How To Learn Positive Thinking Is Easier Than You Think
Do you consider the glass to be half empty or full? Optimism is an enviable trait that makes life easier. In fact, it is very easy to develop a positive attitude toward life. I speak from my own experience when I tell you how to learn positive thinking is not a question for rocket scientists to be answered.
It can be done and all it takes is a little bit of inner cooperation, commitment and, of course, you reading and implementing the following tips.
“Put a half-full glass on the table.
The optimist will say, ‘How beautiful! The glass is still half full!’
The pessimist will say, ‘Sorry, but the glass is already half empty!'”
George Bernard Shawn, Irish writer.
Thinking Positively – Optimism Can be Learned
Positive thinking works according to the principle of attraction. As we think, so we become. In this article I quoted Henry Ford:
“Whether you think you can do it or you can’t, you’ll be right.” – Henry Ford
So you are well-advised to learn to control your thoughts. At the beginning, of course, this requires active work on your attitude. But soon you will notice that the positive thought patterns are automating.
Pessimism is often just a protective factor that prevents us from experiencing disappointment.
For me, this has developed as follows: My grandma has often emphasized that I have always been a little walking sunshine. As a child, I had a permanent smile on my lips and was rarely moody.
There was a time, however, when that smile got wiped off of my face. Family problems, frequent illness of my beloved grandpa, losses, death and disorientation led to me going into a negative thought spiral.
A condition that many people certainly experience in one or the other phase of life:
▪ Orientation after school (study, finding a job, standing on your own feet)
▪ End of a relationship
▪ High everyday stress (children, job, house)
▪ Midlife crisis in men, menopause in women
But I soon realized that I had to start a turning point. I worked on my mindset, fed myself better and thought about some important life choices. These simple steps, which I later explicitly describe using the 11 tips, brought back my optimism. Thus, it is true, you can learn to think positively!
Today, my life feels lighter and more carefree again. This is a great advantage of positive thinking.
How Does Negative Thinking Arise?
Before I describe the 11 ways to optimism, I would first like to explain to you how negative thinking arises.
Although I, personally, am clearly differentiating myself from the state of depression or burnout, negative thinking or pessimism can sooner or later lead to such consequences.
We weren’t necessarily born pessimists. There are several triggers that keep us from thinking positively:
As I described in the previous section, certain circumstances can cause us to fall into negative thinking patterns. The fact that we have bad experiences changes our mood. As long as this is not a permanent state, it is perfectly okay.
Many events take time to process. The death of a loved one is hard to talk about (although some cultures celebrate a feast in honor of the dead).
One of the main reasons for negative thinking can be found in the personal environment. Those who surround themselves only with nags, doubters and whining personalities will inevitably be influenced by it.
Collective imbalances often arise within the mood, for example, when company units have management problems. This can also happen in circles of friends or in the family environment.
I like to look for reasons on a bio-physiological level. In principle, happiness and positive thinking take place in the brain. The brain is the control center for satisfaction.
You can influence it either consciously through thoughts and external influences or also with nutrients. Vitamin A and D deficiency or magnesium deficiency, for instance, can rob you of your ‘joie de vivre.’
Thinking Positively – The Benefits
Positive thinking applies to all areas of life:
✓ Strong immune system
✓ Low-stress level
✓ Rare mood swings
✓ Deep satisfaction
✓ Prosperity / Occupation
Learning From Failures
✓ More energy, less fatigue
✓ Success and money are attracted
✓ Seeing opportunities instead of problems
✓ Strong bonds with fellow human beings
✓ Many contacts
✓ Good influence
Thinking Positively – Possible Mistakes
But optimism is not always tenable. There are situations in which false speech leads to implausibility. For example, when we have false hopes that elude any reality.
Accordingly, it also describes the following quotation:
When the French cartoonist Jean-Louis Forain lay on his deathbed, his doctor wanted to give him some courage: “Your pulse is good, your heart beats perfectly, your lungs work reliably, your fever sinks…” – “In short,” Forain interrupted him, “I die at the best Health”.
