Cheer up yeah? The power of positive thinking

When you’re feeling properly down in the dumps, there is nothing more likely to make you want to stab someone in the face than hearing the words ‘cheer up’.

Well meaning as they may be, the kind of people who tell you just to ‘try and be a bit more positive about things’ really just don’t get it.

Or do they? Can the way you think about things change the way you feel?

There’s a lot of research that says that positive thinking can actually have a direct impact on happiness, and that practising being grateful really can make you feel better about your life. A quick google search came up with this interesting article from Oliver Burkeman, about thinking yourself happy, which really explains it all much better than I could, so instead I’m just going to show you a picture:

Do you like it?

I do. It makes me think of a cross between ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘rose tinted glasses’ – it’s a sunny orange tinted rain storm. Even when the skies look grey there is always something to be grateful for, even if it’s just the fact that you have an umbrella.



  1. Jonet Middleton
    23 January, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    I think what you need to achieve is contentment rather than happiness. People who have some over riding passion in life be it steam engines, painting, writing or a significant other can lose themselves and become absorbed in something outside themselves. This ultimately prevents introspection and being too self centred. The trick is to find that special thing which brings contentment – good luck with that! Love Mummy xx

    • 23 January, 2012 / 7:05 pm

      Very wise! I wish I could get as much contentment as Mitch does from steam trains :-)

      • Jonet Middleton
        27 January, 2012 / 9:50 am

        Yes, you wouldn’t think it possible would you? Even knitting doesn’t quite do it for me! Mummy xx

  2. 23 January, 2012 / 1:10 pm

    I love your opening paragraph, the number of times I’ve walked past some kind of workmen and they’ve come out with the immortal “cheer up” line! But yes, agree with Jonet above, contentment is where it is at.

    • 23 January, 2012 / 7:05 pm

      God It’s so annoying isn’t it? “Cheer up love! It might never happen!” Ergh, that DOES make me want to stab someone in the face.

  3. 23 January, 2012 / 4:56 pm

    Ah the ever wonderful “be spontaneous” paradox. Always good for chewing the cud.

    • 23 January, 2012 / 6:21 pm

      So what do you think Steve, is positive thinking really effective?

  4. writeonmum
    23 January, 2012 / 9:31 pm

    I like the idea of positive thinking and try to do it as much as I can. But on ‘down in the dumps’ days when thinking positive is just not cutting it, I love chocolate and zumba (not at the same time though) to blow away the miserybugs. x

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