How can I get a better attitude

Think positively: New attitude towards life with 8 tips + 6 exercises

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What is positive thinking?

Positive thinking means consciously directing your perception. Away from frustration, a deficit or lack, towards the possibilities. Instead of risks, we see opportunities. Instead of looking at the glass half empty, we see it half full. Instead of looking at what is missing, we are grateful for what we have (achieved).

Thinking positively means having more confidence in yourself and your own ideas or the future - and thus actually creating more. Optimism has been shown to promote mental and physical health. Many great successes stem from positive thinking: everyone said it was impossible. Until someone came along who did it anyway. Nothing is impossible!

Think positive AND stay realistic!

Quite a few dismiss positive thinking as esoteric quackery. A kind of loss of reality in which one only looks at the world through rose-colored glasses. That would actually be naive. But it is also wrong: “Thinking positively” does not mean to fade out everything negative and to gloss over things.

Rather, it's about realistic optimism (see video). The optimist is just as realist as the pessimist. Every coin has two sides. What makes the difference is what we focus on: the positive or the negative?

8 tips for positive thinking

Whether illness, private problems or difficulties at work: With the following tips and exercises you can learn to think more positively - and to make optimism a habit.

1. Stop comparing yourself

The colleague earns more, the neighbor has the nicer house, a colleague has already been promoted again ... Constant comparisons prevent us from thinking positively. Even more: they make you unhappy. There will always be people who are (supposedly) better off. But much more who are worse off. Change your point of view! Focus on yourself and enjoy what you are, can, have. Focus on what YOU want, not others!

2. Identify triggers

“All crap!” - Generalizations like these quickly become beliefs. If things don't go smoothly in your job, your entire life will turn into a crisis in no time at all. Only one singular (and often meaningless) event overshadows the rest. To think more positively, you should question what the reason behind the bad thoughts is. Without evaluating the overall situation negatively! As soon as you identify the cause, you can work on it in a targeted manner - and assess such situations more realistically and less impulsively in the future.

3. Smile more often

A smile ensures a better mood and a positive view of the circumstances after a short time. Even if there is no reason to laugh. Behind this is a physical reaction that is triggered by the facial muscles. The brain then releases happiness hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. In addition, smiling has an effect on those around you: You appear more open, more positive - and you get back sympathy and trust. Therefore: LMAA - smile more than others!

4. Let go of what has happened

Many people hold onto things that happened to them for years: injustices, betrayals, defeats. By letting go and learning from it, you leave the past behind and look forward again. In short: ask WHY less often - rather ask WHY?

5. Focus on your strengths

Everyone has strengths. Weaknesses too, of course. But many focus solely on their deficits. But that pulls you down and steals energy. By strengthening your strengths, the probability of success increases by 50 percent. Therefore: love and accept yourself for who you are. And make the most of it!

6. Avoid toxic people

Beware of nondescripts! There are toxic people who, with their negativism, pull everything and everyone around them into the abyss. Always moaning, moaning, lousy. Sooner or later it will rub off on you. Avoid such people and consciously seek the presence of positive people who laugh a lot and “dance” life. They are real happiness makers.

7. Refute negative thoughts

Most worries and negative thoughts are based on assumptions about the future. Regardless of whether general (“It never works!”) Or personally (“I can't do that.”): Punish these self-statements. Here, too, your notes from the diary will help. Or thorough research. In most cases, pessimism is unfounded. As the saying goes: "We should worry less about things that we cannot control anyway."

8. Take responsibility

Positive thinking means taking responsibility - for life and your actions. Quite a few people take refuge in the role of victim because it is more convenient. Then others or the circumstances are to blame. Practically. By taking responsibility, you regain control. You pick up the proverbial steering wheel again - and make the most of everything.

