It’s no mystery that positive attitude results in a better and fulfilling life. What is indeed mysterious is the fact that there are so many people who unable to stay positive. Even when they think positively, their minds tend to stick to the negative thoughts more.
One way to do this was shared by Alison Ledgerwood on TEDs talk recently. Ledgerwood, who is a professional social psychologist, always wondered why this is so. The human mind naturally sways towards the negative.
While publishing her papers, she noticed a tendency for negativity. After her paper got rejected, it continued to remain in her conscience. The previous failure popped in her head in spite of the success later on.
Why does failure have more impact on us? So much that even a series of successful events can’t affect us much?
The reason for this is simple. We think of different things in a different manner. For instance, the famous half glass theory. Some see it as half empty, some see it half full. Many pieces of research prove that your description of that glass in front of others may change your own feelings about it. But have you ever pondered on what would happen if you switch from one thinking to another? Is it even possible?
To explore this, Ledgerwood conducted some social experiments, one of which was to talk about a new surgical technique with the participants. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was informed about the procedure in terms of success rate (70%), while the other one was in terms of failure (30%).
Evidently, the group which was told about it in terms of success rates liked the procedure more. But as soon as that group was told about the failure rate, they instantly changed their preference. Many participants didn’t like it now. Meanwhile, the other group was told about its success rate too, but they still didn’t like it. They continued to think of it with respect to the failure rate.
Ledgerwood, therefore, concluded that the studies she conducted show that it is our natural tendency to focus more on the negative. It’s easy to go bad from good but very tough to shift to the good from bad. It’s very difficult to maintain a positive outlook all the time. It not only requires a lot of effort but also a considerable amount of training.
According to U.C. Davis’s research, just focusing and writing about the good things in your life can help you lift up your spirits. Similarly, even rehearsing some good news and later sharing it with others will work wonders for you.
Everyone likes to vent out. If given a chance, most of us complain nonstop. We’re so full of complaints that while sharing them with people, we don’t even remember the good things we could share with them. This is precisely what we need to do: talking about our joys and happiness more than complaining. It’s about restructuring our thoughts deliberately to make it a habit.
Heard of the ripple-effect? If you do something for a person, chances are they will affect their response towards the other people they come in contact with. Now, it’s up to you if that deed is good or bad.
Try to retrain your thoughts. Be more forgiving and always be grateful for everything.