A negative bias is a term used by psychologists (as Dr. Rick Hanson, in his book Hardwiring Happiness) to describe our human tendency to concentrate on the negative and neglect or minimize the positive.
According to Harris, back in the day, when our predecessors’ mere goal was reproduction and survival, every abrupt noise was perceived as danger triggering the fight or flight impulse.
Evolutionary, it was a safety measure to remain ‘negative’ that the unknown sound is a tiger and we better run rather than remain “positive” that it is not.
In today’s terms: imagine you are having an exceptionally marvelous week!
You feel good about yourself, find time to exercise, eat nourishing food, get enough sleep, feel productive at work and even get a promotion.
Yet, just to contrast those peak moments, ONE day, for example, you don’t hear your alarm, get up late, spill coffee on your shirt, get stuck in traffic, miss your workout, eat poorly and, accordingly, don’t perform your best.
The latter unfortunate chain of events usually leads to (either) your own dissatisfaction with yourself, or to a negative comment from an external source (or both). Once offset, negativity usually goes downhill attracting more negativity!
Because of our genetic make-up, we tend to ignore ALL the positive feedback and focus on the tiny little mean remark or incident that pulled us out of our happy place.
Yet, you can rewire your brain to focus on retaining the good memories and use them as leverage to pull you out of an unhappy place.
I hope this information serves you well and you remember not to forget all the great achievements you have accomplished just because of occasional setbacks or negative people.
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