Easily Create Unique Positive Thinking Exercises That Work

If you feel like you are hurting yourself with negative thinking habits and patterns, positive thinking exercises can help you.

Loyd Mears
  • Would you like to be more cheerful and upbeat? 
  • Do you want to have a more optimistic outlook on the future?
  • How would you like to feel more creative and energetic?

OKAY! Create your own unique positive thinking exercises that fit your style and personality best.


You can’t go about it half-heartedly, though. Go all in and set aside at least a few minutes every day. It’s also best to keep a simple journal to benefit the most from these exercises.

Create Your Positive Thinking Exercises

STEP 1: Identify your most troubling negative thoughts and habits.

This step is where keeping a simple journal helps a lot. What’s the best time and place for you to spend a few minutes writing or typing about your habits and thoughts?

Decide and then begin by documenting as many ideas as you can think of and add to the list as new ideas pop up. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • You are criticizing yourself.
  • You are criticizing others.
  • You expect bad things to happen.
  • You worry about things that never happen.
  • You get angry easily.

Come up with your habits and then choose only one to focus on at a time.

Related: How to Change Your Thinking Habits

STEP 2: Create your unique positive thinking exercise.



The Trigger for your exercise is the thinking habit you chose in STEP 1 to change. Whenever that habit happens, you will do your positive thinking exercise.

For example, suppose the habit you want to change is criticizing yourself. In that case, your Trigger is any time you begin to criticize yourself.

So then your {TRIGGER} is { I am criticizing myself}.


The new thinking is what replaces the thinking habit you want to change. In the same example of criticizing yourself, you would replace your criticisms with repeating to yourself, “I don’t criticize myself. I am kind and understanding to myself.” 

Repeat it as many times as you need and feel it.

So your {NEW POSITIVE THINKING} is {“I don’t criticize myself. I am kind and understanding to myself.”}

Related Article: Create a Powerful Mindset

STEP 3: Create powerful and lasting motivation.

You’re more likely to succeed if you create a strong desire to stick with your plan to do positive thinking exercises. Again, your journal is the perfect place for this. 

  • Write down the habit and exercise you want to do.
  • Make a list of how you will benefit from it.
  • Think about how bad you will feel in the future if you quit.
  • Think about how great you will feel if you at least stick with this for 30 days.

STEP 4: Practice and keep a journal for a few minutes every day.

The best way I know to practice every day is to begin in the morning by looking at your journal and practice your positive thinking exercise a few times. Remind yourself of your TRIGGER, and remember to do your exercise whenever the TRIGGER happens.

Here are a few TIPS to follow:

  • Once you notice that you have conquered an issue, move on to another and keep up the momentum.
  • Keep your journaling and the exercise simple and easy to do.
  • Reward yourself weekly and monthly for being diligent.

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More Positive Thinking Exercises

Here are some exercises you can do straight out of the box to give yourself a more positive thinking habit.

Gratitude Journal

keep a positive thinking exercise journal

There is significant research showing that being grateful boosts your mood positively.  Studies have shown that counting your blessings and giving thanks can help you sleep better, lower your stress, and improve your relationships.

First thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, take a minute to reflect and be grateful for something. Record it in your journal and feel grateful for a moment.

Related: How to Keep a Perfect Journal

Other Journal Exercises

A very popular positive thinking exercise is a positive affirmation. This means repeating a positive phrase to yourself regularly like “I’m a happy person” or “I deserve love.” Believing and reminding yourself the affirmations are true can give you a more positive view of life. 

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Choose a positive affirmation and write it down in your journal. 
  • Repeat it throughout the day. The best way to remember to repeat your affirmation is to link it with something you always do many times a day. 
  • Switch up your affirmations every week.

Related: 121 Positive Thinking Affirmations

Intentionally smile, and automatically lift your mood.

Just as thoughts can affect your mental state, so can your actions.


Smiling even when you feel terrible quickly sends a positive message to your brain. There is science demonstrating that smiling, frowning, and other actions can change your feelings.

Try smiling every time you are in front of a mirror. Link smiling to something you already do many times a day. For instance, you might link smiling to opening or closing a door, drinking a beverage, or a changing traffic signal.

Triggers for you to smile are only limited by your imagination.

Try a 30-day positive thinking challenge.

If you need a little extra motivation, set up a 30-day challenge for yourself. Thirty-day challenges are a great way to jumpstart yourself and stick with a new routine or habit.

I suggest you begin on the first day of the week or month. There is a psychological advantage to doing so.

Here are a few more Tips:

  • Plan your start and finish dates a few days before you begin.
  • Mark the dates on a calendar and put it in a prominent place. If you have a calendar page in your diary, that’s a good spot.
  • Plan a nice reward for yourself for when you successfully complete your challenge.
  • Include someone you trust in on your challenge to hold you accountable
  • Mark off every day you do your positive thinking exercise as planned.
  • Celebrate and reward yourself when you finish the challenge.

Don’t limit your positive thinking exercise to the 30-day challenge period. Keep it going because research suggests it takes more than sixty days to establish a regular habit or routine.

Related: 7 Tips for a Successful 30-Day Challenge

Conclusion to Positive Thinking Exercises

You can improve your mood and create a more positive mindset if you create a few regular habits to boost your positive energy. Use a few of the ideas in this article to make positive thinking a habit. 

  • Keep it simple and easy at first until your exercises become natural.
  • Use a journal and 30-day challenges to stay motivated and on track.
  • Finally, use the power of linking new habits to something you already do automatically and naturally.

I hope you have great success in your positive thinking exercises.



Wood, A. M., et al., Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration, Clinical Psychology Review (2010), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005

Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377–389. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.377