While the human brain's negativity bias may be programmed into our DNA, how we respond to it is learned through experience, which means we can also learn to overcome it. While some people's actions are guided more by wanting to achieve a positive outcome, such as getting a good grade on an assignment, reaching a goal or mastering a skill—other people are motivated more by wanting to avoid the opposite, negative outcome of poor grades or failure. The former "approach motivation" is linked to positive thinking and optimism, while the latter "avoidance motivation" correlates with negativity and pessimism. Here, medical doctor and mental performance trainer Dr Dani Gordon explores how pessimism can become a habit and shares a simple mental exercise that will "nudge your brain toward optimism when it may be more useful—particularly in decision making."
Image credit: Hybrid, via Unsplash
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