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When You Focus On The Good The Good Gets Better

When You Focus On The Good The Good Gets Better

Have you ever noticed that when you focus your attention on negatives – stressful work situations, annoying people, or even just reading too much bad news – it brings down your whole mood? On the flip side, taking time to appreciate simple joys or expressing gratitude seems to lift your spirits. There’s actually science behind why this happens!

Practicing positivity – through gratitude, self-care, goal setting and more – stimulates feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain that boost wellbeing. When we actively focus on the good, it creates an upward spiral where the good expands. Pretty neat trick for improving quality of life, right? This concept that when you focus on the good, the good gets better is backed by research on neuroplasticity and proven techniques for cultivating positivity.

In this article, we’ll explore the neurological effects of mindset and show tangible ways you can rewire your brain for more optimism, joy, kindness and general “good stuff”. With some dedication to focusing on silver linings, you may just find your whole life getting brighter!

The Science Behind Positivity

The human brain is incredibly adaptive thanks to neuroplasticity – its ability to restructure and forge new neural pathways over time. The connections we strengthen through patterns of thinking and behavior literally shape our perception of reality! This is why nurturing a positive mindset matters so much.

Several fascinating studies on neuroplasticity reveal that activities like gratitude journaling, meditation and practicing kindness stimulate the prefrontal cortex and flood our brains with pleasurable chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Meanwhile, chronic negativity and stress do the opposite – elevating anxiety-inducing hormones like cortisol.

Over time, the neural pathways we continually activate become the brain’s default setting. To illustrate: if you focus your mental energy on criticism and limiting beliefs, the brain will start automatically filtering for negatives. You’ll become more attuned to flaws and irritated by minor annoyances. However, by choosing positivity and possibility – savoring good moments, envisioning your best self, etc – your brain will transform in the other direction.

The key takeaway? What we consistently focus on shapes our reality. Or to put it more simply: when you focus on the good, the good gets better!

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Rewiring our brains for lasting positivity takes some dedication. The first step is becoming aware of thought patterns that feed negativity. Common cycles to look out for:

Reducing Negative Thinking

  • Catastrophizing – Jumping to worst case scenarios. Ex: Messing up at work and imagining getting fired or blacklisted in your industry forever.
  • Black & White Thinking – Viewing situations in extremes with no middle ground. Ex: Getting irritated by a friend’s annoying quirk and labeling them as selfish/inconsiderate.
  • Blame & Victim Mentality – Abdicating responsibility for choices and projecting it onto external forces. Ex: Justifying overspending because bills/debt/economy forced your hand.

When you catch yourself stuck in cycles like these, gently interrupt the thought spiral before it escalates. Mindfulness meditation is amazing for building awareness of thoughts without judgement. You can also employ self-talk tactics: name the negativity, then consciously shift your inner dialogue to something more accurate or hopeful. It takes practice, but gets easier over time!

Meanwhile, fill your mental space with as much positive stuff as possible. Studies show activities like these consistently stimulate feel-good neurotransmitters for a confidence and optimism boost!

Increasing Positivity

  • Gratitude Journaling – Daily listing things you appreciate, big and small. Trains your brain to automatically notice silver linings.
  • Savoring Small Joys – Deliberately pause to soak in ordinary pleasures – relaxing with pets, tasting food, smiling at strangers, anything uplifting!
  • Choosing Uplifting Media – Be selective in input from news, social media, even music. Allow healthy doses of feel-good content.
  • Positivity Reminders – Notes, wall art and screen savers with inspiring quotes or images.

When you consistently counter negatives by redirecting to uplifting thoughts, your brain builds optimism momentum. It’s like flexing a mental muscle! Which brings us to…

Positivity In Action

As we’ve established, focusing attention on feel-good stimuli can chemically alter our brains for elevated wellbeing over time. But what about putting positivity into tangible action? Activities supporting our physical, social and spiritual health also boost those confidence-lifting neurotransmitters through neuroplasticity!

Self-Care and Stress Relief

Caring for our whole selves – bodies, hearts and minds – does wonders for both personal fulfillment and positive brain chemicals like oxytocin (the “love hormone”). Safety is a basic human need, so when we nourish our health through sensual pleasures and security-boosting rituals, the brain responds powerfully.

