What Negative Thinking Does to Your Brain
If you’ve ever found yourself trapped in a seemingly endless loop of negative thinking, or wondered why you fixate on a stray rude comment but easily forget compliments, you may have a culprit to blame: evolution.
According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and New York Times best-selling author, humans are evolutionarily wired with a negativity bias. Our minds naturally focus on the bad and discard the good. It was much more important for our ancestors to avoid threats than to collect rewards: An individual who successfully avoided a threat would wake up the next morning and have another opportunity to collect a reward, but an individual who didn’t avoid the threat would have no such opportunity.