The Science Behind: Our Brain’s Negative Bias

And how positive affirmations can help pull us out of a negative rut.

Neuroscience tells us our brains have a negative bias. We’re wired to focus on threats to our survival, and we react more strongly to stimuli that stir up negative feelings. This is in part due to our survival instincts and an innate evolutionary need to register negative memories in order to avoid them in the future. When our brain perceives a threat, it goes into alarm mode, and then returns to its usual baseline after the stressful event passes. 

But we can also find ourselves stuck in this alarm mode, leading us to operate from a place of fear instead of possibility. We’ve all been there: a day where you can’t seem to see the positive no matter how hard you try. But too much focus on negative experiences can quickly derail our mood, confidence, energy, and ability to maintain a thriving mind. So how can we redirect and reframe negative thoughts or stressful events when they occur? 

Positive affirmations are a useful tool to pull out in these moments. An affirmation is a simple, declarative statement that helps you focus on the positive and affirm what you would like to be true. “I am enough,” for instance, or “I am able to succeed.” You can use it anytime, anywhere. 

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