You are probably aware that positive thinking leads to a more successful and fulfilling life. That much is clear. However, how do you think positive when your mind is constantly stuck in the negative? And how can someone do it naturally, without using medication or alcohol?
Well, that is exactly what Alison Ledgerwood discuss in this TEDx talk today. As a social psychologist, Ledgerwood always wondered why the human brain swayed to the negative. She also noticed it herself while she was publishing papers. If one of her papers got rejected, that still weighed on her mind, even if a different paper was accepted.
What is going on here? Why does a failure stick in our minds so much longer than a success?
We all intuitively know that there are various ways of thinking. As the saying goes, the same glass can be seen either half full or half empty.
To answer this question, Alison Ledgerwood conducted several experiments.
One of the experiments involved telling participants about a new surgical procedure.
The first group of participants was told about the surgical procedure regarding gains (70% success rate), while the other group was told regarding losses (30% failure rate).
Unsurprisingly, the gains group liked the procedure a lot more. Nevertheless, after that, the first group was then told that there’s a 30% failure rate, and they immediately didn’t like it.
However, when the second group was told that there is a 70% success rate, they also didn’t like the procedure, as they were stuck in the initial lost frame.
According to Ledgerwood, these studies prove that people have a fundamental tendency to tilt towards the negative aspects. It’s easy to go from positive to negative but far harder to shift from negative to positive.
We need to work harder to see the bright side of things. It takes effort, but we can train our minds to do this better.
According to research, just writing about positive aspects of your day for a few minutes can efficiently boost our happiness and wellbeing.
Also, we can rehearse good news and share it with others. It is no secret that most people tend to complain a lot. It’s like we’re addicted to it, and when we’re talking to others, we forget about sharing the good things as well.
However, that’s exactly what our minds need to practice. It’s about intentionally reshaping the stories we tell to be more positive.
In other words, begin to write a gratitude journal and talk about your joys!
You can think about this from other people’s perspectives. You need to be aware that the negative tends to stick. A mean comment can stick with someone all day or all week. Someone snaps at you, you snap back, and you also snap at the next guy.
But what if the next time someone snapped at you, you just forgave them? What if the next time you had to face a grumpy waitress, you just left her an extra large tip? Who knows the ripple effect you can cause with one small act of kindness?
You can retrain your mind to be more positive, more forgiving, and more grateful for the beautiful opportunity that life is.
Reference: The Power Of Ideas
This article (Psychologist Explains How To Rewire Your Brain and Adopt A Positive Attitude In A Natural And Efficient Way) was published by Thinking Humanity and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to ThinkingHumanity.com