If you haven’t noticed, the world is full of negativity, fear, and hate.
There is a solid reason for it. Our brains require it for survival. Blame it on your amygdala. It thrives on negativity because that is its function. In fact, it is instinctual.
It constantly scans the environment for things that will destroy you in order to keep you alive. The catch is that it can’t distinguish between what is a real threat and what is an unreal threat. As a result, we wrestle with unreal fears that create anger, hate, fear, and stress, often directed toward others.
The political climate has always been polarizing. However, in the age of social media, google searches, and the internet, it exists incessantly in our minds, pushing us further into those negative emotions.
Negative news sells and intrigues us because it appeals to our amygdala. It sparks those chemicals our brain loves to feel that eventually lead us to calm. Think about it.
How do you feel just moments after you’ve finished an anger tirade, emotions expelled from your body?
Your brain experienced the release of those chemicals.
On top of that, we all suffer a bit from significant events in our life that influence our self-esteem. So it is always easier to think on others negatively to help us feel better about ourselves.
Furthermore, our brains attempt to protect us from the unknown. Remember the basic instinct of our brain? Eventually, we fear people we need not fear. We villainize them. Our anger fuels us when they disagree and we begin to hate them.
As a result, addiction to anger and hate pervades our thoughts, words, and actions toward others. Repeatedly, our brain seeks those chemicals and forces us to respond to negativity in a…well…more negative way, in order to get the chemical reaction.
So what do we do about it?
The first antidote was discussed in last week’s blog, The Pursuit of Happiness.
The second antidote is like it. Choose kind. This phrase was recently popularized from the movie, Wonder. Here is the scene.
The answer to the world’s negative belongs at the center of choosing to be kind, understanding, empathetic, and compassionate. When we understand the core of negativity comes from the basic function of our brain (amygdala), we can apply basic strategy to overcome it.
Surrender your need to be right. Lay down your unrealistic fears of other. Choose kind.
Maybe if we all do this, the world would be a better place.