Positive Thinking on Roald Dahl Day

Everyone can benefit from the marvellous magic of Roald Dahl. So to celebrate his birthday (and the fact that it’s Positive Thinking Day) we’ve put together some of his most uplifting quotes, along with some great tips, that’ll keep you feeling positive all day.

At this time of year, the nerves can really start to kick in for those who are about to start university for the first time. We find that the whizz-popping brilliance of Mr Dahl can really help aid anxiety, help spread those happy vibes far and wide, and remind you that you are #CapableOfEverything.


“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.”


One of the easiest ways to keep yourself feeling positive is to throw yourself into the things you enjoy. While we all know that life can and will get in the way, it’s important to set aside some time where you can blow off some steam. If there’s something you love, embrace it and go the extra mile for it. Whether it’s meeting up with some friends, playing video games, drawing, or badly singing in the shower, spending a little extra time doing it can help your mood improve. Try joining one of the societies at the university, they are full of like-minded people who would love to have you as a member. Plus everyone shares a common interest, so breaking the ice and making friends is easy!


“Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.”

– Danny the Champion of the World

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a little out of place at university. Everyone and everything can be a new experience that you might not feel quite ready for. This doesn’t have to be intimidating though! University is set up to give you the best and friendliest experience possible. Just remember that it’s not just you who feels awkward and anxious in new situations, everyone does especially when they have just started university. One of the best ways to deal with those feelings and negative thoughts is to just practice a little mindfulness. It’s quick, easy and will definitely help a lot. Next time you feel some anxiety coming on, just focus on relaxing your body, learn to spot which muscles are feeling tense and let them go. Take a few breaths and focus on the present, rather than negative thoughts about the future. You’ll quickly start feeling better and you’ll feel more at home in the situation you’re in.

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

– Matilda

Sometimes you can find yourself feeling isolated and left out, which can be a pretty awful feeling. It can be hard to move past and even harder to deal with, but don’t worry because theres lots of ways to combat it. It might seem impossible but take some time to see some friends or family or even an acquaintance you haven’t spoken to in a while. Getting out and grabbing a coffee with someone can really help boost your mood and help you feel connected to the people around you. If coffee isn’t your thing then just invite them over to chat, or to laugh at a terrible movie, whatever you feel like you could enjoy together. It won’t happen immediately but over time you might notice that you’re feeling a lot more positive, and a lot more connected.


“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”

—Fantastic Mr Fox

Everyone worries about what other people think. It’s an uncontrollable urge, but knowing when to take it seriously and when to ignore it is important. When you’re feeling bogged down with thoughts about what other people think, it’s time to just reassure yourself. Take a moment to breathe and identify what you’re worrying about. Then start small and think of some reassuring thoughts to combat the negative ones. For example: if you’re feeling like all eyes are on you take a moment to say ‘OK, I feel like everyone is staring at me, thats fine it’s uncomfortable and it will pass’. Then start reassuring yourself. Come up with positive reasons for why you feel like people are looking at you like ‘of course they are staring I look great today’, or, ‘they’re all looking at me because they want to get to know me’. I know it sounds simple but its surprisingly effective, just give it some time and soon enough you’ll be full of self confidence!

‘We must hurry!’ said Mr. Wonka. ‘We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!’”

—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

University life can get really hectic and stressful, and you might find that a bunch of negative thoughts pile up during the day. Even if they are tiny, they can quickly become a problem that leaves you feeling down, when you should be enjoying yourself. If so, then its time for a bit of mental Spring cleaning! You just need to set aside 20 mins everyday, or every other day where you can sit down and sort though what you’re worried about. Make this your ‘worry time’, write down your negative thoughts throughout the day and then use this 20 mins to address all of them. Then once you’re done, go and do something fun as a reward. Watch some TV or play a game. You’ll find that the more you do it the less ‘worry time’ you’ll actually need!


“And don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”


One of the best ways to think more positively is to identify what you actually need to be worried about and what you don’t. You’d be surprised about how many things are just unnecessarily causing you stress and worry. So take the time to ask yourself, ‘am I worrying about something I can do something about, or is it something I can’t control?”.  If it’s something you can’t control, then there’s not much of a reason to worry about it. You’ve just gotta say ‘if it happens it happens’, and then deal with it at the time. If you can do something about what you’re worrying about then do it! If you’re worrying about a test do some studying, don’t put it off. That way you’ll have done everything you can and you can stop feeling anxious about it. Doing this can really help if you’re feeling overwhelmed and over time you’ll see you’re not anxious about as many things anymore. So give it a try, you’ll be happier in no time!

Finally this might not be strictly Roald Dahl related but… here’s a catchy song that actually has some great advice for dealing with anxiety and negative thoughts. Try humming along when you’re feeling down, it might help a lot!