How To Be Optimistic—Even At Rock Bottom

mbgAfter a suicide attempt, I was left seriously brain injured and lost custody of my two sons, who moved to a different state with their father. As part of my emotional recovery in the years that followed, I HAD to consciously look for the good around me because there wasn’t any readily apparent anymore. Often, I had to get out my magnifying glass to find some, but good was always still there. I just had to notice it.

The sun warming my cheeks as I walked the dog on a chilly morning; the silkiness of the cat’s fur as I scratched her rumbling chin with her curled up on my lap; a really good tune playing on my iPod were the smallest of joys, but smile-worthy nonetheless. And, they made me feel a heck of a lot better than focusing on all the bad stuff.

Your brain has a natural negativity bias which means it constantly looks for, learns from, and holds onto anything it considers a danger or loss more intensely than anything that’s neutral or pleasant. There’s a good reason for this. Our ancestors were much more likely to live long enough to pass on their genes to a new generation by remembering a deadly predator’s territory than remembering a sunny napping spot.

By Debbie Hampton at MindBodyGreen

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