The Jar of Joy
Our brains are naturally drawn to the dark side due to a little (big) thing called negativity bias. There’s good reason for it, it helps protect us and keep us safe from harm. Yet it can also lead to getting lost in your own head, making mountains where molehills once stood, focusing on the worst-case scenario and catastrophising about the smallest things. If you’ve ever…
…then you’ll know what I’m talking about!
If you didn’t have this pesky little bias, you’d be better positioned to see the wood from the proverbial trees, to identify the good as well as the not so good and to be able to put things into more realistic perspective. You’d be able to realise that you won’t be ostracised, that you can do hard things and that it’s not possible to please everybody all the time.
You can’t simply banish this bias though as this one’s hard-wired. It’s part of your wonderful brain’s ability to spot danger and that’s how humans have survived (so it’s a good one to keep!). If you can’t rid yourself of it what can you do to help yourself handle these situations better? The key here is to get quicker at noticing when your negativity bias has kicked in, become more effective at stopping a downward spiral in its tracks and set your mind on a new, more balanced path.
These things are much easier to implement when you have built the habit of noting and reflecting on the good stuff. This brings to the forefront of your mind the reality of what’s going on (rather than the dramatic fantasy you create for yourself!). By bringing the logical, rational part of your brain to the front of the queue, you’ll be able to better manage your more instinctual mind and a calmer head will prevail.
The good news is that this is possible. You can take action and train your brain to seek out the good stuff. The more you do this, the more evidence you will have to help you avoid drama in the future. Here’s my favourite way to focus on the good stuff –
Give the Jar of Joy a go, see how it works for you and let me know the impact!
PS – You can access my free WorkJoy – Where Do You Get Yours experiment here and discover your core sources of WorkJoy in five minutes a day for just one week.