How To Think Positive and Be Happy

Using CBT


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps a person identify negative thought patterns so they can change them. Thought patterns are learned; therefore can be unlearned. Replacing negative thought patterns can not only make us more positive and happy but even improve symptoms for a lot of mental health disorders in the DSM 5.

How To Think Positive and Be Happy Using CBT

Here Is a Short Video Explaining What Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is

Well, Here Are 10 Benefits of Positive Thinking

1 | Improved Mood

2 | Better Health

3 | A Longer Life

4 | More Satisfying Life

5 | Lower Cortisol Levels

6 | Less Stress

7 | Improved Coping Skills

8 | Reduced Risk of Cancer

9 | Reduced Risk of Heart Attack

10 | Lower Blood Pressure


CBT is also a treatment for

  • Bulimia
  • Anorexia
  • Binge Eating
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Relationship troubles
  • Marital problems
  • Grief
  • Assertiveness
  • Sexual disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Quitting smoking
  • Low self-esteem
  • All Personality Disorders
    • Paranoid Personality Disorder
    • Schizoid Personality Disorder
    • Schizotypal Personality Disorder
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
    • Histrionic Personality Disorder
    • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    • Antisocial Personality Disorder
    • Avoidant Personality Disorder
    • Dependent Personality Disorder
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

CBT Models

How To Think Positive and Be Happy Using CBT

Here is the basic concept how to think positive and be happy: If you can change the thought, then you will likely change the emotion, physical response and actions that follow. 

Which Principle Underlies Cognitive Therapy

How To Think Positive and Be Happy Using CBT: Free CBT Model PDF Printable

Free CBT Model PDF Printable

How To Think Positive and Be Happy

Using CBT Techniques

There are different ways of using CBT. A different approach can sometimes work better for a certain diagnosis, or person. Although what principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy remains the same, there are different techniques to applying it.  Many of the techniques will help you learn how to stay positive during difficult times. Here are some examples,

Exposure Therapy

This is one of the common CBT interventions for anxiety or phobias. A person will slowly and gradually be exposed to what makes them anxious. CBT comes in to build new ways of coping with fear, making a person more confident and less debilitated by their phobia or anxiety.


This technique can be really helpful when learning how to think positive and be happy.

This can target “black and white” thinking or “all or nothing” thinking. Many with PTSD can over generalize people, places, or habits as a way to keep them safe. This can create low self esteem and make a person quite rigid. 

Restructuring can also be a helpful way to use CBT for eating disorders. Restructuring is to first become aware of the thought patterns that are no longer serving a positive, useful purpose in your life, and reframing them to become healthy and more constructive.


Journaling with CBT should stay somewhat focused on a CBT model. Journaling is generally a broad and open ended style of writing, however this can sometimes work against someone who is hoping to change their thought patterns.

If you’re going to try journaling, it can be helpful to get some tips from a therapist trained in CBT. You can even look up CBT style journaling. 

CBT Anxiety Journaling


This is just what it sounds like; relaxing. Though for some, this does not come natural. There are a lot of people who were taught how to escalate their thoughts and emotions, instead of deescalate. Many people who fall into this category struggle with understanding how to think positive and be happy. Using detailed step by step instructions to relax can be really useful for them.

Imagery, breathing techniques, and body relaxation are some of the methods used for relaxing. 

Successive Approximation

This is taking a big task and breaking it down, similar to following relaxation strategies. There are steps used and this helps you learn how to do a task at a manageable pace. 


Yes, scheduling. Having a set time, date, time frame, location, etc. can help ease anxiety by reducing some of the unknowns of a situation. Scheduling can help you learn yourself better, learn time management, and improve your habits over time. 


Is CBT for You?

Here are some things you can consider if you’re interested…

It is going to require your participation. You may need to journal, keep a thought record, or other ways of documenting your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Mostly so you can gain clarity on how you think, why you think the way you do, and most importantly, how you can modify it, so you can live the life you want! 

Most of the insight is going to come from you, so be prepared to self reflect and challenge your current thought patterns. But if you’re using a therapist, it can be helpful for them to create treatment plans based on your writing.

It can take months or years to get to where you want with CBT. Don’t be discouraged though. It will take practice, trial and error and all those aggravating things required to learn new skills. So don’t get too frustrated that you’re human.

It can be really helpful to have a therapist that you have a safe relationship with, however it is not the ONLY way to learn about CBT.

You can practice CBT skills by reading books, reading online, watching YouTube, going to group therapy, and other free resources.

As I said before, what principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy remains the same and there are numerous different techniques to applying it. Just keep in mind where the information you gather is coming from, as you’ll want to make sure you’re getting it from someone who is giving good information.



*Don’t beat yourself up for thinking the way you do. The way we think is formed for good reason, usually to keep us alive and safe. Things change though, and so can your thoughts.

Often times neglected or abused children do the best they can with what they have. What we have though, is often an undeveloped emotional system. Making it difficult for us to understand how to think positive and be happy. It’s challenging for us to;

  • Regulate our emotions
  • Recognize our emotions
  • Understand what caused an emotion
  • Recognize others’ emotions
  • Feel certain emotions
  • Express emotions

The good news is, you can still develop your emotional maturity and learn new thinking patterns, including how to think positive and be happy.

  • Not every environment is the same one you were raised in 
  • Not every situation will end in the worst case scenario
  • Not every person will try to hurt you
  • What hurt you before, may not hurt you now



You can buy an instant downloadable/printable PDF below

How To Think Positive and Be Happy Using CBT: CBT Thought Diary

CBT Thought Diary

Other CBT Resources to Learn How to Think Positive and Be Happy.

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“Nobody Likes Me” Causes & 5 Quick Solutions

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The Most Common Anxiety Medications



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Some Free Programs I’ve Personally Used…

Hope Recovery

A non profit organization that offers TONS of free support. They have individualized therapy and support groups for eating disorders, abuse, PTSD, dissociation, sexual trauma, grief and loss, self esteem, self care, men’s support groups, and substance abuse. They also talk about how to think positive and be happy.


Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families  | ACOA

Another amazing place to connect. ACOA changed my life. I know that many others feel the same admiration for this program. This program was key for me to learn how to think positive and be happy. I had a lot of shame and guilt, which a lot of people can relate to.

There are tons of groups and they all have their own flavor. You don’t have to do a 12 step group, there are plenty others. If you don’t like one, try another! I’ve definitely left groups that didn’t spark me as helpful. They have guidelines to ensure that you feel safe. It’s all free & I don’t get paid to tell you this.

The groups discuss other common things in dysfunctional homes beyond learning how to just think positive and be happy. Dysfunction and abuse comes in a lot of forms and so many people come together and accept each other, as they are, in ACOA. 


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.