5 ways to think more positively

Free your mind

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Pessimists say: things are going downhill. Optimists say: “huiiiiiii!” Sounds better? A psychologist explains how you plant positive thoughts in your head


Admittedly, the sentence “You have to think positively” sometimes seems like an annoying phrase. Especially in situations in which you are anything but positive, because external circumstances do not allow it. The justified question could then be: “What is the point of thinking positively if the situation is just the way it is – negative!

Dr. Ilona Bürgel is a graduate psychologist and works primarily as a consultant and advisor to companies. Her main topics are roughly summarized: Developing confidence in one’s own abilities, making optimal use of one’s own and other people’s resources, giving and experiencing appreciation and practising optimism.

Dr. Bürgel makes it clear that the power of positive thoughts can indeed be decisive for success and failure – for companies as well as for private individuals: “In the past, people thought that we were born optimistic or pessimistic thinkers and couldn’t help being so. Today, we know that 50 percent of our investments determine how easy or hard it is for us to be in a good mood and think positively. 10 percent determine our living conditions.

40 percent of what we do with our lives and how comfortable we feel is up to us. If you want to get as much as possible out of these 40 percent, you can practice thinking more positively with these 5 tips:

1. think more consciously and direct your thoughts

Often it seems as if we are helplessly at the mercy of our thoughts. As if negative thought patterns have so much power over us that we can do virtually nothing against them. Wrong! Be aware: it is your head and it is only thoughts! You can influence what is going on behind your forehead.

The best example: You enter a room full of strangers and immediately discomfort spreads in your chest. You have the feeling that everyone is staring at you, people are whispering about you – in short: you expect to attract negative attention from the outset. Stop! Realize that these are all ghosts that you yourself are conjuring up. Anyone who enters a room with the thought “I’m great and you can see it in my face” not only feels more confident, but actually radiates it.

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2. good living and good thinking belong together

Another tip from Dr. Bürgel: “Ask yourself with everything you do whether this is a good thing. Can your actions do you or others any good? Is there a good intention behind it?” By the way, this does not only apply to our actions, but also to our thinking.

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3. take your well-being into your own hands

“This is so enormously important because your good memories and feelings balance out the negative ones in their effect on body and mind,” says Dr. Bürgel. This means that if you are currently experiencing something joyful or thinking something beautiful or bringing something beautiful into your consciousness, you can regenerate faster and are fit for new challenges more quickly. By the way, this effect has even been medically confirmed.

There are repeated reports of cases in which sick people recover much faster if they have positive thoughts – consciously as well as unconsciously.

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4. spray positive mood

A positive basic attitude makes it easier for us to perceive other positive things and often triggers a domino effect. You can easily test this point by smiling happily at people on the street. This is still a bit too much for you? Then don’t just mumble a “morning” tomorrow morning when you greet your colleagues in the office, but try an exuberant “A beautiful good morning! You bet you’ll be able to conjure up happy faces all around you in no time. This can create a positive cycle.

The more people that participate, the more beautiful and easier it is.

5. treasure all you have

In order not to lose sight of the gratitude, some coaches advise you to keep a gratitude diary in which you write down every evening what happened to you during the day about positive things and what you would like to thank for from the bottom of your heart. If at some point the mood is in the basement and you are tempted to say that you are “always unlucky”, such a gratitude diary will quickly help to put everything into perspective.

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