We all have heard about the power of positive thinking and how it will help to change the mindset and solve many problems. It is straightforward and good in theory, but how to apply it to your life and believe in the positivity, when all you see is negativity?
A social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood will explain, how to make your mind see the positivity instead of the negativity without using drugs, alcohol or medicine.
Alison has been watching people and analyzing their behavior all her life. She finds it strange that so many of us are stuck in the negative mindset. She even noticed it about herself, that she always used to focus on the negative.
For example, when ten people tell you that your new haircut looks beautiful and one says you that she thinks it is weird, you immediately lose your confidence and feel like changing your hair back. It is strange that we tend to focus on the negativity, even if the negative comments are a minority compared to the positive feedback.
Alison has been trying to find an answer to this mystery – why does the failure or negativity stick to our minds so much longer than the success and positivity?
She explains that different people can see the same event or occasion in a completely different way. You all know the saying with the glass half empty or half full. This is true in our everyday lives as well. For example, two people can describe the same thing they saw (performance, crime, etc.) differently.
Their descriptions can be so various, that you do not even understand that they are talking about the same thing. We know that the event did not change, but the way people see and experiences it is affected by many factors, for example, their personality, mood, etc.
Alison conducted a few simple experiments to understand more the way people think. One of the operations was telling the participants about a new and innovative surgical procedure. The first group of participants was said about the system regarding 70% success rate, and the other team was informed by the 30% failure rate.
There was no surprise, which the first group, who was told the success rate, liked the procedure much more. The other team, who heard about the failure rate, immediately disliked the process.
She took the experiment even further and told the second group about the success rate, but they had already made up their mind and that 70% success rate did not change their minds anymore.
When she informed the first group about the 30% failure rate, the first team changed their minds and did not like the procedure anymore.
This confirms that it is pretty easy to go from good to wrong, but it is impossible to change from harm to the right. It takes more effort to see the right side of the things, especially when you know or think something negative about it already.
Alison suggests to write down every day some things that you are grateful for. This can dramatically change your mood and way of thinking. She says it is all about perspective. She also says that it would be a good practice to start sharing good news over the bad ones. People tend to complain about things to each other. But when someone asks you “how are you” try to tell them all the things that are great in your life and do not focus on the negativity.
She adds, that we should be more empathic as well. The haircut example above shows that people take in negativity much more than they take in positivity. You should always keep that in mind when telling something to someone as well. If you make silly comments or jokes on them, it might really be hurtful and hard to forget.
Try to be the best example you can and treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Be forgiving, see the positivity and be grateful for all the things that are good in your life. Positive thinking works like a chain. The more positive you are, the more positivity you see in your life and the happier you become. Try it out and start today!