Chapter 29: “That makes me really happy!”
Have you ever noticed how much we focus on the negative? Think about it: when someone asks you how your day went, it may be hard to remember all the good things that happened to you. They fade into the background. On the other hand, any rough or stressful thing that happened that day will linger at the forefront of your mind, coloring your perception of the day.
Readers of blogs or online journals will know what we’re talking about when we say that people are far more likely to write about the bad things in their life than the good. People often describe their journals as unintentionally displaying a one-sided, negative view of themselves.
Negative things vibrantly stand out in our minds and memories. There is a sound evolutionary reason for this: the person who clearly remembers their experience with the poisonous berries or the unpleasant events that occurred when wandering too close to a tiger’s lair is more likely to avoid them in the future, thus increasing their chances of survival. As such, we have evolved with a part of the brain that is sensitive to negative emotions, called the amygdala.
…and here’s the rest: