How happy you are depends less on external circumstances and more on your way of thinking. We have put together a few tips and exercises that you can use to learn to think more positively and become happier.
Why To Think Positive?
Positive thinking means seeing the famous “glass half full” in a situation, that is, perceiving its positive aspects rather than its negatives. It also means trusting yourself, believing in success and possibilities, and tackling things that others think are impossible. Almost all of history’s great achievements involve positive thinking: someone believed in an almost unbelievable possibility and acted on it.
No Attention To Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts can have tremendous power. They destroy our mood, our courage and our joy. But you don’t have to give them that power. You can simply withdraw your attention from negative thoughts. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re gone. But they don’t have that much of an impact on you anymore. And this is how it works: If you find that you are dealing with worries, fears, self-reproach or other negative thoughts, you draw a clear line in your thoughts and turn to other things. Distract yourself from the negative thoughts, they won’t help you anyway.
There are people who always go through life grumpy and others who always have a smile on their face. The smiling ones are almost always the happier people. The reason lies in the smile itself: Researchers have found that happiness hormones are released through a positive facial expression. The brain also seems to pick up information about how you are doing from the facial muscles. So smiling makes you more relaxed and happier.
Always Look For The Good In A Situation
There is almost always something good in a situation, if only it’s something you can learn from. You can also interpret obstacles as challenges, mistakes as learning fields. If you haven’t found a parking space near your apartment, you can either get angry or enjoy the little evening walk. If the food you need for your recipe is sold out, this is a chance to experiment with something new. Admittedly, it is often very difficult to find something positive when it comes to the big, existential issues. “It’ll be good for something” is unhelpful advice to someone grieving a terrible loss. But on a small scale, there are countless opportunities to take a closer look and find out the positive. And finally, this will also succeed with larger topics.
Even if everything looks bad sometimes: There are definitely a lot of things in your life for which you can be grateful. By keeping a gratitude journal, you focus on those things instead of the lack you feel. Just write down three things you’re grateful for every morning or evening. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same over and over again. The main thing is that you notice that they are there. Over time, you will notice more and more positive things in your life.
The neighbors have such a nice apartment and a big car, the colleague is slimmer and prettier and the cousin is much more successful in his job… Such comparisons make us unhappy and they are an expression of negative thinking. We could just as well compare ourselves to the many people who are worse off than us. But we rarely do that. In every area, we tend to compare ourselves to someone who supposedly has it better. If you manage to avoid these comparisons, your basic attitude will almost automatically change towards the positive.
Celebrate Small Achievements
Even if you don’t feel like it sometimes: you’ve already achieved a lot in your life. Make a list of all the successes you can think of: your school degrees, your driver’s license, difficult situations you have mastered, completed projects, etc If you think about it, a lot will surely come together. Then add to this list again and again with the little things that you come across every day. Finally made an overdue doctor’s appointment or fixed the dripping faucet? Great! A daily “I did that” list is much more motivating than a to-do list.
Keep Distance From Negative People
Whether we are positive or negative also depends on the people around us. If you are constantly dealing with people who complain and whine, then this negative attitude rubs off on you too. Conversely, cheerful, cheerful people can also make us happier.