How to Overcome Your Brain's Fixation on Bad Things - Deepstash
A Guide on Intuitive Eating

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How to listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues

How to develop a positive relationship with food

How to trust yourself around food

A Guide on Intuitive Eating

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The negativity bias

The negativity bias

We have the tendency to give more weight in our minds to things that go wrong than to things that go right—so much so that just one negative event can hijack our minds in ways that can be detrimental to our work, relationships, health, and happiness.

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Findings about the negativity bias

  • We get upset when someone doesn't fulfill a promise. However, if they do more than promised, we're not grateful enough for it.
  • People learn more and faster from punishment and reward. If you have to pick one, negative feedback stimulates learning faster than positive feedback.

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The Negative Golden Rule

Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you.

It is about focusing on eliminating the negative more than encouraging the positive. Because there’s abundant evidence from multiple sources that relationships are far more strongly affected by negative things than positive things.

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Delivering criticism

When giving feedback, it's a mistake to start by saying something good, followed by the criticism, and then wrap it up with some kind words. Most people would rather just get the bad news out of the way.

It is better to give the bad news first, then you can tell them what they're good at and let them know how they can improve.

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The “low-bad” diet

Journalists are more eager to focus on the bad news since it affects everyone - we're all afraid of dying or being hurt.

We need to disallow ourselves to always watch mass media news. Don't wallow in the coverage of a terrible event. Although awful, they're also isolated events. In contrast, people on social media tend to share more positive stories. Curate your news feed to include more positive stories.

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The “merchants of bad”

We can fall prey to manipulation through negativity bias. The media, politics and advertising are continually scaring us to get our attention.

People who consume the news should be aware that this is not necessarily an accurate view of the situation or even representative. They should become aware of how they're being manipulated and start using their rational brain to overcome their negativity bias.

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Compensate for negative things

It is good to take a moment to stop and consider the positive side of whatever happens to you. Life is really good in many ways, despite the constant predictions of doom. Go for a five-to-one ratio of good things to bad things to bring a bit of a correction on the negativity bias.

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