel instantly happy and at peace.

the happy thought of gratitude

6. You’re More Than Capable Of Doing Anything

More than anything, our own thoughts limit us from reaching our maximum potential. If you plant happy thoughts in your head that you’re more than capable of doing anything, you start believing it for yourself.

Even though you may be experiencing unpleasant emotions, it doesn’t mean you should listen to your emotions. Emotions may be valid, but they aren’t exactly accurate. By giving in to your doubt, you’re letting yourself lose. Instead, take power and start believing that you are, in fact, capable of doing anything. You wouldn’t have been able to come this far if you aren’t, after all.

7. You’re Alive

You can make changes and improvements in your world as long as you’re alive. And how wonderful is it that you’re alive in the first place. The ability to experience everything this world has to offer is so rare. Right now, you’re reading this, breathing, and experiencing the joy of being alive. Take a few moments to breathe and appreciate the fact that you’re alive. And even when things don’t go well, you still have hope knowing that days will get better just as they have in the past.

The happy thought reminding you you’re alive is what will encourage you to live your life to the fullest and make a difference in your world. As long as you’re alive, you can still do anything. Use this positive thinking to remind yourself of the good in the world and improve your well being.

8. Your Anxiety Is Lying To You

Man standing on a rock, alone in the middle of the water

Anxiety is a valid emotion, and it’s even a real mental condition. However, anxiety isn’t accurate, either. When you’re anxious, you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions like blame, regret, guilt, and remorse. However, realize that you are more durable than your anxieties and fears.

Sometimes, you feel anxious for no reason. The more you give in to your thoughts, the more it has power over you. Try reversing your thoughts and turn them into positive ones. By believing that your anxiety is lying to you, you gain control over choosing not to accept your anxious thoughts allowing you some inner peace.

9. The Story’s Not Over

When something bad happens, we immediately think that there will be a bad ending. However, good often comes from bad events and bad often comes from good events. Life is this cyclical event where good and bad ease in and out of each other.

The happy thought to remember when things aren’t going well is that the story isn’t over yet. Keep in mind that even if you’re currently in a frustrating and messy situation, good could still come out of it. You sometimes just need to be a little patient. Let the story unfold before making a judgment of it. Positive thinking is all about remembering that as long as you’re alive you still have time to make good changes when things go wrong.

the story isn't over yet

10. Life will get better

By planting happy thoughts like this in your head, you’re letting yourself be more positive and optimistic about the outcome of your situation. Despite how fragile and confusing life may be, you deserve to have good things come your way.

In a world full of good and bad, it’s productive to be optimistic about the fact that good things are coming your way. In fact, believing this to happen increases the chances of it happening, and the same goes for believing in negative things.

Tell me, would you rather believe that good things are coming your way or believe that you’re going to be miserable? You’d probably feel safer and more prepared if you think negatively. However, you know your well being would be much improved if you developed more positive thinking.

11. You Can Still Be the Hero

When tragedy strikes, we often make ourselves the victim of our circumstances. However, keeping the victim status isn’t what makes life spectacular. There have been millions of people who’ve faced real chaos in their lives only to learn that they’re the hero of their story. Thus, pulling themselves out of a tough situation.

We have the option of being the hero in our own life stories at every moment. So, do you want to be the person who calls it quits or the person who triumphs and gets yourself out of sticky problems. The hero or heroine lies in you, regardless of how badly you’ve been burned by trauma. Keep this happy thought in mind as you face your next challenge.

happy thought of being a hero

12. It May Not Have Worked Out, But You Gained Wisdom

Certain things never turn out the way we want to, even though we want them to. Whether it’s a relationship, a career, or something else entirely, certain things are out of our control. Despite the way things turned out, realize that you always gain something out of it, whether it’s wisdom or strength- or both.

Experience is the best teacher to implant specific life lessons in our hearts when we’re too stubborn to listen to words. When things don’t work out, we can focus instead on the fact that we became wiser and better people because of that experience. This type of positive thinking is what will help us reach the next level.

13. The Best Is Yet to Come

There isn’t a day in our lives when this statement isn’t true. Even at an older age, there can still be wonderful moments that make you instantly happy. If you’re having a bad day, it’s especially true that the best is yet to come.

Good things always come around when things aren’t going well in life. Those who’ve hit rock bottom are surprised to find that things always get better from there. When you’re having a bad day, the happy thought that the best is yet to come can give you so much hope to push through. It might not happen overnight but with time you’ll see positive changes in your life.

