I’d like to introduce you to, or remind you of, the scientific phenomenon called Negativity Bias. We are all victims of ancient circuitry. As a primal protection mechanism, our nervous system is wired to be hyper-vigilant to perceived threats and danger. In other words, our brain is like Velcro to negative events and Teflon to positive ones.
According to acclaimed researcher Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., the author of “Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life,” most people need at least three positive experiences to balance out a negative one.
Here are three steps.
- Consider what Fredrickson identified as the ten forms of positivity: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love.
- Explore how to nurture each of these forms. For example, when it comes to gratitude, write in a gratitude journal a few nights a week to remind you of what is going right and make a conscious effort to express sincere appreciation to others.
- Practice mindfulness to put circumstances in perspective. Acknowledge and celebrate small victories every day, like learning new technology, completing an assignment or enjoying fun family time. “The power of mindfulness,” Fredrickson advises, “is that it can literally sever the link between negative thoughts and negative emotions.”
.How can you nurture positivity?