Do You Have Significant Negativity Bias?

Negativity bias is seeing and attributing more emphasis on the “bad” things in life (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, criticism, harmful/traumatic events) than on the good things in life.  These “bad” things tend to have a greater effect, or greater weight, on our psychological state.  Maybe you dwell on your kid’s deviant behavior or some negative comment(s) made by a family member in the past.  Or what is not working in your life.  This negative affect can turn up in many facets of our life making us feel worse or “less than.”  And it affects our decision-making process.  When given a choice to either gain something we want or lose something we have depending on the outcome, a person with negativity bias will tend to focus more on the costs of not losing something; acting from a mental space of loss aversion.  It’s the reason you may be more inclined to catastrophize a situation than trust there could be a positive outcome.  While this was a skill that helped us in primitive times to be on guard for attacking animals and increased our odds for survival, we have to see if this skill is helping or holding us back in our current situations.

Negativity bias can present as excuses for not wanting to make a change, for fear of giving up something we know, and therefore, we may miss out on the change we truly want and desire.

Negativity bias may be a reason we stay stuck in our cycle of drinking.

Negativity bias is seeing and attributing more emphasis on the “bad” things in life than on the good things in life.

Are you focusing on and affected by the negative things going on around you (and not the positive) and thus, see how it is keeping you in the habit of drinking?  If so, it is good to recognize this so we can change this pattern.  How are you interpreting your kid’s behavior, the stress from work, or not feeling like you have a “stop” button to your drinking?  It comes back to our psychological mindset and how to program it so it works for us, instead of against us.

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