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The 10 Best Books on Positive Thinking

Thinking positively comes naturally to some. For others, the good news is you can learn the skill of positive thinking almost the same way as any other skill: by practicing. But to put something into practice, you must first learn about it in theory. That’s where books on positive thinking come into play.

Here are the 10 best books on positive thinking to help you embrace positivity in a healthy and achievable way.

Best Books on Positive Thinking

1. ‘A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage’ by Cyndie Spiegel

A Year of Positive Thinking” is a practical guide to changing your thoughts one day at a time. The book contains 365 affirmations, one for each day of the year. The author based these daily mantras on neuroscience, positive psychology, and personal development, aiming to eliminate negative emotions like hatred, envy, and self-pity.

These powerful affirmations are accompanied by simple exercises and meditations the reader can do daily. You get to practice what you learn immediately, making this book considerably more valuable than similar collections of theoretical knowledge or impractical advice.

The exercises won’t push you too far outside your comfort zone, which can easily be a deal-breaker for many readers. Instead, they offer reasonable ways to integrate your newfound knowledge into your life. The more you do it, the more fulfilled and energetic your daily life will get.

Although the book is intended to be used over a whole year, you don’t have to wait until January 1 to start reading it. Any day of the year can be the perfect day to begin your journey.

2. ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret” is a worldwide bestselling phenomenon and one of history’s best books on positive thinking. This inspiring book has helped millions of fans worldwide realize the importance of positive thinking and relying on the power of the law of attraction. In other words, relying on the power of their minds.

The fragments of the so-called Great Secret have been seen in many philosophies, religions, works of literature, and oral traditions throughout the centuries. Rhonda Byrne was the first to bring them together to transform lives.

In the book, the author shared compelling stories about individuals who’ve used these concepts to achieve remarkable life success. The readers are encouraged to use these stories and The Secret in their lives, including relationships, health, happiness, and money.

By believing that anything is possible, readers can improve the overall quality of their lives and overcome obstacles that have been holding them back.

“The Secret” distills some rather heavy topics into valuable chunks of information followed by a simplified and easy-to-follow formula. The author makes these principles look like common sense, allowing readers to take steps in the right direction effortlessly.

3. ‘Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation’ by Gabriele Oettingen

After sharing their struggles with family and friends, most people are told to think positively, stay focused, and not let obstacles hold them back. However well-intentioned this advice is, it usually falls short of helping struggling individuals make an actual change.

For this reason, “Rethinking Positive Thinking” takes a different approach. The author draws on years of research to introduce a new line of thought known as mental contrasting. Compared to simple positive thinking, mental contrasting is a more realistic way to approach solvable problems in your life.

Mental contrasting involves imagining a desired future and contrasting it to your present, thus recognizing obstacles in your way. Rather than being blindsided by these obstacles, the book encourages you to tackle them head-on.

This approach significantly differs from other books on positive thinking that teach readers to focus on fulfilling their wishes and ignore obstacles. It’s these obstacles that often lead to the fulfillment of their deepest wishes.

This approach introduces a healthier outlook on the positivity that will hopefully transform you from a dreamer into a doer.

4. ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life’ by Richard Carlson

In “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff,” the author, Richard Carlson, gives readers some pearls of wisdom to think about and a series of activities they can perform. The ultimate goal of these pieces of advice is to get more peace in their everyday life.

At its core, this book is a practical guide on how to avoid overthinking, anxiety over making crucial decisions, and continuous negative thoughts. The book teaches the readers to pick their battles, make peace with imperfection, and trust their intuition.

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff” is here to remind the readers how minor the issues they’re worried about usually are. Unfortunately, sometimes people fail to realize this on their own. Instead, they live in a state of constantly surrendering to their worries, thus deepening their fear and frustration.

The goal is that after reading the book, you’ll start paying less attention to trivial things and thus bring harmony and peace to your mind. You’ll also learn to let go of things you can’t control or prevent instead of keeping your eyes glued to a ticking time bomb.

5. ‘Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America’ by Barbara Ehrenreich

In “Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America,” Barbara Ehrenreich breaks down how the positive thinking approach came to the U.S. She traces its origins to a 19th-century healing technique that eventually evolved into a dominant cultural attitude that’s become almost mandatory.

From there, the author takes a somewhat unexpected turn by explaining why this approach might’ve done more harm than good for society. She explains that this bright-side thinking has lulled people into unfounded eternal optimism while forcing them to stamp out negative thoughts.

While this approach might seem reasonable, thinking in such extremes can disservice anyone, ultimately failing to achieve the desired positive effect. So, the author suggests a more balanced method that also entails displaying more bravery.

