Taking in the Good - December 27, 2021

Have you heard of the negativity bias? It’s the idea that our brain finds it easier to remember the bad things rather than the good because our ancestors needed to be aware of danger in order to survive. Even though we are probably not going to be attacked by a tiger while crossing the street, our brains are still on alert for potential threats. Looking for potential ‘bad things’ can be like a habit we may not even aware that we are doing it. The buildup of negative thoughts can really wear us down. This may seem a little unfair, but there is something we can do to tip the scales a bit. 

Think About It!

If we can create good habits and decrease bad habits, then perhaps we can shift our thoughts to find more of the good things. When you experience something positive - even if it seems like a small thing - be aware of how it makes you feel. Hold that good feeling in your mind for a little longer, allowing your brain and body to connect to the good feeling for a few more seconds. Each time you do this will make a difference, and the more you continue the practice the more your brain will look for the good around you. 

Try This

One way to help those good things stick a little bit more is to create a visual representation. Imagine a really good memory and how it feels in your body - think of something that makes you smile or laugh. Then, illustrate the memory - you could draw simple shapes, write it in words, and / or use colors that represent the good feeling. Try to work on the art portion for a few minutes while simultaneously holding the good thought in your mind and the good feeling in your body. The artwork is for you as a visual reminder of the good thought, so it only needs to make sense to you! You can put this image somewhere you will see it each day to remind yourself to take in the good. 

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