How to Scientifically Conquer Negativity
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.
The negativity bias, also known as the negativity effect, is the notion that even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things.
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 woke up feeling good about yourself, found time to exercise, ate nourishing food, got enough sleep, felt productive at work, got quality time with your partner, and even get a promotion…
Humor me here and visualize it as it is happening exactly as I describe it.
Yet, to contrast those peak moments, ONE day, for example, you didn’t hear your alarm, woke up later than you`d planned, spilled coffee on your shirt, got stuck in traffic, missed your workout, ate poorly, and, accordingly, didn’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 EVEN 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 reminded you to remember not to forget all the great achievements you have accomplished just because of occasional setbacks or negative people.
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