The Power of Mindfulness and Positivity: Creating a Happy Mind in a Busy World


Imagine this: a staggering 74% of adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. This statistic highlights the pervasive nature of stress in our lives and its detrimental effects on our mental health.

Peace in Chaos

Finding peace can seem impossible with busy schedules. However, incorporating mindfulness and positivity into our daily routines can significantly improve our mental well-being. This article explores how these practices can create a happier, more balanced mind even when life gets hectic.

In this Article

We will begin by demystifying mindfulness and exploring the science behind its benefits. We’ll then dive into the transformative power of positivity and how it can reshape our mental health. This article will equip you with practical techniques for mindfulness and cultivating positivity, along with empowering tips on seamlessly integrating these practices into your busy lifestyle. Let’s journey towards a happier mind in a busy world.

1. Understanding Mindfulness


Definition of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of paying full attention to the present moment without judgment. It involves being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings as they happen rather than being caught up in the past or future. This simple yet powerful practice helps to anchor you in the here and now.

History and Origins

Mindfulness has its roots in ancient traditions. The practice was initially developed as a path to enlightenment and has been a central component of meditation for over 2,500 years. Over time, mindfulness has transcended religious boundaries and is now embraced in various forms across many cultures and contexts.

Scientific Basis

A robust body of scientific research stands as a testament to the effectiveness of mindfulness for mental health and well-being. Studies have consistently shown that regular mindfulness practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve focus and concentration, and enhance emotional regulation. For instance, a study published in ‘Psychological Science’ found that mindfulness can improve cognitive performance and reduce stress. Additionally, research from Harvard Medical School revealed that mindfulness meditation can increase the grey matter in brain regions associated with memory, learning, and emotional regulation. These findings should instil confidence in the potential of mindfulness to enhance your mental well-being.


By understanding and practising mindfulness, individuals can experience a range of mental health benefits, development a sense of calm and balance amidst the challenges of everyday life.

2. The Power of Positivity

Positive Mindset

What is Positivity

Positivity refers to focusing on the good aspects of life and maintaining an optimistic outlook. It involves recognising and appreciating the positive moments, no matter how small, and adopting an attitude of gratitude and hope. Positivity is not about ignoring life’s difficulties but seeing the potential for growth and joy even in challenging situations.

Benefits of a Positive Mindset

Maintaining a positive mindset has numerous benefits for mental health and overall well-being. Research has shown that positivity can:

  1. Reduce Stress: Positive thinking can lower stress levels by helping us cope more effectively with daily challenges. A study by the Mayo Clinic found that optimists tend to experience less stress than pessimists.
  2. Improve Physical Health: Positivity is linked to better physical health outcomes, including lower rates of cardiovascular disease and longer life expectancy. A study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” found that individuals with a positive outlook had a significantly lower risk of heart disease.
  3. Enhance Mental Resilience: A positive mindset can increase resilience, enabling individuals to bounce back more quickly from setbacks. Research in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” suggests optimism is associated with better psychological adjustment and recovery after traumatic events.
  4. Boost Immune Function: Positivity has been shown to strengthen the immune system, making individuals less susceptible to illness. A study by the University of Kentucky found that positive emotions are linked to an improved immune response.
  5. Increase Life Satisfaction: People who maintain a positive outlook generally report higher life satisfaction and happiness levels. According to a study published in “Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being,” positivity correlates with overall life satisfaction and well-being.

Positivity vs. Toxic Positivity

It is essential to distinguish between healthy positivity and toxic positivity. 

  • Healthy Positivity: This involves acknowledging life’s positive and negative aspects and focusing on the positive without denying or ignoring the negatives. It encourages authentic emotions and constructive coping strategies.
  • Toxic Positivity: This refers to the excessive and ineffective overgeneralisation of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. It results in the denial, minimisation, and invalidation of authentic emotional experiences. Toxic positivity can make individuals feel pressured to maintain a positive outlook even when they are genuinely struggling, leading to suppressed emotions and additional stress.


Authentic positivity allows for a balanced and realistic approach to life. Challenges are acknowledged, but the focus remains on growth, learning, and finding joy. By embracing healthy positivity, individuals can enhance their mental well-being and navigate life’s ups and downs with greater resilience.

3. Practical Mindfulness Techniques


Meditation is a core mindfulness practice that involves focusing the mind to achieve a state of calm and clarity. There are various types of meditation practices, each offering unique benefits:

  1. Focused Attention Meditation: This involves concentrating on a single object, thought, or sensation, such as the breath. It helps to develop attention and reduce mind-wandering. Start with just a few minutes a day and gradually increase the duration.
  2. Body Scan Meditation: This practice involves mentally scanning your body from head to toe, bringing awareness to each part and noting any sensations without judgment. It can be done lying down or sitting and helps to release physical tension and enhance body awareness.
  3. Loving-Kindness Meditation: Also known as Metta meditation, this practice involves cultivating feelings of compassion and love toward oneself and others. Begin by silently repeating phrases like “May I be happy, may I be healthy,” and then extend these wishes to others.
  4. Mindfulness Meditation involves sitting quietly and observing thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise without trying to change or judge them. This practice helps develop a non-reactive awareness of the present moment.

