Our brains tend to see the negative side of things, applying too many filters, assumptions, and predictions.
Do you ever feel like you have a tendency to expect the worst in every situation? Rest assured, you’re not alone. That’s because your brain is essentially out-of-date technology, built for a very different world than the one we live in today.
In prehistoric times, survival was key – our early ancestors’ aim was to find food and not get killed, and if you were lucky, reproduce. As a result, our brain makes quick judgments with an inclination to assume the worst and see the downside in everything, since it’s better to be wrong than dead. For example, the University of Texas asked students to record their thoughts over a two week period and found that between 60 and 70 percent of them were negative.
Imagine your brain as a very thorough lawyer, drawing up an enormous contract of potential threats to make sure you’re covered for any and every possible eventuality. In the modern world, these quick and often negative judgments can get in the way of you seeing things as they really are. To survive today, you need to be aware of the blind spots leading you toward these negative thoughts so you can counteract them with more positive thoughts.
- Solve for Happy - Mo Gawdat