Emotional Well-being

August 18, 2020

How to become a “Glass half full” person

By Lisa Jane

Do you view life through rose-coloured glasses like Pollyanna, finding the positive in even the most challenging circumstances? Or do you see life like Eeyore the donkey, always expecting the worst?

People tend to become a glass half full or half empty thinker based on circumstances and the influences around them. Families raised in pessimism tend to be fearful and negative. It’s what they know – they often don’t realize they are subconsciously looking for what’s wrong instead of what is wonderful about life.

Families who acknowledge that bad things happen but not as often as good things tend to have an optimistic view of life. They recognize that some things are beyond anyone’s control and manage their reaction with an expectation of things turning out okay.

How we do anything is how we do everything, so your mindset really matters.

Having a glass half full or glass half empty mindset will affect your confidence, your attitude towards life, and ultimately, the success you have.

Glass half full

Let’s take a look at characteristics of each mindset and see where your thoughts tend to go.

Thoughts of a person with a 'glass half full' mindset

  • Life has challenges, but things always work out
  • People are generally good
  • Nothing comes up that can’t be managed
  • Bad things happen but they aren’t the norm


  • People are self-serving and must be watched
  • If anything can possibly go wrong, it usually will
  • Good times never last for long
  • Good things are rare; working hard is the norm

Which of these do you resonate with?

If you identify with being a 100% ‘glass half full’ person, then great – well done! For most of us, it’s not that easy and those negative ‘glass half empty’ thoughts can sneak in from time to time.

One of the most empowering realisations of life is that we always have choices

That’s right – you get to CHOOSE whether you are a ‘glass half empty’ or ‘glass half full’ person. You can overcome any negative conditioning by feeding your mind positive thoughts.

After some time of regularly and consciously choosing to think more positively about yourself and life in general, it will become a habit. You will then naturally react and think with a ‘glass half full’ mindset – and be much happier, more resilient, and able to tackle challenges.

How to choose a ‘Glass half full’ mindset –

Be mindful of media

Do you listen to too much news, read too much social media?

 In any given day, you can be overwhelmed with sensationalized media that focuses on everything that is going wrong. Limit your intake of negative media and replace it with positive sources of news and entertainment. Change your channels, hide or delete negative people on social media, and follow others who see the glass as half full.

Have positive friendships

Toxic friendships and other relationships have a huge impact on our sense of self and how we view the world. Being in multiple dysfunctional relationships dims the reality that life should be fun. We are the sum of the five people we spend time with so make sure your five are fabulous.

Don't sweat the small stuff

Realise that everyone is doing the best they can under the circumstances they are in. Things are going to happen – good things and bad things – and should be accepted with grace and ease. There is a solution for every problem and a way through every dilemma.

Be quick to forgive and overlook things that don’t really matter.

Be more positive

Don't take impersonal things personally

See the best in others. Have a sense of empathy that allows you to see beyond their immediate presentation.

Understand that things come up and plans change. Instead of assuming something negative, roll with changes and continue on without feeling bad. Don’t tie your own worth and value to someone else and whether or not they are paying attention to you.

Help others

Volunteer - serving someone who can’t repay you brings a humility and empathy that expands optimism. 

 A friend of mine suffering from severe depression went to a psychologist for help. The psychologist told him that the best way to help himself was to find someone even worse off than he was and help them. My friend credits this advice with saving his life as it gave his life new meaning and purpose.

Practice gratitude

If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more than you need. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough.

 Take a few minutes each day, preferably soon after waking, to count your blessings – you will be amazed at how powerful this is in making you feel happier, more positive, and less stressed.

Don't be affected by mood

Don’t let the ups and downs of life dictate your mood. Release the feelings that aren’t helpful and move on – focusing on what is working rather than what isn’t.

Maintain control of your spirit and mood regardless of other people or circumstances. Someone stealing a parking space isn’t worth getting into a rage over.

Don't let mood effect you

Read good books

Biographies and historical accounts are very inspiring. Reading about people who overcame odds or faced adversity and conquered it makes a big impact on our own optimism.

 There are also many uplifting books about positive thinking, mindfulness, personal development, and spiritual well-being.

Making some changes and expanding yourself are great ways to quickly become more optimistic. Make good choices about what you allow into your life and how you spend your time, and you will become a happier, more resilient, ‘glass half full’ person.

Lisa Jane

I believe in a holistic approach to health and fitness and making small, incremental changes to improve your lifestyle. It isn’t about how you stack up against everyone else, it's about how you feel about yourself! It’s more than your exercise or your food, it is your attitude and your well-being!

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