Our brains are very good at learning from the negative—that’s what helped our distant ancestors survive. Rick Hanson calls this the brain’s “negativity bias.”
While this bias helped our distant ancestors learn what to avoid if they wanted to stay alive, it interferes with our lives today where we react to stressful situations as if they were life and death. They’re usually not.
In this brief clip, Rick walks us through surprisingly simple steps that can shift our memory systems to internalize positive experiences and states with equal efficiency. And this will help our brains evolve and make use happier.
Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, a Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley, and a New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness (Harmony, 2016), Buddha’s Brain (New Harbinger, 2009), Just One Thing Card Deck (PESI, 2018), and Mother Nurture (Penguin, 2002). He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs.