And believe it or not, it's not our fault that we do pay more attention to the negative things, because we are actually hard-wired to do that. From an evolutionary standpoint the primary goal is to survive, and in general it's the bad experiences not the good ones that have the biggest impact on that ability to survive. Our evolutionary ancestors would've had a far greater chance of survival if they remembered how to out-maneuver a predator or which berries were safe to eat instead of where they found nice tree to nap under. It was the difference between surviving and dying, so storing negative information and passing it along was a means of survival that we still carry with us today.
Rick Hanson wrote a fascinating book on the subject called Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom and in it he cites how studies have shown that the brain detects negative information faster than positive, stores it for longer and creates very lasting and difficult to undo pathways that we will reactivate when we find ourselves in similar circumstances. Did you know that in personal relationships it can take up to 5 positive interactions to undo just one negative interaction? It actually takes numerous go overs to unlearn a negative experience which is why it is so difficult to forgive someone when they hurt or betray you, it isn't easy because your brain actually physically resists you creating a new pathway.
Your brain is unconsciously always deciding whether to avoid or approach everything that it encounters in the world, and regardless of how extroverted you may be, your brain in its most primal form is actually naturally wired to avoidance first and fighting against that is what causes feelings of anxiety. However, not all hope is lost, you don't need to avoid everything and you don't have to suffer relentless anxiety, there are ways to retrain your brain.
Hanson goes on to explain that your brain can override these instincts and be retrained to develop compassion through practising mindfulness, gratitude and self affirmation. You can actually create overriding positives for yourself that will crush your negative experiences, create new and better brain pathways and lead you to a more emotionally balanced and calm lifestyle.
In short, you don't need to feel like a slave to negative words and thoughts, you can chose positive ones through repetition and focus. You can start today by passing on some good news, sharing your thoughts of gratitude or complimenting others instead of being the bearer of bad news. You don't actually have to help bad news travel at all if you don't want to, you have the power to give yourself peace of mind because you have evolved far beyond the need to ignite your monkey brain functions, you're a higher and more evolved being than that now.
So it's time to spark your good news, pass along some positives and give yourself a compliment every single day because when you do that you are actually annihilating negative pathways that you have previously carved into your brain and giving yourself the opportunity to be free from anxiety. You deserve to have peace of mind and now you know that it is as easy as being more mindful of your thoughts about others and yourself and honing your ability to focus on the positives around you, it's really is that simple! Change your focus, be positive and be complementary and I promise that you will feel a whole lot calmer and more in control of your emotions, trust me it really works!
Release Date: 2003
Running Time: 100 mins
Pixar Animation Studios really raised the bar with their computer animated, comedy-drama Finding Nemo. This movie tells a meaningful and heartfelt tale of a father-son relationship set under the sea in Australia.
When young clown fish Nemo gets taken from the Great Barrier Reef by a diver, his father Marlin sets out on an epic adventure across the ocean to find his son. Meanwhile Nemo, who has arrived in Sydney, finds himself in a dentist's fish tank filled with a bevvy of other tropical fish that are keen to make an escape.
There are loads of laughs to be had here, mostly coming from Ellen DeGeneres' character Dory; but more than that, this movie is a visual delight with it's brightly coloured depictions of life aquatic.
FINAL SAY: Just keep swimming!
4 Chilli Peppers
NOTE: Finding Dory (2016) was an excellent sequel to Finding Nemo, every bit as beautiful and enjoyable as it's predecessor. Boasting a consistent voice cast, this next adventure of sea life mishap is based around a city aquarium.