The refusal to consider adverse outcomes leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with keeping the negative thoughts out. Of course, you wouldn’t want to focus solely on negative thoughts. This book aims to inspire you to realistically assess your choices’ potential positive and negative outcomes. Such a healthy and realistic approach can do much more for your happiness in the long run than carefully controlled positive thinking.

6. ‘You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’ by Jen Sincero

This book isn’t shy about its central message. In fact, it’s right in the title: “You Are a Badass.” The author, success coach Jen Sincero, wants you to realize that you’re much more incredible than you might think.

Through a series of entertaining stories, thought exercises, sage advice, and inspirational quotes, this No. 1 New York Times bestseller guides you through thinking positively in general and about yourself, thus building self-confidence.

This route is seemingly simple. It starts with identifying your self-sabotaging beliefs and the behaviors that prevent you from getting what you want. It teaches you how to change these patterns and blast past your fears, enabling you to take exciting risks, set big goals, and love yourself and others truthfully.

If you have mental barriers that hold you back from achieving your goals, this book will teach you how to create a life you love. Using colorful language, it will show you precisely why you are how you are, how to change what you don’t love, and how to love what you can’t change.

7. ‘Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking’ by S.J. Scott & Barrie Davenport

Declutter Your Mind” is a guide that uses mindfulness techniques to help readers clear out the mental clutter keeping them down. This book is perfect for individuals who often feel overwhelmed by their thoughts and struggle with anxiety about even the simplest of daily tasks. It contains numerous exercises that help identify where the anxiety comes from and how to deal with it successfully in the future.

This approach entails clearing out anxiety-causing distractions from the mind, thus freeing space for inner peace and happiness. Once this becomes a habit, readers should be able to prioritize essential aspects of their life and eliminate things that don’t serve them in any way.

After reading this book, you’ll learn how to reframe negative thoughts, putting your mind at ease and allowing it to instead focus on coming up with brilliant ideas. This powerful book will show you how to gain complete control over your mind and shape the future you want.

8. ‘Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness’ by Houston Kraft

Deep Kindness” explores what would happen if you practiced kindness at every step of your daily life. The ultimate goal of this guide is to make the world a better and kinder place since it’s grown to be more divisive and lonely than ever.

Through simple advice and quotes, the author encourages readers to reflect on why behaving kindly might be difficult. It then shows how to apply kindness in practical situations, even when readers don’t feel like they can do anything. These actions are occasionally anecdotal, helping readers to embrace the change and find more positivity and kindness in their lives.

If you manage to do so, you’ll effectively change your relationship with yourself and the world. You’ll probably encounter a few aha moments throughout the book that will help you believe in a kinder world and take concrete actions to achieve it.

9. ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

The Power of Positive Thinking” is an international bestseller that has helped millions of people worldwide achieve fulfillment in their lives. This book was initially published in 1952, making it the oldest entry on our best books on the positive thinking list and somewhat of an originator in the field.

The book’s central premise is to have faith in your actions and engage in positive dialogue with yourself. Such dialogue is pleasant and productive and will help you welcome the initiative necessary to achieve your ambitions and hopes. In contrast, a negative dialogue becomes a monologue void of new ideas, self-reassurance, and compassion.

The author outlines numerous practical techniques to help you learn to expect the best and thus get the best. They should also help you believe in yourself, break the worry habit, and assume total control over your circumstances.

10. ‘Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life’ by Martin E. P. Seligman

Not every person is inherently optimistic. Some have to work hard to achieve a sunny disposition. Therefore, optimism should be perceived as a cultivated skill that can be acquired as long as you know how.

In his book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life,” Dr. Seligman relies on decades of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism can physically affect a person’s life. He offers simple guides, how-to advice, and practical exercises that can help readers retrain their brain and choose what they think about and how they approach it.

The book aims to free you of the “I can’t help it” and “I can’t change it” mindsets. These mindsets lower your self-esteem, kill your discipline, and make you doubt yourself every step of the way. With the book’s assistance, you can learn how to interpret and change your behavior for the better, eventually becoming the best version of yourself.

Ending on a Positive Note

Your mindset arguably has the most significant influence on your happiness and perceived quality of life. Luckily, you have control over it. All you need is a little practice and proper guidance.

Any of our choices for the best books on positive thinking can be a valuable resource on your journey to lasting happiness. By reading these books and practicing what they teach you, you can develop the skill of positive thinking and apply it to all areas of your life.

The result should be a well-rounded and fulfilled life, despite all the challenges you’ll inevitably face.


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