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Feb. 27, 2023

How Negativity Bias Is Secretly Robbing Your Joy

How Negativity Bias Is Secretly Robbing Your Joy

Did you know our brains have a strong preference towards negative things over positive things?

Just look at the news or even what goes viral on social media. Things like doom and gloom and controversy invoke strong emotions and responses from us. Or let's take it to a more personal level. Take a past tragedy. Can you recall every single moment and feeling like it was yesterday? I'm betting you can. Now fast forward to a really positive event - your wedding, your baby's birth. Is your recollection as clear?

This is negativity bias at play that essentially says that our brain is very good at learning from bad experiences and very bad at learning from good experiences. It's a psychological phenomenon that is thought to have been passed down from evolutionary functions. Our ancestors were exposed to immediate environmental threats that protected their very lives. Today, we don't have to be aware of or fight off animal predators to survive, yet we are still vulnerable to our sinful nature that wants to lean into sins like jealousy, anger, and envy. While degrees of negativity are still certainly important and keep us safe, in many cases the bias will try to amplify those sins and root itself into our hearts and minds, which ultimately robs our joy.

So how do we challenge it and start to think more positively? 

1. As Christian moms, our primary and most important battle tactic will always be the Bible.

The fact is negativity bias may be twisting the reality of what's actually going on, so we're going to need more than ourselves to move away from our sinful nature.

When you find yourself spiraling into negativity, find a Bible verse or passage to combat it and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and mind. Romans 8:6 says, "So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." Let the Spirit control your mind.

2. Frame it with a lens of blessing. When you find your mind spiraling into places that challenge you as a beloved daughter of Christ, examine how you're framing a situation. To help convey the concept of framing, consider these examples:
- Is a glass half full or half empty?
- Are the potato chips 20% fat or 80% fat free?
- Is the item priced at $5 or is it $10 with a 50% discount?  

If we were to frame parts of motherhood with a lens of blessing, it might look something like this -
- A messy house with toys sprawling everywhere is a day in which the kids got to play without a worry in the world.
-  A table covered in paint
means the kids got to be creative and express themselves.
- A sink piled with dishes is a result of a family that's been fed.

Start framing things with a lens of blessing. 

Get more tips on how to turn around negativity bias on episode 45 of the Moms Grab Coffee podcast. Wherever you get your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, PocketCast, etc.)