How to Spread Positivity in Your World Today

by Henrik Edberg

Image: / CC BY-ND 2.0

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Though I might travel afar, I will meet only what I carry with me, for every man is a mirror. We see only ourselves reflected in those around us. Their attitudes and actions are only a reflection of our own. The whole world and its condition has its counter parts within us all. Turn the gaze inward. Correct yourself and your world will change.”
Kirsten Zambucka

Improving your attitude and living a more positive life overall can take a lot of time and effort. But a part of it can also be simple. You can spread positivity around you with small actions.

This will not only make you and other people feel better today. Over time you tend to get what you give. You will make it easier for yourself to live a more positive life in the long run too.

  • Smile. Smiling puts you and the people around you into a more positive mood. It even works when you don’t feel much like smiling. Just try forcing a smile for 30 seconds if you are feeling a bit negative and see what happens.
  • Give a genuine compliment. Compliments are awesome. But make it a genuine one. Make sure you really mean it or it may have the opposite effect as your insincerity shines through. Find something a bit unexpected – like great taste in old soul music rather than looks – and something that is important to the other person and make a positive, appreciative comment about that.
  • Hugs. A hug is, just like smiling, a simple physical thing that can make anyone feel a little better. People love hugs.
  • Encourage someone. There is much discouragement in the world. You may hear from people around you, you may receive much negativity from the TV and newspapers. Many will back down from doing something they want because of that atmosphere of discouragement. So instead, be an exception and encourage people to believe in themselves and what they want to do.
  • Change the way you feel. Emotions are contagious. So to spread positivity, know how you can create and sustain a positive attitude and optimistic mood. Know how to pick yourself up out of slumps. Besides smiling, you can also appreciate life more, change your physiology, act as you would like to feel, ask better questions and recall positive memories to make a quick emotional shift. Read all about those things in this article.
  • Help someone out in practical way. Maybe it’s not encouragement that is needed. Maybe it’s a practical solution. So lend someone a hand when they are moving. Or give them a ride in your car. Or if they need information, try to find a solution via Google or by asking the people you know.
  • Just listen. Sometimes people don’t want any help. They just want to vent or for someone to listen as they figure out things. It may not seem like much but it can be an immense help for someone who needs it. So be there fully – don’t sit there thinking about something else – and listen.
  • Put things into perspective. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a problem and to make a mountain out of a molehill. But you can help out by adding your perspective. The two of you can talk about it, perhaps laugh about it and even find the hidden opportunity within the problem that in one person’s head may have almost seemed like the sky was falling.
  • Play positive music. Uplifting music is of course a great way to boost your own mood. You can do the same for people around you. Put on a really positive song when you are hanging out. Or send them an uplifting playlist for Spotify or a link to a video on Youtube.
  • Perform a random act of kindness. Just holding up the door or pointing out the way for someone who seems lost can be a way to spread a little bit of positivity. It’s always nice when someone you don’t even know does something kind for you.
  • Pay it forward. If a friend or stranger spreads a bit of positivity to you then in some way pay it forward. Spread the positivity on to another person and let an upward spiral of positivity grow and expand in your world.

If you like this post, please share it on Facebook, Stumbleupon and Twitter. Thank you very much. =)

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AE Thanh March 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Whenever you’re spreading and giving value, do it without an agenda. People can see it if you have one and will not appreciate it. Part of being genuine is having no agenda and I’m sure karma will be good to you :)

Jaky Astik March 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I’d love to add one. If you’ve something to apologize to someone, do it now. That tiny act of positivity builds relationships and provides a channel to better life.

Justin March 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

If more people would get on board with the principal’s that you stated above, we could transform the world overnight. Being of service to someone is the greatest gift that you could ever give.

JW @ Wine Will Fix It March 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Changing the way you feel is the hardest and yet the most rewarding. Once you decide you want to change the way you feel – smiling, hugging, doing kind gestures all come naturally and are oh so rewarding!

Jeroen March 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I would be careful with the hugging, it is not commonly accepted in all cultures. From my travels, I’ve noticed Canadians and Americans love to hug, but they are not “everybody”…. if you look at Asians, they are quite a bit less “physical”. Over in Europe, you sure need to make sure that you know eachother well (or both are drunk) before even attempting a hug….

