We all have a natural tendency to focus on perceived threats due to our brain’s evolutionary journey. This tendency is called the negativity bias. We are wired to be on alert to things that might be harmful and to take evasive action. Vital in genuinely life-threating situations, the negativity bias is also triggered by everyday experiences. A poorly worded email, a frustrating commute, or perhaps feeling misunderstood.
Unchecked this can lead to an over-focus on what’s not going well. Then our attention slides over positive experiences, so we barely register them. Pretty soon we can get stuck in the tar pit of our negative experiences.