20 Quotes to Help you Reframe Negative Thoughts

Ever heard the phrase, “it’s all good?” Can this belief possibly be true? Maybe the idea can be true in some existential, spiritual or even scientific way. But what if you choose to believe and practice the idea that “it’s all good?”

You might be tempted to assume that this kind of positive thinking implies living in some kind of “rose-colored glasses fantasy-land” that ignores the negative aspects of life. However, according to positive psychologist Martin Seligman, “positive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook”— looking for the silver linings instead of only focusing on what’s wrong.

Here are 15 quotes from positive psychology experts, well-known psychologists, and influential people from around the globe that illuminate the power in the positive… and the power of choice you have:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”     

-Willie Nelson

“Everything can be taken from a man but…the last of the human freedoms– to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”     

-Viktor Frankl

“The good life is a process, not a state of being.”     

-Carl Rogers

“Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.”     

-Daniel Kahneman

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”    

– Abraham Lincoln

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”     

-Carl G. Jung

“Be content with what you have. Rejoice in how things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking the whole world belongs to you.”     

-Lao Tzu

“The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.”     

-Sharon Salzberg

“Probably the biggest insight … is that happiness is not just a place, but also a process. … Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges, and… it takes the right attitudes and activities to continue to be happy.”     

-Ed Diener

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”     

-William James

“Life can show up no other way than the way in which you perceive it.”    

-Neale Donald Walsch

“If you hear a voice within you say “You cannot paint.” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”  

-Vincent Van Gogh

“It’s only a thought and a thought can be changed.”  

-Louise Hay

“The language we use is extremely powerful. It is the frame through which we perceive and describe ourselves and our picture of the world.”

– Iben Dissing Sandahl

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

“The key to happiness – or that even more desired thing, calmness – lies not in always thinking happy thoughts. No. That is impossible. No mind on earth with any kind of intelligence could spend a lifetime enjoying only happy thoughts. They key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don’t become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person.”

-Matt Haig

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t either way you are right!” 

-Henry Ford

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” 

-Robert H. Schuller

“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

-Pema Chödrön

“There are always choices there for you.

In other words, you can look at the hole in the wall or you can look at the beautiful painting. 
You can look at the lightbulb that is out, or you can see the lightbulb that is working.
You can look at your mate in his positive aspect or you can look at your mate in his negative aspect.
You can look at your own body and find something that pleases you or find something that doesn’t.
You can remember your childhood and find something of pleasure or you can find something that makes you feel discouraged.
You can remember a compliment or you can remember somebody down on you.
You can remember your love or you can remember your hate.

In other words, you have that choice in every moment.” 

-Abraham Hicks

Digging this frame of mind? For practical positive psychology practices to help you reframe negative thoughts, you can visit this post.

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