Focusing on the Negative

Focusing on the negative.

As humans, we have an inherent tendency to focus on the negative aspects of life.

It doesn’t matter in which area of our life we will always go to the negative first.

From dwelling on past mistakes to worrying about future uncertainties, focusing on these things we didn’t do or haven’t done, our minds often gravitate towards the negative, overshadowing the positive experiences that bring us all the joy and happiness.

This negativity bias can affect our mental well-being and in the grand scheme of things our total overall happiness.

Why do we do this?

Negativity bias is the psychological phenomenon where negative events and emotions have a more significant impact on our mental state than positive ones. This bias likely evolved as a survival mechanism, helping our ancestors stay alert to dangers and threats.

However, in today’s world, where physical dangers are less prevalent, this negative bias can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and a fucked up perception of reality.

I see it all the time in this industry, which unfortunately throws things down our neck that we should be achieving.

We have a fat loss group here that runs every few months and when we check in the first we tend to hear is I didn’t do this or that and this was shit and I can’t do it.

Personally, at the present time I am going through some health issues where even though each day there is positives, I have to remind myself to focus on those and not the things I cannot do.

Constantly focusing on the negative can have several effects on our lives:

  1. Increased Stress and Anxiety: Dwelling on negative thoughts and experiences can heighten stress levels and contribute to anxiety disorders.
  2. Impaired Relationships: A negative outlook can strain relationships, making it difficult to connect with others and maintain healthy social bonds.
  3. Reduced Motivation: Negative thinking can sap motivation and energy, making it harder to pursue goals and achieve success.
  4. Overall Well-being: Persistent negativity can lead to a decline in overall mental and physical health, reducing the quality of life.

So, what do we do?

Changing our focus from the negative to the positive takes time and effort.

It takes practice.

It won’t happen overnight.

Some strategies to use to help work on that shift.

  1. Practice Gratitude: Regularly acknowledging the things you’re grateful for can shift your focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant in your life. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re thankful for each day.
  2. Challenge Negative Thoughts: When negative thoughts arise, challenge them by asking yourself if they’re based on facts or assumptions. Reframe these thoughts in a more positive and realistic light.
  3. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Spend time with positive people who uplift and inspire you. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  4. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you stay present and focused on the positive aspects of your current experience.
  5. Set Positive Goals: Instead of focusing on what you want to avoid, set positive goals that align with your values and aspirations. Focus on the steps you can take to achieve these goals.

One of the things I do within our Fat loss groups is they get to choose 3 things to focus on for the week, they have a star chart type thing where they can track over the week, and then when we go over it I try to get them to focus on the bits they dd achieve instead of the bits they didn’t achieve, get them to look at the positive.

Also, another thing we will do at the right time is to get them to rate how it’s going out of 10, a vast majority of people will generally go 6 or 7 because that is what we do, so instead of focusing on why you didn’t give it an eight which then focuses on the negative but we will ask why didn’t you give yourself a 5 or 6 and then the positive side of things start to come out.

What are the benefits of focusing on the positives?

  1. Improved Mental Health: Focusing on the positive can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to better overall mental health.
  2. Stronger Relationships: A positive mindset can enhance your relationships, making you more approachable, empathetic, and supportive.
  3. Increased Resilience: Positive thinking can boost your resilience, helping you cope with challenges and bounce back from setbacks more effectively.
  4. Enhanced Performance: A positive attitude can improve motivation, productivity, and overall performance in various areas of life.
  5. Greater Life Satisfaction: Focusing on the positive can lead to increased happiness and a greater sense of satisfaction in life.

While it can be our natural instinct to focus on the negative, just trying to shift your mindset to embrace the positive side of things can seriously enhance your life.

By doing the work it can help grow a more positive outlook.

Remember this though.

It’s not about ignoring the negative, it’s about balancing your perspective and letting the positive aspects of your life and what you are doing shine through.

Start to change and change your world.


Tags

fitness, happy, Health, mental health, mindset, personal training, Small Group Personal Training, small group training, The Fox Den, wokingham, Wokingham gym


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