Eugene March 17, 2011 at 8:49 am

“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.” – W. C. Fields

Heenal March 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for the great list!

Can you share some of your favorite positive/uplifting music with us? :)

Henrik Edberg March 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Sure, I do find a lot of the uptempo songs by Icelandic group Sigur Ros to be very uplifting.

And Bruce Springsteen has a lot of positive and uplifting songs too.

Scott March 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

If you’re looking for Positive music, there’s plenty here:

Summer Yu March 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I really like this post. People always choose what they want to see. It doesn’t matter whether the world is positive. The only thing that matters is our own attitude.
I once learnt JUST LISTEN from the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” written by Dale Carnegie. And I totally agree what he said — a good talker is always a good listener.

Pamela March 18, 2011 at 5:22 am

Some great tips there. It is so easy to spread positivity. Something as simple and easy as a smile or compliment really goes a long way. Thanks for spreading positivity on this blog.

Elena March 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I am starting each day smiling because my mom is breast cancer free now and I keep praying and working hard to help my mom to become a thyroid cancer survivor.

Madalena March 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm


I had to smile when I have seen that your mom is breast cancer free. It is great news :-)

Keep praying and supporting her on her new war against the thyroid. She will get over it!

And you, please don’t get away from your believes just because the most perfect person in your life is going through so much in the meantime. Try to see it as a path that you both need to go through in order to became better persons.

My mom passed almost 3 years ago, she was having breast cancer that spread all over the body, and I was so sad with everything in life that I gave up of God!
Today, I realize that she was a great warrior, she was stronger than me and gave me the best I could ever get: Courage to face life and Love!
Even knowing that your case is different, I wanted to leave you a message as I went through a similar situation.
Every case is a case, every cancer has a name, your mom’s is your mom’s. So also don’t get touched with other people experiences. Be strong!

I am sure, when she is thyroid cancer free, you will both be better people and be able to help others that might be facing the same situation :-)

Stay always positive!

Peter Y. March 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Great article. Sometimes, smiling or doing something kind like holding a door is all you need.

Talasan Nicholson March 19, 2011 at 1:37 am

Absolutely. Whenever you wake up, try to smile. Force yourself to smile and then get up.

What really got me in a semi-permanent state of cheerfulness (lets be honest, nothing is permanent!) is the realization that my integrity is at stake if I do not be happy / emit happiness.

It’s really changed my view on things.

Henrik Edberg March 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Thank you for all the great insights and tips, guys!

Madalena March 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I suggest also to bake something in the morning and surprise your families with a nice and warm breakfast :-)
Can only be positive to start the day seeing smiles on your loved ones ;-)

Kuya Otep March 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

There are many simple but priceless ways to spread productivity in our world. For me, one of the most important is to share your faith to GOD by reaching and helping other people change their ourlook in life. On my part, I’ve created this blog: for all my readers, even a single person may look a better perspective in spite of all difficulties and hardships that we encounter in our world today. Just keep it up and continue helping your readers. Just bookmark your blog!

Bobbystarbuck March 23, 2011 at 1:25 am

Paying it forward, smiling, and being genuine is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and for others..

We need to make this world a positive one. Thanks for the post!

arina nikitina March 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

My take would be “Express sincere gratitude.” Don’t just say “thanks” out of habit. Mean it by looking the waiter or cabbie in the eye when you speak. If it’s someone from work, express gratitude with a safe gesture such as tapping the shoulders or a really firm, two-hand-clasped handshake or ask how you could be able to help back. For people you love, don’t just let words work their meaning. Give a hug, a kiss or both. :) You’d be surprised how your expression of gratitude give you a positive feeling, put you in a positive mood and give positive powers to the people who got your expression.

Katie March 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

This is very inspirational. Great way to start the day : )

Jay Costan March 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Hi Henrik,

Wonderful article! I would have to agree that smiling can really go a long way. Truth is and you might actually find this funny but I actually tried forcing one earlier. I also start my day with good music as it really keeps motivated and it really helps me finish my job.

Jayson April 9, 2011 at 5:49 am

I like this article very much. Looking forward for more cool articles from you. :-)

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