Living Positively with Negative Bias

Waking up in the morning, I bounded out of bed with a smile firmly planted across my face. I reach for Butterball and give him zillions of kisses. We were getting ready to go out and have a play date. The sun is shining, birds are chirping. I have coffee, a double shot espresso of course. Butterball downs a milk. He plays, laughs and gurgles. I chat, listen and joke around.

On our way home, a car drives erratically and cuts me off while their child in the back seat, not wearing a seat belt, raises their middle finger at me.

Well, I was infuriated. Was this person drunk? (The driver, not the kid). How dare they not strap their child in? (And strap that finger down while you’re at it).

Partner R arrives home and what’s the first thing I tell him about my day? That damn driver!!! Not about our wonderful morning and luscious afternoon, but those ten seconds of reckless behaviour.

And this, my friends, is how the negativity bias takes over all those wonderful moments.

As humans, we are hardwired to think negatively first. This was to protect us from predators back in those cave days.

I always have observed and reflected how it is easier to think negatively than positively. In my experiences, to focus on positivity is a choice and a habit. It all stems from gratitude and lessons.

Uggggh… you’re always so positive

Someone made this comment after they seemed to have had a rough morning. I naturally looked on the bright side but his words made me wonder… should I pepper myself with some negativity? Misery enjoys company afterall.

So I tried out the negative talk and let this influence how I acted socially and responded to conversation. It did add to drama and spice up (or dumb down) chats. Overall, I didn’t like it and I wasn’t being authentic. But it became a habit that I had to consciously shake.

And I did.

To think and focus on the positive is easier said than done, but it is achievable. Breathe it out, let the bad situation go and focus on the great stuff that surrounds you. Write three moments you are grateful for every day. Think simply and without complication. From this you will find there is so much more goodness in the world that overpowers the negative.

Three things I am grateful for today:

  • The massive bag of parmesan rind gifted to me by my local deli. That made my day.
  • My family.
  • Today’s sunshine.

Please feel free to comment what you are grateful for. Rise against the negative bias.

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