Have you ever noticed that we could hear a hundred great things about ourselves and totally discount them; the first (and only) negative thing, we take as the gospel truth and ruminate over it for weeks?
This is called the negativity bias and highlights how evolution has shaped our brains.
Back in the time when we were hunter gatherers (we still are, just in a more sophisticated way), our brains evolved to filter in anything negative so that we stayed alive, and to filter out most positive information (in case we became complacent).
Everything was geared towards avoiding danger.
Ours brains still run this programme. The problem is that it creates chaos for us in the largely safe environment of the modern world.
Research tells us we have on average around 70,000 thoughts a day; just for a minute wonder about how that feels if most of the ones we let in are negative.
So just don’t do that anymore……..think about sunshine and rainbows………if only it were that easy hey?
One of the most important parts of CBT is learning how to balance your thoughts.
Not rose-tinted glasses, but not worst-case scenario either; reality. In the process of learning how to do this, you also start to realise that you can control your thoughts and overcome negative bias.
I love this Gemma Correl cartoon, it succinctly shows negative bias in action.