Humans are innately equipped with an internal device called the negative bias. Its purpose is to point out things it deems dangerous, a warning to ensure survival. It scans its environment, looking for potential risks, and sounds the alarm when it inevitably finds one.
When we were in our primitive early days, this was a necessity. When we were hunters and gatherers, this was the difference between life and death. It warned us about the storm, about the poisonous snakes, about predators. When there was a legitimate threat to our immediate wellbeing, the negative bias served us well.
However, now that we’ve emerged thousands of years after our foraging days, in our modern industrialized society, the negative bias is still alive and running, always on the lookout, even when there is no threat.
And so, we search out our problems, constantly on edge, constantly in doubt. We can never be completely comfortable, always in a constant state of worry. Effectively, now that there’s no immediate threat, we create our own problems.
There is, however, a solution. In order to see the world objectively, we need to counteract this negative bias. To do that we need to actively expend energy on thinking positively. This isn’t lying to yourself, it’s merely balancing the scales. If we subconsciously spend our time seeking out the negatives, then we have to use our conscious moments to acknowledge the positive.
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