🙃This often comes as a shock to the people I speak to who are struggling with their mental health. Many people assume that our brain’s job is to keep us happy, and if we’re not happy then there must be something “wrong” with our brain. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case!
😱There’s no point seeking happiness if we’re dead, therefore our brain’s main aim is to keep us alive at all costs. This means it comes with an in-built negativity bias – it’s constantly on the look out for threat before anything else. So if you’re brain thinks you’re at risk of being harmed, it’s going to struggle to allow you to enjoy anything until it thinks you’re safe!
🐅Although this is a brilliant evolutionary strategy which has kept humans around for millions of years, it’s not that helpful when our brain is interpreting a job interview in the same way it would if you were confronted by a hungry saber- toothed tiger.
🙂This is one of the reasons why we sometimes have to work quite hard to notice the positives in life! If our brain gets into a habit of looking out for negatives, it’s down to us to press “override” and direct it onto more positive things. This helps our brain to know we’re safe and it doesn’t need to be on high-alert right now.
📚A good way to get started is to begin a gratitude diary. Regularly writing down up to 5 things you’re grateful for has been shown to have a whole host of healthy benefits including increased happiness, improved resilience, reduced stress and even lower blood pressure.