Another mistake is when we enter into compulsive positive thinking. In crisis situations, rational analysis is necessary, in which pros and cons must be clearly weighed up.
Deep Problems Cannot be Talked away, only Clear Analyses and Research into the Causes will Help.
When a company writes red numbers, unnecessary self-affirmation leads to an even worse state. The same is true regarding (natural) disasters, such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. In the end, the oil company BP would have done a lousy job trying to put such a situation in a good light.
11 Ways to Think More Positively
Once you understand how certain thought patterns are created, it’s pretty easy to influence them. I have, therefore, summarized 11 techniques for you with which you can become the master of your thoughts.
1. Use Beautiful Memories
In difficult life situations, it helps when we think back to positive experiences. Often we have put a lot of effort into something and achieved great successes. We also invest a lot of money in memorable holidays, which we enjoyed to the fullest. Thus, it would be a pity if we did not use these reminiscences any more. It’s so easy to draw strength from the past.
Rediscover a nice situation or a triumphant experience and think back to it. Involve all your senses and paint the moment as vividly as possible.
How did it feel? What was the environment like? What smells were there? Your brain will automatically respond, release happiness hormones and think positively. Biochemistry works this way!
2. Pay Attention to the Five People who Surround you the Most
There is a great saying that I am taking more and more into account:
You become the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.
If you follow this tip, it will have a huge impact on your attitude to life. That’s why you should make sure that you associate yourself with positive people.
This also means that you should avoid chronic naggers as best you can. Therefore, surround yourself with people who pull you along, lift you up and are a role model for you.
If you are involved with dramatic people, but you, of course, appreciate them very much, then recommend this No Complaint Challenge to them. It will motivate them to think more positively than running around nagging and whining.
3. Overplay Negative Thoughts
Of course, mood swings are normal at times – some days just look grayer than others. However, there is also a technique that can help you to think more positively again during these episodes. If you notice that you are thinking negatively, interrupt this spiral with overplaying behaviors.
For example, you can simply dance to your favorite song, cut grimaces, do something playful or watch funny cat videos (always works with me). Just be creative here, it’s just a matter of getting you out of the negative thinking pattern.
4. Live Actively
Physical inactivity is one of the main reasons why our body falls into a bad mood. A round of jogging can do real miracles. The so-called “Runners high” is a euphoric condition in which endorphins are demonstrably released. Your thoughts are, thus, pointed in a positive direction. Such conditions were also observed in weightlifting.
Basically, however, any type of physical activity is helpful – you can also start a Tai Chi workout routine in the morning. It changes your thinking throughout the day!
To learn more about the benefits of Tai Chis, read my following article.
Or why not finally learn to do chin-ups? Whoever achieves such goals, experiences great motivation and creates the basis for positive thinking!
5. Be Grateful
Gratitude is the key to a happy and fulfilled life. You can own all the beautiful things and all the money in the world, but it won’t give you complete contentment. Only when you begin to be grateful for basic things will you experience true happiness.
I, therefore, always recommend integrating gratitude exercises within your morning routine. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. In search of the 3 items, you will automatically think positively.
A study by the University of California found that conducting gratitude exercises for 21 days makes our brains adapt to lasting positive thought patterns.
Be grateful for the small things in your life. Go so far as this: If you believe your ingrown toenail is nothing to be grateful for, then reconsider, because at least you have a foot where the ingrown nail actually exists…Many are not so blessed!
6. Music Works within Seconds
I find it impressive how quickly the state of mind can change when we listen to good music. Surely you have already had the experience of how a beautiful melody leads to pure feelings of happiness in seconds. To do this, you can simply create a playlist in which you place your good mood songs.
Another option is binaural beats. Here, the brain is exposed to certain frequencies. In the so-called ‘Happiness Frequency,’ the messenger substances serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are released.
