Human nature is to be more negative than positive. We focus on hardship in our life more than our countless blessings or obsess over a single constructive criticism more than countless praises we receive.
Psychologists refer to this as negative bias. The good news is that it is completely achievable to retrain our minds to be more positive, and we are showing you exactly how to be more positive.
WHAT IS NEGATIVE BIAS?
The negative bias refers to the idea that "things of a negative nature are far more impactful to our psyche than neutral or positive natured things" and have a much stronger impact on our mental state.
Here is an example of a negative bias. Let's say you take a family trip to Disneyland. Rather than remembering the fun rides, the special treats, or bonding with your family, you recall memories about the unbearable heat, the long wait times, or the argument you got into with a family member about who got to take the first bite of a churro. We tend to not only remember the negatives more, but fixate or obsess on them.
This also explains why we tend to cling to a personal critique much more than a praise, or focus on a single perceived flaw more than our strengths and gifts. Negative experiences have a much stronger impact on our memory than positive ones. We find it easier to focus on the bad over the good.
HOW TO BE MORE POSITIVE
The good news is that it is possible to retrain our minds to be more positive than negative. Here are our five favorite ways to retrain our minds to focus on the good in place of the negative.
Keep things light
Finding time to watch a funny movie, read a comical work of fiction, or hang out with friends creating a happy memory helps us create more positive experiences for ourselves. Finding humor is a great way to pull yourself up in a light-hearted way and laughter is truly medicinal.
Get some vitamin D
Sunshine is proven to increase our brain's production of serotonin, which is a key hormone that positively impacts our mood and happiness. Nature is so healing, and sunshine specifically will allow your brain to boost your mood. All it takes is ten or fifteen minutes to reap the benefits, but the more sunshine you can absorb the better!
The art of self-love helps you identify and focus on the good within you. When you have love for yourself and practice self-love, you are more likely to see the good in people, circumstances, or moments around you. Some easy ways to practice self love are doing a hobby you enjoy, getting outside, journaling positive affirmations, or treating yourself to a special experience, food, or object. It is important to remember that we don't want to rely on external things for our inner happiness, but they can be used as a tool to help build the love we have for ourselves by recognizing that we deserve something good.
Move your body
Turn up some upbeat music, and move your body in your favorite way. It could be a solo dance party, a walk, weight lifting -- there is no wrong way to move. The act of exercising is going to not only suppress the hormones that cause stress or anxiety, but it will flood your body with endorphins. It is an all-around win for your spirit, and your quest to be more positive.
And of course, practice gratitude
Gratitude is an incredibly impactful way we can anchor ourselves to the positive instead of the negative. A gratitude practice
Being positive is a crucial thing for our happiness, but it is not always realistic. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you feel low. Sometimes circumstances are grim.
This is okay. Give yourself grace
Don't deny yourself the experience of leaning into all types of emotions, even if they feel negative to you. There are always going to be hardships in life, but the important thing to remember is that everything is temporary, and you can equip yourself with tools to find more positivity in your life.