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Our Negativity Bias

Our Negativity Bias

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Our Negativity Bias


Stop, Breathe & Think

Our brains have been optimized by evolution for survival and reproduction -  not for happiness or wellbeing. Millions of years in daily mortal danger have programmed us to be anxious, apprehensive, fearful and suspicious. The result is a deep and automatic negative bias.


Research shows that 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day rise into consciousness. Unless purposely directed, our attention is drawn to the most self-referential, ruminative, or worrisome. It’s reported that 80% or more of our undirected thoughts are negative - and that we tend to attach to the same negative thoughts, repetitively, day after day.


Knowing this - is key to understanding how to overcome it. First, we simply “notice” when our primitive brain is running the show; then, we bring our attention out of our auto-pilot rumination of the past and worry about the future - and into the present moment. Once here, we can most simply calm the brain and body by regulating the breath.  

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