Repeating These 20 Phrases Will Change Your Outlook on Life
The road to optimism begins with these positive phrases.
Fact: focusing on positive phrases that emphasize self-love, compassion, compromise, and optimism can turn any bad day around in mere moments. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have even found that positive self-affirmations actually light up the brain’s reward centers, making it both easier—and more enjoyable—to make those positive changes you’ve been striving for. So keep reading to learn some of the positive phrases that can alter your outlook.
“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect to begin enjoying your life.”
“When repeated, this quote can support an individual in recognizing that they don’t have to look ahead to feel happy or accomplished,” says Jennifer L. Silvershein, LCSW, a psychotherapist and founder of Manhattan Wellness Associates. “Rather, they should live in the present moment and accept who they currently are. When we live our life looking for the next thing to make us feel good, we end up never being satisfied.”
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”
“I love this [Brené Brown] quote because I believe such a big part of truly feeling content is accepting ourselves and our situations,” says Brittani L. Persha, LCSW-S, a licensed clinical social worker supervisor and founder of Brittani Persha Counseling. “Doing this allows us to be present in our lives and find joy amongst the challenges instead of always searching for greener grass.”
“You decide: One day, or day one.”
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Hersha Diaz often uses this uplifting quote with her clients who are experiencing “anticipatory anxiety” about decision-making or an upcoming project. “This quote allows the individual to focus on regaining a sense of control and to take action to start change,” says Diaz. “Taking steps to realize goals, acknowledge steps, and foster gratitude for these abilities can positively impact one’s mood and feelings of happiness.”
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself.”
According to clinical psychologist and wellness expert Dr. Carla Marie Manly, this Audrey Hepburn quote emphasizes “the importance of striving to smile.”
“By practicing this every day,” she says, “it’s easier to accept stumbles; I just get up and try again to be a better version of myself.”
“Don’t let yourself get so busy that you lose sight of what truly matters in your life.”
Many people are unable to find peace in their lives because they’re constantly focused on moving forward rather than living in the moment. If you tend to always be on the go, then this quote could help you to “home in on what’s most important at any given moment in time,” explains Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT, a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional counselor.
“In this moment, I accept myself without condition.”
Repeating this quote allows you to “create more self-love and compassion,” explains Sarah Thacker, LPC, a licensed therapist and author of Wholistic Food Therapy: A Mindful Approach to Making Peace with Food. “When you can accept yourself without condition, you create freedom and release the burden of always trying to be perfect and the inevitable suffering that creates.”
“Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
Translated into other words, this inspirational quote simply means, “That’s not my responsibility.”
“I find that this quote sticks as a reminder to stop worrying about or trying to control things that aren’t really up to you,” explains Ashley J. Smith, PhD, a licensed psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. “I share this quote with my patients and I even use it myself!”
“Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.”
Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, a clinical counselor and founder of Chicago Dance Therapy, loves to use this mood-boosting mantra with her clients as she believes that “our body is our greatest tool” when it comes to regulating our emotional wellbeing. “We must be aware of our movement or lack thereof,” says Hornthal, “for it holds the truth and secret to positive mental health.”
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
New York-based neuropsychologist Jennifer Wolkin, Ph.D., believes that “the essence of mindful living” is summed up well by this quote courtesy of the late Dr. Viktor Frankl. Whereas “reacting is a reflexive, and sometimes impulsive, way to behave in a situation,” Wolkin notes that “responding is a more mindful approach” that involves observation, reflection, and purposeful procession.
“Where focus goes, energy flows.”
“The thoughts that you spend time reflecting and meditating on will become your reality,” explains Devoreaux Walton, a confidence coach at The Modern Lady. “When you think about the worst possible outcome from a situation, rather than the best, it brings the less-than-desirable possibilities closer to fruition in your life. The most powerful thing you can spend your time thinking about is positive thoughts and finding the good in situations.”
“Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.”
“This quote reminds you that you have an impact, no matter what happens to you,” explains Casey Lee, MA, LPC, NCC, a certified counselor and owner of Rooted Hearts Counseling LLC. “Your reaction, how you choose to perceive what happened, and how you choose to respond to what happened are all just as important as what actually happened to you.”
“All will be well.”
Though simple, this quote emphasizes that “no matter how distressing a circumstance may be, it will pass,” says Thacker. Plus, “it also helps to shift your perspective if you are fearful about something that may or may not happen. This statement allows you to come out of the future-fear-based thought and into what is true right now—that all is well.”
“Have the courage to change your mind.”
“This quote reminds the reader that it’s okay to decide to do something differently,” explains Silvershein. “Those who feel they don’t have a happy outlook on life sometimes can feel as though they have to continue being unhappy in order to remain consistent or believable, and that’s not true. Giving yourself permission to make a different choice on any given day can be super powerful.”
“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.”
This Dennis S. Brown quote comes courtesy of Dr. Kristen Fuller, M.D., a licensed professional with the Center For Discovery. According to Fuller, this quote properly emphasizes that “you have the choice to focus on either the positive or negative aspects each day,” and “it’s what you make of circumstances that determine what affects your day.” Another great quote to get this point across? “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.” That one’s courtesy of Hannah Montana.
“Change is inevitable; you can either effect it or accept it.”
Dr. Nancy Irwin, a psychologist at addiction center Seasons in Malibu, takes solace in this self-attributed quote. Why? “It gives me comfort to know I can either be in control and step up, or let go and accept consequences,” she says. “Both choices are appropriate at one time or another.”
“I must take care that my will of wanting does not interfere with what the universe wants for me.”
“I created this quote to remind myself that it’s important to ‘get out of my own way,'” explains Manly. “Sometimes when we strive too hard for something, we forget that the universe might have a far more interesting plan. Thus, it’s a reminder to ‘let go’ and not force things—even when we really, really want them.”
“When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”
“Expressing your feelings out loud with words can help you feel better,” says Lee. “This Fred Rogers quote reminds you to find safe people in your life with whom you can talk about your feelings and who will support you.”
“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
“This inspiring quote gives great perspective,” explains Fuller. “Every tall task begins with small steps. While a certain responsibility may be daunting at first, just remember to take it one step at a time, as no one can carry a heavy load to begin with.”
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
This quote, attributed to Alexander Graham Bell, serves as a daily reminder to “see the good that comes when something else ends in our life,” explains Fuller. In other words, every end is a new beginning so long as you’re willing to look for those open doors and stop dwelling on the closed ones.
“Explain your anger, don’t express it, and you will immediately open the door to solutions instead of arguments.”
Repeating this Kathryn de Bruin quote and taking its advice to heart can help you nurture healthy communication in your relationships with friends and family members. As Lee explains: “Talking about your anger rather than expressing it can build connection and increase your intimacy with those you love.”
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