16 Things People With a Really Positive Outlook on Life Often Say, According to a Psychologist

How you see things in the world can have a positive or negative impact on your life. If you are constantly complaining, degrading or nagging, most likely, your life feels like a drag. At the other end of the spectrum, individuals who take life in stride, look at things in a positive light, and exude happiness may feel like true contentment is easier to grasp.

You may have some familiarity with the law of attraction, which is a philosophy suggesting that positive thoughts bring positive results into a person's life, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes.

It may sound hokey, but really look at your life. When you are feeling good and positive, then more positivity floods in, right? When you are down in the dumps and woe-is-me-ing, then it's even harder to break the pattern of negativity.

For example, your dryer breaks. Then, the next thing you know, you’re late to work. And to finish out your day, you get in a fight with a coworker. Stop and think. How did you handle the first event? Did you take it with a grain of salt? Laugh it off? Or did you complain, “This always happens to me,” or, “Why can’t I ever catch a break?”

Similarly, surely you have looked at someone and thought, “How come they always have things go their way?” What’s their secret?

According to psychologists, having a positive thought process when it comes to life’s challenges and everyday woes really does correlate with happiness and emotional intelligence.

Maybe you want to make some changes to how you handle life’s challenges. These 16 things people with a really positive outlook on life often say will be sure to inspire you. You may be surprised at how easy it is to have a more positive outlook on your own life.

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What is the meaning of a positive outlook?

Some researchers, including the "positive psychologist," Martin Seligman, frame positive thinking as an explanatory style.

An explanatory style is how you explain why events happened.

There are two types of explanatory styles: optimistic and pessimistic.

Optimistic explanatory style:

People in the category tend to give themselves a pat on the back as long as good things are happening to them. Yet, it is always someone or something else's fault when the tables turn for the worse. With that said, they believe their bad luck is out of the norm, and mainly short-term.

Pessimistic explanatory style:

People with this style often internalize their blame when they start getting hit with bad things, failing to give themselves some credit for the successful things happening in their lives. Their tendency is to expect adverse events to happen to them. This blaming of oneself, and the belief that unfortunate events are the standard in their lives, is detrimental to their mental health.

Related: Harvard Researchers Just Found This Simple Act To Be the Biggest Predictor of Happiness in Life

How can I improve my outlook on life?

Parade reached out to Dr. Stephanie Carinia, a clinical psychologist specializing in hidden trauma and personality with over 117k followers on Instagram (@psychologiststephanie). She believes that how you were raised has a definite impact on how you negotiate your outlook on life.

According to Dr. Carinia, people who experienced an internal locus of control where "they felt heard and experienced that their input, and voice, had an impact in shaping their views," is the cornerstone to a really positive outlook. Once adults, they continue spinning the negatives into positives, enhancing their ability to handle adversity throughout their lifetime.

"Happy people [who grew up generally feeling they got their 'emotional' needs met] are realistic and naturally hopeful—often due to their realistic and relatively safe childhood," Dr. Carinia explains, adding, "In turn, [this] sets the foundation for optimism."

Now, to improve your outlook on life, Dr. Carinia's expert opinion is, "We need to believe in [it]. If we don't believe, we ourselves, are unable to achieve it. We're not likely to take the necessary steps to make positive change happen."

Benefits of a positive outlook on life

Positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits, including:

  • Better stress management and coping skills

  • Enhanced psychological health

  • Greater resistance to the common cold

  • Increased physical well-being

  • Longer life span

  • Lower rates of depression

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death

One study of 1,558 older adults found that positive thinking could also reduce frailty during old age.

Related: A New Study Finds Women Who Were the Happiest Had the Lowest Levels of These Gut Bacteria

16 Phrases used by people with a really positive outlook on life

According to Dr. Carinia, here are the 16 things people with a positive outlook on life often say:

1. "When one door closes, the next one opens."

Just because there is an obstacle in the way of your goal [right now], doesn't mean it won't move eventually, opening a door for the next opportunity.

2. "Every disadvantage has its advantages."

You can look at this one also as if there are "two sides of the coin." Showing that "every coin" is two-sided, meaning that "every" situation will always have a positive or negative outcome, depending on how you look at it.

3. "A problem is an opportunity."

Got a problem? Then look on the affirmative side and fix it. While working through the problem, or shortly after you fix it, is when the opportunities present themselves.

4. "A problem is a present for which I can grow."

Working through something difficult will allow you to gain new coping and problem-solving skills—ultimately, allowing you to grow.

5. "You lose one, you win one."

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but in life, Dr. Carinia remarks, "there's abundance and there is enough for everyone." Having this perception, she says is from, "our childhood where we did or didn't get our needs met."

Related: 100 Quotes About Peace To Inspire Serenity and Hopefulness Every Day



6. "Success is preceded by failure."

It is OK to take a risk and fail. Dr. Carinia explains, "Optimistic people know it's about rising when we fail, until we finally succeed."

7. "Luck is grabbing the right opportunity at the right time" vs. "I failed because they didn't like me."

This is the perfect example of the optimistic vs. pessimistic explanatory styles.

8. "Perception of my life, and not my circumstances, determines my happiness."

Circumstances come and go. Some are good and some are not-so-good. How you prefer to perceive those circumstances will ultimately determine how happy you want to be.

9. "There's only one thing that's certain in life; the fact that nothing is certain."

There are no certainties in life. You can't wish, will or force things to happen. If you keep an open and positive mind, then you can roll through anything that comes your way, even when faced with uncertainty.

10. "They meant well."

Being able to shrug things off, including how someone you are dealing with treats you, is vital. Oftentimes, Dr. Carinia says, "People experience someone [being] more hostile than they actually are."

Take a minute to think about the person's behavior, and take it for what it is, even if you are upset by how they are treating you. Taking it personally, usually ends with being more upset than you really should be.



11. "When I give, I'll receive."

Dr. Carinia says that this implies one should "trust in the natural good of people, plus, naturally trust that one will get their needs met through others."

This one should be shouted from the rooftops!



12. "Everything happens for a reason."

Life happens. And it doesn't always go as planned (refer back to #9), so why waste time being a Negative Nelly, when you could be a Positive Penny? Of course, while this phrase could be positive for your own situation, it shouldn't be said to someone else who might find the statement unhelpful and insensitive.

Related: 35 Common Toxic Positivity Phrases To Stop Using—Plus, What To Say Instead

13. "What doesn't kill us can make us stronger."

Or (*insert music*) "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger"  by Kelly Clarkson. The idea that you can't come out on top is all in your head. Get out of your head and live your life graciously.



14. "It's not about the results, it's about the effort."

Dr. Carinia would like us to remember: "Results don't necessarily lead to more success, effort does."

Sometimes you can feel as good about yourself for the effort you put into something, regardless of the results.

15. "I embrace failures and see them as gifts for growth."

When you have a positive outlook, you quite frequently take failures in stride. There are life lessons to be learned in some of our difficult dilemmas. Embrace them, instead of fighting them, and growth is guaranteed.

16. "When there's no lows, there's no highs."

Lastly, Dr. Carinia believes that it is okay not to be happy all of the time. Most of us live on a roller coaster of emotions.

What is important in the moment is "being able to experience all types of emotions." Experience them, filter them, and let go of the ones that do not serve you well.

If you can't stop feeling negative

If you are feeling depressed, having a hard time feeling joy in your life and can't find anything to be positive about, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional.

A psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor can get you back to being your unwavering yourself again, or you can contact the National Mental Health Hotline at 866-903-3787 can answer your questions confidentially and free of charge.

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