How to Get a Positive Mental Bias
In the last two weeks, I wrote about how to have a healthy body. This week, I want to bring your attention to the healthy mind. I am re-quoting Earl Nightingale, “We become what we think about most of the time.” But how do we know what to think about? We acquire our knowledge from various sources every moment we are awake, based on the foundation which we received from our parents the moment we were born, and later friends, teachers and books. But there is something else which might affect how we think or act and it seems we all inherited it from cavemen (or cavewomen). I learned about it in “I Done This Blog” by Black Thorne, posted on October 15, 2019. It starts by describing how a negative experience while driving to work can have a negative effect over the rest of the day. Turns out, we need to blame the caveman for that experience. Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than the positive ones. This reaction is supposed to protect us, better be safe than to be eaten by a tiger. But there are no hungry tigers, at least where we all are. Nevertheless, many of us prefer to be safe rather than sorry. It’s called the negative bias. According to research, our focus on the negative things is rooted in how our attention works.
I started looking for the answer for the reasons of human behavior during this year’s responses related to politics and the handling of the coronavirus. Neither one made any sense to me, since it was based on hatred, negativity, and fear; being afraid of the “hungry tiger”. If you have patience to read the whole article, you might have a better understanding of why people are afraid of the unknown, blame others, put on face masks while driving by themselves, or riding a bicycle. You also will find out that it’s not easy to have a positive bias, but there are at least 5 ways to beat a negative bias.
As far as I am concerned, I decided to isolate myself from the sources of negative information. No more reading the news in the newspapers or listening to the Public Radio Forum. My rational is very simple, since I can do nothing to change external events, I will work on rewiring my brain to focus only on the positive information. To do this, I have to change old habits. 45 years ago, I decided to stop the habit of eating meat to become a vegetarian. 18 years ago, I changed the habit of drinking alcohol to keep a clear mind. Now my objective is to become a positive thinking person. It is a gradual process. To help, I came up with the sixth way to beat the negative bias; to laugh a lot and to entice others to laugh together with me. My next book “42 Encounters with Laughter” is going to be available on amazon.com before the holidays. Stay tuned.
P.S. These four images show you how the same image or information can look differently depending on the presentation of the photo-artist (or political manipulator).
Enjoy and Share with A Friend!