As I write this, I’m officially 19 weeks pregnant as of yesterday and am slowly starting to get my energy back. Fitness has always been important to me and being too tired to move my body has been one of the hardest challenges of pregnancy so far. The good news is that I’m starting to get out for power walks, jogs, and now finally the gym for the first time this morning! Hallelujah! Pregnancy has turned a corner!
As I was leaving the gym this morning, I was thinking how good it felt to move my body, what a beautiful morning it was, and feeling great about life in general.
However this positivity was not how I was feeling even a few short weeks before.
I was totally noticing everything that was not great: my shitty sleep, the never ending exhaustion, mourning the loss of control and my “freedom,” not having clothes that fit anymore, the weird things happening to my body, and all the things I wanted to do but didn’t have the energy for.
I was totally looking at the world through a negativity bias.
This is when we tend to give more weight to negative information than the positive.
As I understand it, negativity bias is a very primal way of thinking because its purpose at one point was to keep us out of danger.
After all, thousands of years ago we needed to scan our environment all the time to keep us safe. If we heard rustling in the jungle and didn’t consider it a potential threat we had the real risk of being eaten by something.
Even though we don’t have the same kinds of threats anymore, we still have inherited a tendency to look for what’s wrong, rather than what’s right.
This brings me to a study I heard on CBC a while ago with pessimists, and optimists, and their accuracy at determining outcomes.
So, how accurate were each group at predicting outcomes?
The pessimists, were waaaaay more accurate at predicting outcomes. They saw themselves more accurately and did better overall.
But here’s the interesting part: the optimists were happier overall in life.
It reminded me of something I often think about when I’m having an argument: Would you rather be happy, or right?
I don’t know about you, but I choose happy any day!
How do we start to lean more to a happiness bias instead of a negative one?
Here are 2 easy-peasy ways, and probably not what you think:
- Savour the good moments. Spending a little bit of time everyday recounting the positive moments of your day and savouring them, helps rewire your brain to look for the good. By remembering good moments and feeling them, makes our brains and bodies feel like it’s happening all over again which is like a double benefit to us.
- Conscious acts of kindness. This can be as simple as emailing someone to thank them for something you are grateful for or consciously making someone’s life better such as doing something kind just for the sake of it. Doing good, makes us feel good. Simple as that!
The best part of feeling good, is to share it! Tell me about a positive moment in your day or your conscious act of kindness in the comments. While you’re at it, share with us your tricks for staying positive.
Oh! One more way to get bonus positivity points? Share the good stuff around! So feel free to share this email to all your friends, on Facebook, Twitter, you name it! Happiness can only increase by being shared.