14. You Deserve To Be Happy

positive thinking

It doesn’t get simpler than this, but happiness can actually be a choice. You can always choose to be happy and become instantly happy through your positive thinking.. Life doesn’t always have to be so complicated. Sometimes the only thing making life more complicated than it really is, is us. You can always be instantly happy by doing things that make you happy and having people around that make you happy.

When it comes to figuring out how to be happy, you need to give yourself permission first. Furthermore, happy thoughts make you a much happier individual, so why should you choose to focus on thoughts that bring you unhappiness?

15. All Suffering Has An End

Nothing lasts forever, and that can actually be a good thing. That means, suffering has an end too. While it can be painful to watch someone you love suffer or to experience it yourself, the pain will eventually end. Without pain, we’ll never appreciate pleasure.

When we have too much pleasure, we don’t notice that others are suffering around us because we can’t relate. Our suffering reminds us how lucky we are to have pleasure when we have it. It also helps create empathy for when others are struggling with their negative experiences. When suffering strikes you, remember this happy thought and you’ll be instantly happy: your suffering will end.

Take a few moments to try out this suffering meditation:

16. You Can Always Change Your Perspective

One of the most important aspects to lead a happier life is to alter your perspective accordingly. If you’re always choosing to have a negative and pessimistic outlook on life, this will affect your life for the worst. You’re still going to be seeing things as something darker than it actually is.

However, maybe things aren’t so bad in reality. What if things were actually great in your life, and your perspective is the only thing holding you back? By choosing to shift your perspective to a more optimistic angle, you’re letting yourself lean towards a happier mindset and lower stress levels.

17. You Don’t Have To Become Like Everyone Else

You are both a masterpiece and a snowflake, simultaneously. Be a distinct individual who doesn’t have to fit in with everyone else just to prove a point. It’s normal to feel pressured to become like everyone and go for your own path, however, don’t do this. There’s no happiness in being like everyone else.

Happy thoughts consisting of this, arranges your perspective so that you don’t have to feel pressured to be someone you don’t want to. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, thoughts, and beliefs, and the world shouldn’t have to change who you are. Be positive that your uniqueness will be appreciated by someone one day.

the beauty of standing out

18. You Can Be The Greatest

Most people think they’re average. But average is just a state of mind. If you become the master of something, you can become the greatest in your field. The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is how much work they put into becoming the best.

Considering that most people don’t put in much effort at all, competition is quite thin making it highly possible for you to achieve greatness in life. There’s no one stopping you from doing the impossible. If you’ve always wanted to achieve great things in life, it’s time to get to work to make it a reality. You can achieve anything you set out to.

No matter the setbacks you experience, only you decide when there’s a true end to something. There’s no sense in getting upset with roadblocks. You have enough talent to jump over them; believe in yourself and be positive.

19. Focus On What Matters, Disregard Everything Else

This is your life, and ultimately, happy thoughts are the only thing that can lead you to happiness. That, among various other things. Your passion, your values, your principles, and the people that you hold closest to your heart- these are the things that matter the most.

The rest, whether it’s people who choose to step down on you, toxic behaviors and habits, or the wrong mindset, should be forgotten if you genuinely want to feel happier. 

happy thoughts about positivity

20. Look for the Helpers

When Fred Rogers was a child scared of the negative news, his mother told him to look for the helpers. Those struggling from anxiety can find peace of mind by looking at those who help others instead of focusing on those causing chaos in the world.

The world is filled with so many wonderful and kind people. When tragedy strikes in the world, don’t focus on the tragedy but the people who are working to fix it. There’s always a helper around looking to fix and clean up a mess. So, the happy thought to keep with you is to look for the helpers.

21. Find the Window of Opportunity

When one door closes, a window of opportunity opens. Whether a relationship just ended, a job rejection took place, or any rejection of any kind really, there’s always something better coming your way. This planet has billions of people. And opportunities are plentiful.

There’s always someone looking for a person just like you to have in their life or to help them complete a task. And when you can’t find an opportunity, remember this happy thought: you can create your own opportunities too. That’s the magic of windows of opportunities, they’re everywhere.

window of opportunity

Start Having Happier Thoughts

This isn’t to say that happy thoughts are the key ingredient to having a more joyful life, but it certainly does help a lot. We can be stuck too much in our own heads a lot, and with a little positive thinking, we can shift our perspective from darkness to light. Life is already unfortunate enough, and having negative thoughts isn’t certainly going to make your life any better.

Happy thoughts, on the other hand, will guarantee a more optimistic and positive outcome. No matter what life throws at you, you can always come back stronger, and you can still overcome anything if you choose to have happy thoughts as a mindset. I mean, what do you have to lose, right? Since when has happiness ever been something terrible? Feel happier today simply by changing your thoughts.

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