Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stop Focusing on the Negative! Lean To The Optimistic Side.

Having poor appreciation of the big picture, the bad and the good, focusing almost exclusively on the flaw, being unable to appreciate the good. Feeling compelled to focus on the mistake, the flaw, the fault, hinders our well being . 

What about the rest of the picture? Do we really need to point out flaws all the time? Is it our job? Have we been hired by some evil employer to go through our life looking at other people's faults? I mean, what's the point of being a defect spy?

When you focus on the negative you know exactly what you need to change and improve. From an evolutionary perspective, the focus on the negative has been credited with keeping us alive and away from predators. However useful it used to be back then, we shouldn't let this be the norm in our everyday lives.  

Apparently, we handle the negative information with one side of the brain, and the positive with the other side. Negative information and emotions tend to be more finely processed and ruminated than pleasant thoughts. This is why we find hard to forget negative remarks. And also why negative thoughts come to us quicker and easier than positive ones.  

I don't mean to encourage a happy go lucky style of life, completely carefree and naive. The thing is, there are all sorts of risks associated with obsessively focusing on the negative. 

Psychologically, pessimism has a correlation with depression, stress and anxiety. I think these are enough reasons to make every effort to avoid feeding our brains with negativity. In addition, of course there are all sorts of physical problems that appear with the help of our naysayer mind. 

Luckily, research tells us that being a pessimist is not set in stone. The brain is malleable and can be retrained to think positively. 

Learning to assign more importance to the good as opposed to the bad is a shortcut to our well being. I'm not saying that you should eliminate every negative thought (many of them appear for a good reason). As always, finding a healthy in between is key.

Psychologists and Neurologists came up with many ways to do so. But it all comes down to one. The decision, the choice to lean more to the positive side than to the negative one. 

Have you ever refrained yourself from making negative remarks and decided to focus on the positive? It takes some mindfulness and awareness, don't you think?

You may like: This, on my Instagram, also Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff, and Cultivating well being, an antidote to anxiety. Oh! and take a look at this, I found it funny. 

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