August 3, 2020
Human beings, at least those in Western 21st century world, are naturally wired to harness negative energy. The National Science Foundation estimates that then average person has upwards of 60,000 thoughts per day. Not only are about 80% of said thoughts negative, but are also the same negative thoughts from the day before. It could be an insult that hurt your feelings from 20 years ago or the food tray you dropped while working your server job last week. Whatever the case, it’s easier to dwell on negative thoughts.
We’re more inclined to register and recall negative stimuli versus positive. The pain from a stinging insult is far more powerful than someone saying that you look nice today. The cliche “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” was born from the foregoing phenomenon. Negative first impressions are stored in our brains more vividly and are more easily-accessible than their positive counterparts.
Some blame this phenomenon on negative conditioning from toxic interactions and programming from social media and television, respectively. But there is no denying it exists. Take the studies of late University of Chicago professor, Dr. John Cacioppo. He showed test subjects photos that arouse positivity (e.g. a pizza, a graduating student, etc.), negativity (e.g. a dead cat), and neutral feelings (e.g. a fork or spoon). He monitored electrical activity in the brain and found a much higher surge when the brain received negative stimuli.
The negativity bias is especially bad for men because it causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Stress causes blood vessels to constrict, while the body redirects blood to the limbs to prepare you for battle. This leads to all kinds of ailments, including heart disease, obesity and erectile dysfunction.
There’s really no excuse for men to ignore meditation any longer. A quick Youtube search for mindful meditation pulls up several guided meditations that span anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours. Get to know the seven chakras in your body and how they work towards a harmonious existence. It may be difficult to keep your mind clear in your first few meditations, even for 10 minutes. But like everything, you must practice it to perfect it. Many men, however, feel tangible differences in their minds and bodies after only one or two sessions.
Make positive thoughts stickier
The negativity bias is an omnipotent force of our minds if we allow it to be. It takes conscious effort to combat it. Acknowledge and appreciate the good things in life. Bask in positivity that happens in your life for several minutes. Take a moment to observe how you feel, what you see, etc. Celebrate every little accomplishment or victory in life. This include mundane things like cleaning your bathroom, finishing your homework or recalling a random compliment received from a woman at the grocery store.
Take breaks from television and social media, preferably at least 24 hours. Eliminating negative stimuli from those common sources only help the cause.
Learn to laugh
Norman Cousins was diagnosed with collagen disease and ankylosing spondylitis in 1964. His doctors gave him very little chance at a long, fruitful life. Cousins decided to create his own therapy – large doses of vitamin C and laughter. He watched “Candid Camera” and funny movies. Cousins wrote in his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter helped him sleep at night for upwards of two hours without pain.
Animal lovers get lots of laughs from dogs and cats. Follow funny meme accounts on social media. Display photos of funny times in life that always make you laugh. You can even try laughter yoga (yes, it’s a real thing).
Control your Internal Monologue System (IMS)
The ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™ connects men to their individual IMS. Men learn to identify the causes of negative self-talk and nip it in the bud before it’s able to manifest into your conscious mind. Like water puts out fires, affirmative self-talk extinguishes the negativity bias. Conscious command gets closer with each 21-day run through the program.
Learn more about the ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™ today.