“Negative thoughts stick around because we believe them, not because we want them or choose them“. Andrew J. Bernstein
I once saw a picture on the internet that depicted someone being paid compliments by other people. There were several nice comments, and a single negative comment that read “you can be a jerk sometimes”. The picture went on to show the person at bedtime, still thinking about the jerk comment. I can relate to this. I know there are times when I’ve gotten praises from my friends, but somehow, I always remember their negative comments the most.
Sometimes, human beings focus on negative comments, not necessarily because they are true, but simply because our minds records negative information for longer. Negative information make us unhappy, and finding something to be happy about becomes a chore.
Alison Ledgerwood is a Doctor of Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology, UC Davis. In this TEDxUCDavies video, she explains the psychology behind the mind focusing on negatives more than positives, and explains how we can change our perception of events, to bring out positive thoughts. She also explains how replacing our negative thoughts with positive ones can help train the mind to be more positive. In the video, she gave a very common example of how we recount a seemingly bad day, without thinking about anything positive that happened that day.
If you find yourself always thinking that the world is against you, that no one sees anything good in you, or you can’t seem to see anything good in your life, or in other people, watch this video to change your perspective and become more positive.
Watch “Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) on YouTube
About the author: Amina Salau is a writer and editor running The Illuminated Pen. You can find her online at www.theilluminatedpen.com and on Twitter (@_Aminah)