Reducing Stress With Positive Energy

Two Girl Friends Reading In Bed And Laughing

Cavan Images / Iconica / Getty Images

The term "positive energy" is often used to describe an optimistic or positive approach to life whereas "negative energy" is equated with a pessimistic or negative approach. Negative energy can take a toll on your well-being and lead to a pessimistic view of the world. Positive energy, on the other hand, can contribute to feelings of optimism, happiness, and wellness.

This article discusses the impact of positive energy and how to cultivate this type of attitude. It also explores the potential detriments of negativity and what you can do to shift to a more positive mindset.

What Is Positive Energy?

Positive energy refers to an attitude that is encouraging, productive, and beneficial. People who exhibit this positive energy often do so by:

  • Being kind and generous
  • Believing that good things will happen
  • Engaging in positive self-talk
  • Feeling gratitude
  • Having high energy levels
  • Pursuing goals
  • Supporting and encouraging others
  • Surrounding themselves with positive people

Benefits of Positive Energy

Maintaining a sense of positive energy can have a number of benefits for both mind and body. Shifting into a more positive way of thinking and behaving can help you:

  • Cope with stress: Developing more positive self-talk is an important way to reduce stress. Optimistic thinkers tend to not only experience less stress but also cope with it more effectively. Reducing stress can have a cascading range of positive effects on your life and wellness.
  • Live longer: People who engage in positive thinking have a lower risk of death and a longer lifespan.
  • Increase your resilience: Maintaining a sense of positive energy can help you bounce back from the setbacks that you face.

You can help yourself maintain a positive frame of mind by surrounding yourself with positive energy in your life.

Effects of Negativity

Negative energy, on the other hand, involves the tendency to interpret things in the world in a pessimistic way and have a self-limiting inner voice. It can create significant stress in your life and exacerbate the stressful situations you already face.

Negative self-talk and negative energy can have consequences that may not be obvious and even extend to those you come in contact with. Some of the more insidious effects of negativity include:

  • Increased perception of stress: When you have a negative outlook, it can actually exacerbate your perception of what you face, making something that may merely be annoying feel unmanageable or something that's semi-stressful feel like a nightmare.
  • Pessimistic thinking: When your inner voice is more negative, your whole thought process can be more negative as well. This way of thinking becomes a habit and eventually colors the whole way you see the world and your place in it.
  • Self-limitation: When you see things in a more negative way, you're less likely to seek out, or even recognize, opportunities that come across your path. This is common in those who are more pessimistic, and it can lead to less success in a variety of situations.

Recap

While positive energy can build you up, negativity can drag you down and make you feel more stress, more pessimistic, and less confident in yourself.

How to Create Positive Energy

To transform your mood from negative to positive, it's important to surround yourself with positive energy, feelings, and people. The following are tools and strategies you can use to cultivate more positivity in your everyday life.

Uplifting Music

Listening to music that has a soothing melody and an uplifting message can help you develop a sense of positive energy. Music can have a wide range of psychological benefits, including stress relief.

Have you ever had song lyrics stuck in your head for a few hours or days? If those lyrics are positive and inspirational, they make a much better mental soundtrack than a running stream of complaints, criticisms, self-limiting thoughts, or depressing or sad lyrics.

Inspirational Books

Books on strength, personal power, or enlightenment can be a way to fill yourself with positive energy. Self-help books can be good resources to help you change your outlook and the things you say to yourself.

Rather than triggering habitual self-defeating thoughts, you can find yourself thinking of new can-do concepts when times get tough. For shifting your paradigm, try Gary Zukav’s "The Heart of the Soul" or Sarah Ban Breathnach’s classic "Simple Abundance." 

Positive People

One of the most important ways to get (and keep) positive energy in your life is with the company you keep. Do your friends lift you up or bring you down? Are they critical or complimentary?

Positive friendships provide support when you’re down, fun when you’re up, and wisdom when you’re lost. Good friends can inspire you to reach greater heights and see your strengths even when you don’t.

Pay attention to how your friends make you feel. If they’re less than supportive, start putting your energy and time toward people who are better suited to be your friend.

Affirmations

Positive affirmations can subtly but pervasively change your perspective from negative to positive. Affirmations can inspire positive energy by helping you see things more in terms of possibilities rather than limitations.

Affirmations focus on what can be done rather than what can't, allowing you to begin to focus more on solutions than on problems. As a result, you can feel less stressed and more in control, which will ultimately improve your mindset and help you carry more positive energy into different areas of your life.

The Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is not only simple to practice, but it can increase your feelings of compassion, your capacity for forgiveness, and your sense of connection with others. It can also increase your self-acceptance, which can help you feel more positively about yourself.

This activity also offers the general benefits of meditation, so it's definitely worth trying. It involves focusing positive energy and feelings first toward yourself. You then expand these feelings to those you care about the most, then friends and acquaintances, then those in your community, your country, and around the world to an ever-expanding circle of people. 

Reframed Thoughts

If you spend time thinking about proactive things you can do to solve problems, you'll feel less stressed than if you spend time in rumination, or focusing on the negative feelings and past experiences. If you find yourself focusing mostly on the negative, gently bring your mind to what's good in your life, or at least on what can be done to move past stressful situations. 

Focusing on creating a more positive inner life can help you to feel more positive energy all around you.

Maintaining a gratitude journal is another effective strategy for this. You bring positive energy to yourself by reflecting on everything that's great in your life each day, and you then have a nice record to read over later when you need an emotional pick-me-up.

Recap

Music, books, positive people, affirmations, meditation, and reframing can be a great source of inspiration and motivation. Utilizing strategies and tools that focus on positivity can play a role in shifting your outlook to develop more positive energy.

A Word From Verywell

Positive energy can help you feel optimistic, energized, and excited about life. While some people seem to come by this zest and optimism naturally, there are strategies you can use to cultivate a more positive outlook.

When you find that there are things in your life that might be dragging your down and causing you to dwell on the negative, look for ways to make a change. Surround yourself with positivity.

If you are struggling to look on the bright side, dealing with negative thoughts, or even experiencing symptoms of depression, consider talking to a mental health professional. They can work with you to develop skills that will improve your perspective and help you overcome negative thoughts that might be holding you back.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Park N, Peterson C, Szvarca D, Vander Molen RJ, Kim ES, Collon K. Positive psychology and physical health: Research and applicationsAm J Lifestyle Med. 2016;10(3):200-206. doi:10.1177/1559827614550277

  2. Buigues C, Queralt A, De Velasco JA, et al. Psycho-social factors in patients with cardiovascular disease attending a family-centred prevention and rehabilitation programme: Euroaction model in SpainLife. 2021;11(2):89. doi:10.3390/life11020089

  3. Boyraz G, Lightsey OR Jr. Can positive thinking help? Positive automatic thoughts as moderators of the stress-meaning relationshipAm J Orthopsychiatry. 2012;82(2):267-77. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01150.x