How to Combat Negativity Bias

So…what is Negativity Bias?

Our caveman brains are hard wired to notice what hurts us more than what feels good.

So depending on which study you use, it takes between 5-12 positive experiences to undo the impact of a negative experience.

In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones.

This  colours our underlying expectations, beliefs, action strategies, and mood in an increasingly negative direction.

Therefore given the amount of negative news and experiences we are currently exposed to it’s not surprising if we’re feeling a little blue.

So…How do we switch from negative to positive?

10 Tips to Boost Positivity

1 – Recognise that most of our experiences are either neutral or positive. So it is factually NOT as bad as it seems.

2 – Practise REALISTIC optimism. What’s the best case, worst case, most likely case outcome.

NB: research shows UNREALISTIC optimism actually makes us feel worse.

3 – Avoid  Thinking Errors like catastrophising, fortune telling, mind reading and filtering out the positive.

4 – Emo Log your way out of rumination into problem solving:

Emo Log…write down:
What am I feeling?
What’s this really about?
What can I do right NOW to improve things?
What can I do longer term to resolve this?

5 – Take positive facts and make them into positive experiences. Savour your morning coffee, breathe in the crisp autumn air. Then take a moment and build a memory.

6 – Be mindful. Rather than slipping into regret over the past, or fear over the future be present. Right now what is there to appreciate? – FEEL grateful.

7 – Recycle – why not cheat and reuse past positive experiences. Your unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between remembering something and actually doing it.

It’s a positive experience to remember a positive experience

8 – Write it down – if positive experiences slip from the memory, create an aide memoire – a gratitude journal full of heartwarming experiences.

9 – Keep and revisit a “Kudos” file to store testimonials, thank you emails, moments of recognition and praise. (Useful for appraisals and job applications too).

10 – Create positive experiences for others. Random acts of kindness, even a smile can change someone’s day – and giving feels good.

Keep at it. Neurons that fire together wire together. So the more you train yourself to look for the positive, the more your autopilot will take you there automatically.

…and if you need any help, just give me a call – I’m here to support you and doing both online and face to face sessions in Chiswick, Acton and Windsor.

Crisis Counsellor, Hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner
07946 526 838

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