What is mindfulness and positive thinking

Wellbeing in retirement

Mindfulness is a simple, basic skill that every human being has, it is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing without becoming overwhelmed or overreacting to what is happening around us. Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, level of anxiety, and depression, and can lead to improved mental and physical health.

The purpose of mindfulness is to understand our inner mental, physical, and emotional workings, learning about the ways in which they are all connected. When we focus all our attention on what we are experiencing in the moment we are using our senses, our thoughts and feelings, and practicing mindfulness. There is a growing body of research that suggests that when we train our brains to be mindful, we are actually changing the physical structure of our brains.

Although we can all be mindful, it is like any other skill, the more we practice it the easier and more effective we become. It can become a daily habit; it doesn’t have to take long and it doesn’t need any specialist equipment... just yourself.


  • You don’t need any special equipment, you just need to set aside some time and space
  • Observe and accept the moment just as it is, without judgement. Sometimes easier said than done
  • Let your thoughts and judgments roll on by. You don’t need to try and stop them coming, let them pass by (you can come back to them later).
  • Come back to the present, try not to judge yourself if your mind wanders, be kind, recognise the wandering and gently bring yourself back into the present moment


Positive thinking is key for effective stress management, which is associated with many health benefits. If you generally see a glass half empty, don’t despair, you can learn positive thinking skills. 

Start with small steps. Make a conscious decision to be positive. Look for the good in every situation and find something to be grateful for. When negative thoughts come into your mind, replace them with positive ones. Instead of dwelling on the bad, focus on the good. Sometimes easier said than done, so here are a few tips to head in a positive direction.

Here is how to start:

  • Find ways to express gratitude. Appreciate the good things in life and be thankful for them
  • Make a list of the positive things in your life and read it regularly
  • When faced with a challenge, stay focused on finding a solution instead of worrying about the problem. Take time to think about the positive aspects of a situation and the silver lining in a difficult one
  • Try to surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with those who make you feel good and engage in activities that bring you joy
  • Learn to accept things as they are and move on. Keep your focus on the present moment and let go of the past
  • Stay focused on your goals and take one step at a time
  • Focus on personal growth and cultivating a growth mindset, finding ways to turn a negative experience into a positive one
  • Create positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself. Visualize the outcome you desire and take action toward it
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it
  • Make sure to celebrate your accomplishments and reward yourself for your efforts
  • Share your successes with friends and family and be proud of how far you have come

With the right attitude, and some practice and dedication, you can become a master of positive thinking!

Practice this on a regular basis. You only need to do five or ten minutes every day, maybe twice a day. You pick the time, you pick the energy, you pick the place.

At Audley, health and wellness is at the heart of everything we do. Read more health, fitness, and wellbeing advice for the body and the soul.