I came across this interesting TED talk today. Really worth watching this short 10 minutes video.
Alison Ledgerwood's initial question is: "Why does a failure seem to stick in our mind so much longer than a success?". She conducted simple experiments to demonstrate that our brains have hard time to shift from "bad" to "good". It takes work and effort for most of us to see the upside; it needs practice.
There is an easy link here with optimism, and well-being. The "3-blessings" intervention from Martin Selingman is a great and effective way to help us remember, focus and leverage the positive moments of our days. It is an example of the practice needed to help our brains being more positive, more optimistic.
What about you? Can you remember times where you were stuck in a negative moment of your day, of a failure, of a bad feeling, for way more than you were expecting? Maybe you even did not realized it? Did that offset a wonderful lunch spent with a colleague, a smile from a friend or a touching compliment from your kids?
Yes, our mindset is the fundamental for how we feel, behave, and act. But the good news is: we can control it. We can practice an optimistic mindset (a positive explanatory style). It is our choice, and there are plenty of resources to help us!
Alison Ledgerwood is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the psychological tools that allow humans to reach beyond their current experiences.