In this blog, you will learn what the negativity bias is and how it affects your health and your pets well being.
We are looking at the influence of our language and thinking on how we are with our dogs. It may not be any great surprise to you that our tendency is towards negative thinking and language. We focus on what has gone wrong, what might go wrong, what we did wrong, what others did wrong.
It is a well-known biological response. Research shows that our brain reacts faster to negative stimuli and they are more “sticky” – negative stimuli are transferred into long term memory faster than positive ones. Psychologist Rick Hanson describes it like this: “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” So we are hard-wired to overestimate threat and underestimate opportunity.
This is called the negativity bias and there is a good evolutionary reason for it. If you underestimated a threat, at a time when that threat could eat you, it could easily be the last thing you did. That rustle in the bush could be the wind or could be a tiger – but you really don’t want to get it wrong! And if you overestimated the opportunities for finding food or other scarce resources, you might not try hard enough – and sitting about assuming food will land in your lap wouldn’t help you survive long either! So it is a bias that worked well for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, where the most important thing was passing on genes.
However, it is less effective for us, where our focus is more on having a good, healthy life than merely surviving long enough to reproduce!
Now it is your true, where have you applied the mind hack to turn your negativity bias into positive change?
What other tools do you use to keep you focused on what is possible rather than go into fear and anxiety?
and learn three simple mind hacks your body can follow to rewire your nervous system to peace and calm no matter how much negativity is going on around you