Which of the following two poem excerpts is the REAL you?
- The Optimist - author unknown
- The otimist fell ten stories, At each window bar he shouted to his friends, "All right, so far!"
- The Pessimist - Ben King
- Nothing to do but work, Nothing to eat but food, Nothing to wear but clothes, To keep one from going nude.
Our human brains contain what is called a Negativity Bias. It responds more forcefully to negative stimulus than it does to positive or neutral stimulus. Why? Because, in an evolutionary sense, it has been far more important to our survival to take note of negative events than the positive.
You know, that old flight-or-fight reflex? Well, it's more advantageous to notice an evil beast hiding in the bushes (and run away) than it is to admire the sweet fragrance of the roses growing on said bush.
If you want to read some interesting information about the Negativity Bias, I've provided you with two links (there are tons more on the Internet):
On the other hand, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, developed the Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions to explain how positive emotions are important to survival.
Studies show that all emotions lead to specific action tendencies and Dr. Fredrickson's research shows that people who continually experience positive emotions and thoughts exhibit higher levels of creativity, long-term resilience, growth, and development.
Which means that making a conscious decision to think and feel positive thoughts and emotions offsets the power of negative thinking--when not running away from the beast hiding in the bushes, that is.
What are YOUR thoughts and feelings about negativity versus positivity?