We often brush away a compliment, saying “Thank you,” and it slides off.
Three seconds—it’s gone.
Have you noticed how we remember the bad stuff, but forget the good?
I can hear you, "Oh, I remember the good stuff.”
Of course, you do, especially those moments wrought with emotion.
It’s the way our brain works.
Sitting in a Vet's office one day an elderly man asked me if I would like to see his cats.
"Sure," I said.
He showed me a picture of two dead cats.
I almost fell off my chair.
He had no malice. He genuinely needed to show me. I could see he loved those cats. Those emotionally packed hurts were emblazoned in his brain.
That’s Negativity bias.
What is negativity bias anyway?
Dwelling on negativity is a function of the brain.
If we survived the event, we needed to remember it so we would never be in that situation again. And we needed to go home and tell our fellows about it.
Dr. Rick Henson, a neuropsychologist, stated in his book, Happiness: the New Brain:
“The brain is like Velcro for the negative, Teflon for the positive.”
And I keep emphasizing that the media LOVES the negative for it gets more eyeballs.
All that can create a bottle-neck in the brain.
When our cells are stressed, a brain chemical called cortisol pours into our cells.
You see, folks, that is the reason I’m trying to promote a positive attitude—not to negate that people are suffering, but to say a positive attitude cannot help but make you healthier, up your immune system, and help you cope.When we try to put aside old patterns of negativity, it makes our cells feel ill, and they want to go back to the old way. That’s the reason that people who talk -trouble, often keep talking it over and over.
A Wow brain tends to look at life as an exciting, adventurous experience instead of a dangerous one.
Creating new thought patterns is neurolinguistic programming.
Dr. Hanson said he was a geeky kid and not well liked, but when he got to college, he made a discovery. Positive experiences create more positive experiences. If he held onto that encouragement, that compliment, that smile, wink, whatever, he began to feel better.
Thus he promotes the 20-second rule—savor that positive experience for 20 seconds and see what happens.
I noticed, however, as I was doing his process of thinking of a happy event—I choose the day I got my horse—you know I am cuckoo over horses—well at least a couple of them. As I tried to hold my happy thought about getting Boots, thoughts crept in of the day I lost him.
Name it and let it go.
Tame the old lizard brain.
Not an easy task.
Do not think lightly of good—saying it will not come to me.
Drop by drop does the water pot fill.
Likewise, the wise one gathering little by little fills themselves with good.
Be happy. Think good thoughts. I love you,