Have you ever noticed how much more weight the negative things that happen to us have than positive ones? According to this fascinating article on Taking in the Good, there’s a brain-based reason for that:
“Your brain preferentially scans for, registers, stores, recalls, and reacts to unpleasant experiences; it’s like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones. Consequently, even when positive experiences outnumber negative ones, the pile of negative implicit memories naturally grows faster. Then the background feeling of what it feels like to be you can become undeservedly glum and pessimistic.”
You can see how that might impact how you feel in a stressful situation like a job search. So what’s the solution? According to the article’s author, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, it’s to “take in the good.”
In a nutshell, that means noticing the good, focusing on it, and turning up the volume on your experience of it. The article outlines a simple three-step approach to taking in the good. And when you do, the benefits can be far-reaching:
“Given the negativity bias of the brain, it takes an active effort to internalize positive experiences and heal negative ones. When you tilt toward what’s positive, you’re actually righting a neurological imbalance…
Focusing on what is wholesome, and then taking it in naturally, increases the positive emotions flowing through your mind each day. Emotions have global effects since they organize the brain as a whole. Consequently…positive emotions don’t just feel good in the moment; over time, they produce far-reaching benefits, including a stronger immune system and a cardiovascular system that is less reactive to stress. Fredrickson has also found other long-term benefits of positive emotions: They lift your mood; increase optimism, resilience, and resourcefulness; and help counteract the effects of painful experiences, including trauma. It’s a positive cycle: Good feelings today increase the likelihood of good feelings tomorrow.”
Give it a try. Experiment for a week with taking in the good. If you like, it, extend the experiment.
Brought to you by
Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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