These meditation practices can be incorporated into daily life by setting aside a specific time each day, such as in the morning or before bed, to sit quietly and meditate. Even short sessions of 5-10 minutes can make a significant difference.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are simple yet powerful techniques to bring mindfulness into daily life. They can be done anywhere and anytime to help reduce stress and promote relaxation:

  1. Deep Breathing: Sit or stand comfortably; place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat for a few minutes.
  2. 4-7-8 Breathing: Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7, and then exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 8. This technique can be beneficial for calming the mind before sleep.
  3. Box Breathing: Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale through your mouth for a count of 4, and hold again for a count of 4. Repeat the cycle several times to achieve a state of relaxation.
  4. Alternate Nostril Breathing: Close your right nostril with your thumb, inhale deeply through your left nostril, then close it with your ring finger, open your right nostril, and exhale. Inhale through the right nostril, close it and exhale through the left. This exercise balances the nervous system and can be very calming.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. It can improve your relationship with food and promote healthier eating habits:

  1. Eat Slowly: Take your time chewing each bite thoroughly. This helps you savour the flavours and textures of your food and aids digestion.
  2. Eliminate Distractions: Try to eat without distractions such as TV, phones, or computers. Focus solely on your meal and the experience of eating.
  3. Notice Your Hunger and Fullness Cues: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Eat when hungry and stop when you feel satisfied, not stuffed.
  4. Engage Your Senses: Notice the colours, smells, textures, and tastes of your food. Engage all your senses to experience the act of eating entirely.
  5. Express Gratitude: Before eating, take a moment to appreciate the effort and resources that went into preparing your meal. This can enhance your connection to the food and the act of eating.


By incorporating these practical mindfulness techniques into daily life, you can cultivate a greater sense of awareness, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

4. Cultivating Positivity


Gratitude Practice

Gratitude is a powerful tool for enhancing positivity and overall well-being. Regularly practising gratitude involves consciously acknowledging and appreciating the good things in your life. This can shift your focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant, fostering a more positive mindset.

How to Practice Gratitude Regularly:

  1. Gratitude Journaling: Set aside a few minutes each day to write down three things you are grateful for. These can be big or small, such as a supportive friend, a beautiful sunset, or a good meal.
  2. Gratitude Meditation: Spend a few moments in quiet reflection, focusing on the things you appreciate in your life. Visualise these things and allow yourself to feel the gratitude deeply.
  3. Expressing Gratitude: Make a habit of expressing thanks to others. Whether it’s a quick thank you note, a verbal acknowledgement, or a thoughtful gesture, expressing gratitude can strengthen your relationships and enhance your sense of connection.


Affirmations are positive statements that can help reframe your mindset and reinforce a positive outlook. Regularly repeating affirmations can counteract negative thoughts and promote a more optimistic attitude.

Examples of Positive Affirmations:

  • “I am capable and strong.”
  • “I am worthy of love and happiness.”
  • “I choose to focus on what I can control and let go of what I cannot.”
  • “I am grateful for the abundance in my life.”
  • “Every day, I am becoming a better version of myself.”

How to Use Affirmations Effectively:

  1. Daily Practice: Start or end your day by repeating your chosen affirmations. You can say them aloud, write them down, or think them silently.
  2. Visual Reminders: Place reminders of your affirmations around your home or workspace. Sticky notes on the mirror, digital reminders on your phone, or screensavers can help keep your affirmations front of mind.
  3. Emotional Connection: When repeating affirmations, connect with the emotion behind the words. Feel the positivity and conviction as you say them.

Surrounding Yourself with Positivity

Creating a positive environment is crucial for sustaining a positive mindset. This involves being mindful of the influences around you, from the people you interact with to the media you consume.

Tips on Creating a Positive Environment:

  1. Supportive Social Networks: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Seek friends, family members, and colleagues who encourage positivity and personal growth.
  2. Positive Media: Be selective about the media you consume. Choose books, podcasts, TV shows, and social media accounts that inspire and motivate you rather than those that drain your energy or promote negativity.
  3. Declutter Your Space: A clean and organised environment can positively impact your mental state. Declutter your living and working spaces, creating an atmosphere that feels calm and welcoming.
  4. Positive Habits: Incorporate habits into your daily routine that promote positivity, such as regular exercise, spending time in nature, and engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.


By actively cultivating gratitude, using affirmations, and creating a positive environment, you can enhance your mental well-being and foster a sustained sense of positivity. These practices improve your outlook on life and build resilience and a stronger foundation for handling life’s challenges.

