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Why Negative Thoughts Outweighs The Good

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Have you ever caught yourself focusing on a mistake or obsessing over mistakes you made? or have you ever complained to yourself that “All I have are negative thoughts, is something wrong with me?”

.Compliments rarely have the same effect as criticisms, and negative news typically gets more attention than positive.

This is because negative experiences have a bigger effect on our brains than pleasant ones. This is referred regarded by psychologists as the negative bias (also known as the negativity bias), and it can have a significant impact on your actions, choices, and even relationships.

You won’t need to search farther if you’re looking for all the solutions to the questions you have about negative thoughts. I’ll provide all the information you require on negative thoughts.

Why Negative Thoughts Outweighs The Good

What Is Negativity Bias?

The negative bias refers to our propensity to focus on unfavourable occurrences as well as to more readily register negative inputs. This negativity bias, also known as positive-negative asymmetry, describes how humans react more strongly to criticism than to praise.

This psychological phenomena explains why it can be so challenging to shake off unfavourable first impressions and why prior traumas can remain for such a long time. We are more prone to notice unpleasant things in practically any interaction and recall them more clearly later on.

It can explain, among other reasons, why we frequently:

  • Consider and remember insults more than compliments.
  • Respond more strongly to unpleasant stimuli, both physically and emotionally.
  • Focus more on unpleasant or traumatic events than enjoyable ones.
  • Focusing more swiftly on information that is unfavourable than positive

For instance, you can be having a fantastic day at work when a coworker says something casually that annoys you. The remainder of the workday is spent reflecting on what he said.

When someone asks you how your day was when you come home from work, you respond that it was awful even if, aside from that one bad experience, your day was actually rather pleasant.

You pay considerably more attention to the negative events that occur as a result of this bias toward the negative, which makes them appear much more significant than they actually are.

Study Findings

According to research, when trying to make sense of the world, people frequently focus more on the negative aspects of a wide range of psychological occurrences.

We frequently…

  • Negative events and experiences can teach us more.
  • More often base decisions on negative information than positive information.

Examples of Negative Bias

People’s thoughts and behaviours can be affected by the negative bias in a number of practical ways. Do any of these circumstances and events ring a bell?

  • You saw a news coverage covering mostly of crimes and thefts, Why do negative news stories seem to predominate in the media all across the world? According to one theory, reportage of unpleasant events attracts greater attention than coverage of positive events because of negativity bias. This is an obvious conclusion given the study findings we just mentioned (among many others), but is it true?
  • After a disagreement with your significant other, you find yourself dwelling on all of their shortcomings. You focus on all of their flaws instead of appreciating their positive qualities. Positive qualities are ignored while even the smallest flaws are magnified.

What Causes Negative Bias?

Our tendency to focus on the negative and ignore the positive is most likely a result of evolution. Paying attention to harmful, dangerous, and negative threats in the world was actually a matter of life and death earlier in human history. Those who were more sensitive to danger and paid more attention to the terrible things around them had a better chance of survival.

This meant that they were more likely to pass on the genes that made them more alert to danger.

According to evolutionary theory, this inclination to focus on the negative rather than the positive is simply one way the brain tries to keep us safe.

Origination of Negative Thoughts

According to research, this bias for the negative begins to develop from the birth itself. Infants under a year old tend to pay more attention to pleasant facial expressions and vocal tones, but this tendency starts to change as they become older.

According to brain research, at this point, babies’ brains start to react more strongly to stressful situations. This implies that a child’s negative bias develops in the second half of their first year of life. Some data suggests that the bias may really begin even earlier in the course of development.

According to one study, infants as young as three months old exhibit negative bias while forming social judgments about others.

The Reaction of the Brain

According to neuroscientific research, the brain processes negative impulses more quickly than positive ones. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which demonstrate the brain’s reaction to particular sensory, cognitive, or motor stimuli, have been measured in studies, and it has been discovered that negative stimuli cause the brain to react more strongly than positive ones. Hence the negative thoughts emergence starts when the brain reacts.

Impact of Negative Thoughts

The negativity bias continues to play a major part in how our brains function, even if we may no longer need to be on high alert all the time like our earliest ancestors did in order to survive. According to research, there are many different ways that negative bias can affect how people think, act, and feel.

Effects of Negative Thoughts on Connections

Your relationships may be significantly impacted by the negative thoughts. In tight connections when people have known each other for a long time, the bias may cause people to assume the worst about others.

For instance, you can have unfavourable expectations of how your spouse would respond to something and enter the interaction with your guard already up. The outcome is frequently arguments and resentment.

It’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to relationships, critical remarks typically carry considerably more weight than supportive ones. It’s also crucial to recognise our own propensity to dwell on the negative. Understanding this innate human inclination can help you find ways to be more understanding of others and to stop assuming the worst.

How To Get Rid Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts can lead to adverse mental illness including depression. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to alter your mindset and challenge negative thoughts or combat the propensity for negative thoughts, such as:

Stop Talking to Yourself Negatively

Begin to pay attention to the types of thoughts that enter your head. Following an occurrence, you may find yourself thinking things like “I shouldn’t have done that.” or “I shouldn’t have said that”. This negative self-talk influences how you perceive yourself and others.

Strategy to overcome

A better strategy is to stop those ideas as soon as they arise. Instead of dwelling on mistakes made in the past that cannot be undone, examine what you have learnt and how you could apply it in the future. Instead of thinking “I shouldn’t have done that” try thinking what went wrong and challenge your negative thoughts by saying next time I won’t make mistakes.

Create New Patterns

When you find yourself dwelling about something, choose an uplifting activity to help you get out of this negative thinking. For example, if you find yourself mentally replaying an unpleasant occurrence or consequence, attempt to transfer your attention elsewhere and engage in a fun activity.

Here are a few more techniques to distract yourself from unpleasant thoughts:

Situation Reframe

How you talk to yourself about events, situations, and people has a big impact on how you interpret them. When you notice yourself viewing anything negatively or focusing solely on the negative aspects of a scenario, search for ways to reframe the events in a more positive light. It must be difficult at first because negative thoughts are always tempting.

This does not suggest dismissing potential hazards or wearing floral glasses; rather, it requires refocusing so that good events are given fair and equal weight.

A Word From Author

The negativity bias has a strong influence on your behaviour, but being aware of it allows you to take efforts to adopt a more positive attitude on life. They can lead to irreparable damages and extreme anxiety. Try some of the methods mentioned above, it’ll surely be helpful. Negative thoughts are clingy and If you want to talk and seek professional help please visit a consultant near you.

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3 months ago

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