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14 Quotes About the Power of Positivity

“Positive thinking” may seem like a buzzy modern concept, but the belief that our thoughts can positively impact our well-being is nothing new. In fact, the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus observed as far back as the first century CE that “it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” In other words, we can free ourselves and change our reality by dreaming big and training our mind toward possibilities, rather than focusing on limitations.

Since antiquity, numerous scholars, leaders, and thinkers have helped to champion the power of positivity in their respective fields. Transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, for instance, is often credited as a forefather of positive thinking. In his writings, he emphasizes the role our perception plays in shaping our reality, and how we must adjust our attitude first in order to change our lot in life. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year,” Emerson wrote in 1904. Decades later, writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie picked up this thread of thinking, touting the social advantages of positivity in his 1936 book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

​​The benefits of such optimism extend well beyond just a sunnier disposition: According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can actually enact physical changes as well. The power of the mind can lead to a better immune system, an increased life span, better cardiovascular health, and lower levels of stress and tension. These 14 quotes reveal how positive thinking can be a healthy way of approaching the rigmaroles of everyday living.

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.
— Alice Morse Earle

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
— Maya Angelou

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
— often attributed to Winston Churchill

Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.
— Amit Ray

You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.
— Charlie Chaplin

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
— William James

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
— John Wooden

The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.
— Hippocrates

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
— Mary Lou Retton

Positive self-talk is to emotional pain as pain pill is to physical pain.
​​— Edmond Mbiaka

In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it.
— Norman Vincent Peale

You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.
— Joyce Meyer

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
— Henry David Thoreau

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
— Oprah Winfrey

Photo credit: asifgraphy/ Unsplash

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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