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    5. Integrating Mindfulness and Positivity into a Busy Life

    Time Management Tips

    Finding time for mindfulness and positivity practices amidst a busy schedule can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some practical tips to help you incorporate these practices into your daily routine:

    1. Prioritise Your Well-being: Recognise the importance of mindfulness and positivity for your mental health. Make them a priority by scheduling dedicated time as you would for work or other commitments.
    2. Start Small: Begin with short sessions of mindfulness or positivity exercises. Even five minutes a day can make a difference, and fitting into a busy schedule is easier.
    3. Combine with Existing Routines: Integrate mindfulness and positivity into your daily activities. For example, practice mindful breathing while commuting or express gratitude during mealtimes.
    4. Set Reminders: Use alarms or notifications on your phone to remind you to take a mindfulness break or to reflect on something positive.
    5. Batch Tasks: Group similar tasks together to save time, allowing you to carve out a few minutes for mindfulness or positivity exercises in between.


    Micro-practices are brief mindfulness and positivity exercises that can be done in a few minutes, making them perfect for busy schedules.

    1. Mindful Breathing: Take a few deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the air entering and leaving your body. Do this for 1-2 minutes whenever you need a quick reset.
    2. Gratitude Pause: Pause for a moment and think of three things you are grateful for. This can be done anytime, anywhere, and helps shift your focus to positive aspects of your life.
    3. Body Scan: Spend a minute scanning your body from head to toe, noticing any areas of tension and consciously relaxing them.
    4. Positive Affirmations: Repeat a positive affirmation to yourself a few times. You can do this in front of a mirror, during a break, or even silently during a meeting.
    5. Mindful Walking: As you walk, pay attention to the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your steps, and the movement of your body.

    Technology Aids

    Numerous apps and online resources are designed to help you integrate mindfulness and positivity into your daily life. Here are some recommendations:

    1. Headspace: This app offers guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and sleep aids. The sessions range from a few minutes to longer practices.
    2. Calm: Known for its soothing interface, Calm provides guided meditations, sleep stories, and relaxation techniques. It also offers quick mindfulness exercises that can fit into a busy schedule.
    3. Insight Timer: This app offers a vast library of free meditations. It allows you to choose sessions based on duration, type, and teacher and includes a timer feature for self-guided meditation.
    4. Gratitude: A journaling app that helps you practice gratitude daily by prompting you to write about what you are thankful for. It also offers daily motivational quotes.
    5. Aura: This app offers personalised meditation, life coaching, and sleep support. It adapts to your preferences and needs, making it easy to fit mindfulness into your day.


    By effectively managing your time, incorporating micro-practices, and utilising technology aids, you can seamlessly integrate mindfulness and positivity into your busy life. These practices can enhance your mental well-being, helping you navigate daily challenges with a more transparent and more positive mind.



    Summary of Key Points

    In this article, we’ve explored the significant impact that mindfulness and positivity can have on creating a happy mind amidst the busyness of life. We began by defining mindfulness and its origins, supported by scientific evidence of its benefits. We then examined the power of positivity, differentiating between healthy and toxic positivity, and highlighted its benefits for mental well-being. Practical techniques for mindfulness, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and mindful eating, were discussed, along with ways to cultivate positivity through gratitude practices, affirmations, and creating a positive environment. Finally, we provided tips on integrating these practices into a busy life through effective time management, micro-practices, and technology aids.


    Incorporating mindfulness and positivity into your daily routine can be done without significant time or effort. Even small, consistent practices can lead to profound changes in your mental well-being. By taking a few moments each day to be present and focus on the positive, you can build a happier, more balanced mind, capable of navigating the complexities of life with greater ease and resilience.

    You Are Invited

    Start today by trying out a simple mindfulness exercise, such as mindful breathing or expressing gratitude for three things in your life. Share this article with friends, family, or colleagues who might benefit from these practices. Remember, the journey to a happier mind begins with a single step, and each small effort brings you closer to a more fulfilling and joyful life.

    Let’s embrace mindfulness and positivity and make our busy world a little brighter and more peaceful, one mindful moment at a time.

    Further Reading


    1. “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thích Nhất Hạnh
    2. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    3. “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha” by Tara Brach
    4. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle
    5. “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work” by Shawn Achor
    6. “Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life” by Barbara Fredrickson
    7. “Gratitude: A Way of Life” by Louise L. Hay

    Articles /Studies

    1. “Stress Statistics: Results of our 2018 study” – Mental Health Foundation. Find it here.
    2. “How optimism improves your health” by Vivien Williams – Mayo Clinic. Find it here.
    3. “Invited commentary: positivity in practice” by Daniel Westreich and Stephen R. Cole – American Journal of Epidemiology. Find it here.
    4. “The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology” by Barbara L Fredrickson –
    5. American Psychological Association. Find it here.
    6. “Optimism and immunity: do positive thoughts always lead to positive effects?” by Suzanne C. Segerstrom – Brain, Behaviour and Immunity. Find it here.

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    About Lungisa E Sonqishe

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