  • Nutrition & Exercise – Eat nutrient-rich “brain foods” and stay active for enhanced cognition.
  • Sleep Hygiene – Prioritize regular, high-quality rest for learning, memory and mood regulation.
  • Breath & Bodywork – From yoga to massage, taps into relaxation response.
  • Nature & Beauty – Get outside, engage senses with art, music, scents. Reduces cortisol.

Nurturing Relationships

As social creatures, healthy connections are integral for wellness on every level. Science confirms that kindness and community cultivates the warm-and-fuzzy hormones like oxytocin and serotonin through neuroplastic change.

  • Giving & Volunteering – Helping others in need activates pleasure and meaning.
  • Shared Experiences – Bonding during activities, meals, concerts. Laughing together detonates feel-good neurochemistry!
  • Physical Affection – Hugs, hand-holding, sensual and sexual play. Oxytocin and vasopressin surge promote intimacy, calm and confidence.

The more we invest in caring for ourselves and others, the more we reinforce our neural capacity for compassion. And as the saying goes, “what goes around comes around”. Which brings us to…

How Can Focusing on the Good Enhance the Effectiveness of Meditation in Achieving Goals?

Focusing on the good while practicing meditation can significantly enhance its effectiveness in helping you achieve your goals. By acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life and aspirations, you cultivate a mindset of gratitude and motivation. This positive mindset supports the alignment of your thoughts and actions, ultimately aiding in the manifestation of your desired outcomes. So, achieve your goals with meditation by embracing the power of positivity.

Creating An Upward Spiral

Remember, the brain changes in response to repetitive thought and behavior patterns thanks to neuroplasticity. By now we’ve covered significant science-backed techniques for reducing negativity and actively focusing on uplifting thoughts, self-care and community. When combined into a steady lifestyle, these habits compound over time to create an upward spiral toward greater joy and fulfillment.

Goal Setting & Growth Mindset

Once you’ve laid the foundation with positivity practices, put that optimistic energy into setting bold life vision goals! Envisioning and progressing toward your best self activates those motivation and learning centers in the brain. With a focus on self-improvement over perfection, even small wins to build skills sparks Dopamine and lifts confidence.

  • Visualize Ideal Future – Vividly imagine the life experiences that would bring greatest joy and meaning – dream career, family, home, legacy. Makes goals emotionally compelling.
  • Set Realistic Milestones – Break large goals down into measurable baby-step projects to maintain momentum through neuroplasticity.
  • Growth Mindset – Believe abilities can be developed through dedication and learning from mistakes. This flexible thinking promotes grit and achievement.

When you direct positive intention into self-expansion, your brain will adapt to rise to the occasion! Which ripples out to…

Paying It Forward

Here’s where we get into upward spiral territory – when your own health and actualization supports others to thrive in turn. From simple generosity to modeling inspiration, you stimulate those warm-and-fuzzy chemicals and spark positive chain reactions.

  • Volunteerism – Donate time to causes bringing more peace or justice in communities. Seeing concrete impact activates meaning and purpose.
  • Skill Sharing – Pass on knowledge from your self-improvement goals to motivate others’ growth. Mentorship is extremely rewarding!
  • Inspire Positivity – Share what lifting techniques work for you via social media, blogging, local workshops, etc. Creates community.
  • Conscious Commerce – Spend money to support socially/environmentally responsible businesses. Vote with your wallet to shape culture.

When you’ve experienced the feeling of living from your highest values after focusing on personal growth, it spills over naturally into serving the greater good. And you stimulate more dopamine learning new things along the way! This is how individual wellbeing scales up.


As we’ve discovered here, science shows that when you focus on the good, the good gets better due to the brain’s neuroplastic capacity to turn thoughts into neural structure and behavior. By being mindful of negative thinking patterns and replacing them with positive stimuli and actions instead, we train our brains for more automatic feelings of optimism, motivation and resilience.

Creating an upward spiral of self-care, purposeful goal setting, and generous community support compounds our health at all levels – mental, physical and spiritual. And the research on neuroplastic change shows that making constructive focus a steady habit results in actual transformation of thought patterns over time.

The next time you catch yourself stuck in a negativity spiral, remember how malleable your brain is. Redirect your thoughts and behaviors to nourish what you want to grow. You have power to change your inner world and outer reality for the better. Why not start now?