Negativity biased – how to break the gridlock & be happy

Negativity biased as far as we understand it involves our brain scanning the environment for danger (all the time). Since the saber-tooth tiger is gone, we instead direct our focus and attention (all the time) on other less visible threats.

Combine the concept of negativity biased with some other interesting statements and an interesting conclusion emerges.

Statement 1: We have 20.000-30.000 inner conversations every day, 90% are the same as yesterday.

Statement 2: The brain continuously scans its’ surroundings for pattern confirmation. For instance, if my wife is pregnant, I will soon start seeing pregnant women everywhere.

Statement 3: The brain decodes only a small percentage of all information it senses. What it decodes depends on historical patterns i.e. the brain (unconsciously) seeks reoccurring patterns to confirm itself.

Statement 4: To feel happy I have to receive 5 times more positive shots than negative ones.

Statement 5: By the age of 6 I have heard the word no 30.000 times and the word yes 6.000 times.

Statement 6: When we are 4 years old 95% of us are creative geniuses, by the age of 25, 2% remain.

And since we live in an era of choice and transparency, the brain is sucking up negativity like never before. Thus without a proper well developed immune system, we become more and more unhappy. Combine that with a technology called management, which deems that control is needed for people to perform more and more, and you have a perfect negativity biased setting.    

So the things that what made us survive through history are the same things that very well creates unhappiness today.

Break the gridlock of negativity biased through positive appreciative practice.

Firstly, appreciate consciously with a beginners’ mind all the wonderful things life has to offer (from task at work, doing the dishes, having a challenging conversation, to the simple fact that we are breathing). Secondly, strive to do the things you find deeply satisfying and personally challenging, which inspires you to your highest levels of creativity.

If you are wondering how you or company can raise your level of happiness, inspiration and results to a new level through leadership, then maybe we could be your partner.

Johan Grip & Mikael Malmgren
Partners at Gaia Leadership

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