I always listen to these beats as I write posts like this. You only need some good headphones for this.
7. The Power of Nature
Friedrich Nietzsche once formulated the following sentence for positive thinking:
“As little as possible sit; believe no thought that is not born outdoors and in free movement, in which not even the muscles celebrate a feast.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
I had already given you the tip for physical activity. But the quote brings another important factor in the race. Don’t trust a thought that is not born outdoors.
Whenever you develop negative thoughts, you should slip into your shoes and go into nature. Take a nice walk in the woods and the positive thinking happens automatically.
8. Unify Your Problems
In problem situations, I like to use a technique that I have from the recommended book “The Charisma Secret”* by Olivia Fox Cabane. It helps to refute negative thinking:
Technique: Unraveling Problems
“Imagine you’re from afar. Zoom so far away until you see our planet somewhere as a small point in space. Then zoom up to your continent, to your country, your city, and finally to the room you’re in. Consider your little self: electrical impulses that twitch through your brains. A tiny being who has special experiences at this particular moment.”
Yes, sometimes it actually helps to make yourself a little smaller and downplay your ego a bit. When we look at the big picture, our own problems suddenly seem insignificant.
9. Pay Attention to Your Neurotransmitters
I mentioned at the beginning that positive thinking depends on biochemical factors. For example, the neurotransmitter serotonin stands for happiness. This messenger material makes us calm and more distant. That’s why it’s good for you if you create enough of it. I would like to give you 2 tips for this:
90% of our own serotonin production takes place in the gut – yes, a healthy gut makes you happy and a sick gut makes you unhappy. If you carry a lot of good gut bacteria in you, your mood will improve significantly.
You have a further influence if you consume more protein; specifically, it is about the amino acid tryptophan. It is the precursor to serotonin and is absolutely necessary for its production.
This amino acid is contained in fish, meat and eggs. The better the quality, the more you get from this rare amino acid.
If you don’t consume a lot of animal foods, you can also use Tryptophan via dietary supplement: L-Tryptophan Capsules*. 1 – 2 g in the evening can make a difference.
10. Recognize Opportunities instead of Risks
Hopefully, we all have negative experiences in our lives. It sounds harsh, but only then will we have the chance to learn – “Man is wrong as long as he aspires,” says Goethe’s Faust.
If you have bad experiences, you should not get lost in self-pity and pessimism. Whining should, therefore, be a taboo. Focus on the good aspects of this situation, instead. Make a list of the opportunities that arise from this failure – it helps to think positively.
11. The Easiest way: Smile
Studies have found that even 15- to 30 seconds of smiling leads to physical reactions – the release of happiness hormones and reduction of cortisol.
In fact, it goes without saying that we meet life with a smile. But sometimes it helps to remember it. In addition to music, meditation and dark chocolate, smiling is one of the fastest ways I know to instantly change the state of mind.
Positive thinking is easy to learn and automate. For this, you only need to make use of the techniques described above. In summary, you can cluster the tips as follows:
- Attitude: Recognize the positive in all situations of life. See opportunities instead of risks. Be grateful!
- Environment: Create a positive environment for yourself: Surround yourself with positive people!
- Behave appropriately: Our body needs movement, nature and good food – that is always the basis!
So, I do hope so much that I could help you with this article in any kind of way. Please, go ahead and try out my 21-Day-No-Rant, Curse & Complaint Challenge. Read up all about how I managed it and what all went wrong before I made it finally through.
It’s going to be a fun experience and you’ll be a changed person afterward. I highly recommend you give it a shot, as it is extremely beneficial for your well being.
Also, if my post with tips regarding how to learn positive thinking was helpful for you or any of your loved ones, then, please, let me know below, as well.
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Meanwhile, I’m sending you lots of love, happiness, harmony and an abundance of all good things. Always keep in mind that you are beautiful, precious, unique and endlessly loved regardless of what others might say. Thus, keep on shining.