Why Your Brain Focuses On Negative

Neuroscience shows that negative stimuli elicit larger responses in the brain than positive ones, explaining why we tend to dwell more on negative events. We call this negativity bias, and it holds true even when negative and positive events are of the same magnitude, meaning we feel negative events more intensely.

The psychology of loss aversion shows us that our losses are 2.5x more powerful than our gains. So if you receive a negative comment on your posts, but received two complimentary ones, you will most likely go to bed thinking about the negative one.

Acknowledging our brains negativity bias is already a great step into understanding why we dwell on these events, so we can work on how to not do this going forward.

Provided that you are not in a direct fight or flight state (high adrenaline), focusing on the positive can shift your mindset, which will eventually lead to you being less affected by the negative events over time. But ruminating and swelling on the negative will strengthen the neural pathway for negative thinking and worrying.

If you are in direct fight or flight, you’ll need to slow down your heart rate before you can shift your mindset. It is impossible to talk yourself out of a negative situation when your adrenaline is high, its like trying to be happy when you’re being chased by a lion. Top down regulation (trying to control your body with your mind) does not work, and regulating your nervous system through neatowork is the quickest way to blunt your arousal state.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Great Joy says:

    This is fantastic!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Glad you liked the post


    1. GS says:

      Thank you for sharing my post


  2. Lori says:

    I found this really interesting. It’s so true. Someone could get positive compliments from 99 people and 1 negative, and still focus on the negative. It sure does seem that our emotions react stronger to negativity. Did you read a study on the brain and nervous system? If you have a link to something like that, I’d really love to read it. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Here’s a good article for you, it also contains relevant research names and links – https://positivepsychology.com/3-steps-negativity-bias/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lori says:

        Thank you, GS. 💗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Most welcome

        Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you so much for sharing my post with such a beautiful brief. I would love to write for/with you someday


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