It is sufficiently proven that a positive outlook always leads to a more fulfilling life. The trouble is, how does one think positively when you’re consistently hung up on the negatives?
How does one stay optimistic, naturally, without medication or alcohol?
In this inspiring TEDx talk, Social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood talks about why humans tend to be negative and how to actually be more positive in life.
She begins with how during the course of her academic career, she always tended to focus on the rejections more than the acceptances. So she began to ask herself why failure at something inevitably left a bigger impact than being successful.
Watch her talk to find out her strategies for dealing with negativity. What she says, is below if you don’t have the time to go through the video.
We all know about the glass empty-glass full test. If you say its empty you’re a pessimist and if you consider it half full you are positive. What we haven’t explored as much as if these labels are fixed, or can an optimistic person be negative and vice versa.
According to Alison Ledgewood, we have a tendency to shift towards the negative. It is a lot easier to slide from good to bad than it is to go from bad to good. We literally have to work harder to see the upside of things which is what makes being negative easier.
While it is hard work, you can train your mind to be better at it. There is a U C Davis research which shows that if you write down things that you are grateful for every morning- it will drastically increase your ability to be happy.
Another useful activity is to spread the good news. We love complaining and sharing the negative things that happened but sometimes we need to bring in the silver linings and sunshine. It takes active effort to do this, but we need to as it helps reshape our minds to be more positive.
We must be aware that bad tends to stick in our minds. A negative comment revolves around our head for weeks and months and it spreads like a virus. Someone is mean to you, so you become upset and you end up being mean to someone else.
So the next time, try breaking the chain. If someone is rude to you, let it go. Even good deeds have a domino effect. So spread the smile, one person at a time. This can help us retrain our minds to be more grateful and accepting of life and all its opportunities.