We’re made to be happy right? Not exactly, says researcher Loretta Breuning in her new book, The Science of Positivity. Her article, in Forbes,“How To Train Your Brain To Go Positive Instead of Negative,” explains how our brains are really wired and offers some helpful exercises to help quiet that inner Eeyore, so instead of always looking out for what’s wrong, we can spend more time appreciating all of the things in our life that are so beautifully, wonderfully right.
One major insight– when all is said and done, it’s not totally a bad thing that our brains naturally look for the negative. That internal “Debbie Downer” is part of a very real and very necessary survival instinct that brought humanity through cavemen times and into today. The negative voice we often desire to “fix” actually helps point out the things that need to get done, keeping us on top of our work and chores. It also helps us stay alert to anything that could be wrong in our environment, which helps to keep us safe. But certainly the negative voice doesn’t need to stay “on” or hold the prominence it does for many of us. In fact, while looking for the bad in a situation started out as a basic survival tool, in our current lifestyles, it’s probably doing most of us more harm than good. The good news? It turns out you can train your brain to “Build a Positivity Circuit” and learn to handle surges in cortisol (our body’s stress hormone). Whew.