6 positive thinking exercises

1. Start the day with positive thoughts

The way we start the day can have a decisive impact on it. Negative news on television, worries and brooding: this is not how it works with positive thinking. The result is only a harmful carousel of thoughts and frustration paralysis. Instead, establish a carefree and positive morning routine. Start your day with good thoughts, confidence, and great expectations. You will see: The more positive you think of yourself and the day, the more it becomes true. Every moment counts!

2. Keep a gratitude journal

Writing it down can help you think more positively. It clears our memories. Each day, write down what you are happy about, what you are grateful for, what went well, and what you are proud of. So, keep in mind the positive things in your life. A few minutes are enough. These can be successes at work, good moments or things that seem obvious like food, health or a roof over your head. If you like, you can do this in the form of a success diary or yo-ooo list.

3. Change your posture

Not only thoughts influence our thinking. Posture also has a big impact on it. Biofeedback is the technical term for the effect. Just by standing upright, broadening our shoulders, making our chests strong, and lifting our heads, we can "straighten up" feelings and thoughts (see this embodiment trick). Try it! Works 100 percent.

4. Look specifically for the good

There is something good in almost every situation. Sometimes it catches the eye. In some cases you have to search first. This is exactly what you should train: Take the time to look for the positive even in difficult situations. First, accept the situation as it is. Then turn your attention to the positive aspects: Did you learn anything? Have you been able to grow and develop from it? Even a step back can be a step further. Instead of getting angry, learn to see the possibilities. And you will discover a universe.

5. Replace negative thoughts

Don't try to suppress negative thoughts. This leads to the so-called rebound effect and intensifies it. If you catch pessimistic hypotheses and thoughts, then consciously turn them around and replace negative assumptions with positive ones. For example, “I can't do it” becomes “I will do it.” It makes a huge difference how we look at the world and our future. Our energy goes where our attention is directed. It is not uncommon for this to result in a self-fulfilling prophecy - for better or for worse. Ultimately, success is above all: a matter of attitude.

6. Meditate regularly

Whether you meditate or pray: Both provide more clarity in the mind and inner peace. The positive effect of meditation has long been scientifically proven: concentration increases, as does life expectancy. We feel more joy and energy, even the lifestyle becomes healthier (see this PDF).

How positive thinking and success are related

The happiness researcher Shawn Achor comes to the conclusion: It is not the intelligence quotient (IQ) that is decisive for happiness and success. More important - a whopping 75 percent - are optimism and the ability to deal with stress. He calls this positive mindset the "luck advantage". Expressed in numbers:

  • The positive thinking brain is 31 percent more productive than in a negative or neutral state.
  • Anyone who works as a salesperson has a 37 percent higher success rate.
  • Doctors are 19 percent faster and better at making the correct diagnosis.

In short: thinking positively is like doping for the brain. The services increase. The successes too.

What positive thinking brings

Positive thinking has numerous advantages. It doesn't just have to be about (professional) success. Our entire life benefits from it. Some examples:

  • Positive thinking makes you healthy and sets in motion unexpected healing effects (see “placebo effect”).
  • If you only look at the failures, you block yourself. Positive thinking gives us confidence and gives us control of action.
  • Those who think positively (of themselves) become more self-confident and increase their self-esteem.
  • Positive thinking broadens your horizons: you recognize more opportunities and possibilities.
  • A change of perspective on positive things and gratitude have been proven to make you happy.

Make it clear to yourself: positive thinking is first and foremost that: a decision. Things are not inherently positive or negative. You will only get that through our evaluation. Or as the writer Anaïs Nin put it: "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." That means: You can decide for yourself how you see things.

Where does positive thinking come from?

The positive thinking has its origins in the French pharmacist Émile Coué. He developed the concept of autosuggestion as a self-help method. With the help of positive affirmations (“I am fine, I am happy”), his clients became healthy more often than if they only took medication.

From this later developed the "positive psychology" around the psychologist Martin Seligmann. Today she examines the effect of positive thoughts, feelings and serenity as well as their and self-healing powers. It's about your own potential and about gaining more influence on your own life.

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