Experts reveal that negative thinking is strongly related to negativity bias.
By definition, negativity bias is the tendency of being influenced by negative experiences and thoughts. The human mind is more likely to be affected by negative experiences, over the positive and neutral ones. This theory was first identified by CatrinFinkenauer, Kathleen Vohs, Ellen Bratslavsky and Row F Baumister. You will read this theory in their article “Bad is Stronger Than Good”.
Here are few ways negative bias keeps showing itself:
- We are more likely to remember insults over actual praises.
- When compared to positive experiences, the negative ones are more memorable.
- The mind is always wary and vigilant.
- When compared to positive experiences, the negative ones resonate more frequently.
- When something bad and good happens on a day, the brain is more likely to remember the bad over the good. Even if both the events are equally important, you will be influenced strongly by the bad one!
- The mind always looks for things that made you upset, sad and angry. It never wanders for happy and prideful moments.
Negativity bias forms an integral part of our day-to-day life. Mankind has always reacted to negative instances! This responsiveness dates back by thousands or thousands of decades. May be, this is what kept our ancestors alive.
Countering negativity bias is an art. With few changes in your lifestyle, and a calmer mind, you can overcome negativity bias easily. The next few lines will take you through this method.
You should Recognize!
You must be prepared to recognize the problem. This will be the first step in solving negativity bias. Acknowledging negativity bias will help you identify its influence when you are going through a bad situation. If the situation is caused by the bias, you must have sound knowledge about it!
If a situation is caused due to negativity bias, tell yourself, “There is no danger in this bush. I don’t have to worry about this situation to stay relaxed”.
Understanding your memory
For centuries, scientists have argued that the mind acts like Velcro for bad moments, and like Teflon for happy experiences. Positive events should occur frequently, if you want to remember them. On the other hand, negative events are stored quickly in our long-term memory! Doesn’t this sound weird? Unfortunately, this is how the memory behaves.
Thus, you should replay positive experiences more often than the negative ones. You should always invest some time and think about your best memories. Replaying will ensure that the experience is absorbed into your long-term memory.
Dealing with Problems the Right Way!
Always maintain a ratio of 1:5, when you handle the experiences of other people. Negativity bias of other people will affect you deeply. For instance, scolding your kid, arguing with your partner and criticizing an employee will be remembered forever! You must do or say at least five positive things to handle the negative situation.
Keep Spreading your happiness
Finally, you should learn to spread happiness throughout the day. Positive events should happen more frequently, than the negative ones in your life.