And every day, the groundhog
Do you know the film from which the title was borrowed? The plot in brief: Bill Murray is trapped in a time loop and experiences the so-called “Groundhog Day” again and again, logically becoming more and more dissatisfied, until he finally has a rescuing idea and can free himself from the spiral. An amusing film, no question. Far less funny is the fact that we all experience our personal Groundhog Day – every day. Almost everyone is caught in a negative spiral of recurring thoughts, and there is only one director who can free you from it: You yourself.
What do you feed your mind with?
For many people the following question is firmly integrated into the morning routine: “What is going to go wrong today? Those who get up with this question should not be surprised if the day becomes a passive one. Because: our expectations determine our perception and thus create our reality.
A different question, a different time of day, a similar result: many people – even very successful ones – are plagued every evening by the following question: “What have I screwed up again today? Here too the mind is fed with a negative acceptance. Namely that you are never good enough yourself. Those who live with this basic assumption can create as much as they want – they will not get rid of the basic feeling of their own inadequacy. No matter how great the external success, real peace and serenity can never be achieved.
Our brain is constructed in such a way that everything we repeat with a certain frequency becomes a habit. This applies to what we do as well as to what we feel and think. That is why it is so important for you to take a close look: does what you feel, think and do every day make you healthy or sick, fulfilled or empty, powerful or discouraged, lonely or connected, successful or unsuccessful?
New paths in the brain
The good news: you can break out of a carousel in which you perpetuate negative thoughts! To do this, you must first look at what is. Which thoughts do you prefer to pull yourself down with? What feelings and inner images do your negative thoughts go hand in hand with? It is about awareness and acceptance, because it is only what you accept that you can explore more deeply and also change.
To change your negative thought patterns you need above all perseverance. Because your well-known negative thoughts have burrowed deep into your brain. They are so to speak “easy” to think. In order to create new paths in your brain, you need not only new, positive thoughts, but above all repetition. We know from neurophysiology that it takes about 30 days for a new thought or behavior to become a habit.
Change your focus!
If you are one of those people who start the day with negative expectations, try to focus your mind on positive aspects instead. How does that work? Well, think about three things every morning for which you are grateful – three every morning. It’s best to use a note pad and to turn it into your “gratitude diary”. That sounds banal. But you will see that this focus on the positive slowly but surely reverses the polarity of your entire mindset.
I know it takes a little courage, but ask yourself honestly whether you are one of those people who maintain a negative self-image of yourself. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be successful. On the contrary, many successful people are so-called “insecure overachievers” who constantly push themselves to new heights in the fight against their negative self-image. This makes them successful, but inwardly they remain unhappy like all people with a negative self-image.
You can also get out of this endless loop: start with a small exercise and write down three things every evening that you have done well on the day in question. In this way you put your inner critic in his place and clear your vision again. For all the good that you are and do.
The positive spiral
Finally, a third exercise – not just for the beginning or the end of the day, but for every moment when your mind threatens to lose itself in the negative. The boss is pressurizing you, the customer is complaining, the children are behaving like fools? Before you start to feel completely gloomy, pause for a moment and focus on something that is good right now. Such things exist, guaranteed! This positive focus makes you happy for a moment. This experience of happiness gives you the strength to turn your attention to the solution to your problem.
It is not a matter of hiding all difficulties. But as you feed your mind with positive content, your view changes: of yourself and of others. Your world becomes another and you deal with it differently. Try it out. Not always, but more often. It works!