Is everyone’s mind this negative?

Is everyone’s mind this negative?

I just realised something today.

It hit me after I got off a Skype call with a client in the UK and another in the US (how cool is that!), pulled on my ugg boots (because what people think of me no longer paralyses me like it used to), and rocked out of my rad house into a sunny but freezing day to go for a walk to the organic grocer.

My epiphany: My life is bloody awesome!!

It’s very easy to look at your life and notice only what’s wrong with it.

I’m so busy, I tell myself. This mountain of to do lists is going to eat me any minute. I’m working my nuts off, not seeing my nice man or friends during the week so that I can focus on getting sh#t done.

But you know what also happens? I get to work from home, or a cafe, or Queenstown, or Bali. (I literally just booked flights to both places). I get up and meditate and do yoga or go for a run outside. Then I sit down and talk to fricken amazing women (and a few legend men) all over the world.

They’re so open and honest and vulnerable.

And when I teach them the tools that changed my life, they start to completely change the way they look at their life too. After years of being stuck, they grow so quickly, it’s unbelievable.

Talking to my clients makes me feel alive.

Without fail, I get off every client call and I’m buzzing with energy. It makes me realise that we all share the same shit, and we are all so much better at living when we don’t try to tackle our shit alone in our head.

And I get to focus all my attention on the study of happiness – in my own life and others’. As a type-A workaholic, it’s bloody lucky that I’ve found myself a profession which forces me to walk my talk and keep doing things that make me happy, calm, and mindful aside from all the work.

Enforced work-life balance!

Can’t be showing up to teach my clients to live a bloody good life if I’m all stressed and burnt out and pissed off from too much laptop time!

So, my life is actually so awesome!

I just sometimes need to remind myself of that. Which I do everyday by gratitude journalling – which I talk about here and here.

You know, not matter what you have or don’t have,

your mind is programmed to focus on the “not have”, rather than the “have”.

It’s called the negativity bias, and I explain the concept in detail to my clients one of the modules in Bloody Good Life 101.

Our minds have evolved to remember and learn from negative events much more readily than positive ones. Say 10 interactions happen to you in a day, 5 are positive, 4 are neutral and 1 is negative.

Which is the one you’ll be thinking about later that night?

Actually I was just listening to a Jay-Z Justin Timberlake song (yea I have a ‘shite pop’ playlist on Spotify that I dance around to alone in my house sometimes!) and he goes on about having everything he wants but instead he’s worrying about paparazzi, people being ‘haters’, can’t even take his daughter for a walk, etc, etc.

No matter how awesome your life is going externally, your mind is likely to try and seek out what’s negative about it. Because it’s much more important to your survival that the mind notices negative things rather than positive. Our reptile brain is just trying to keep us safe by scanning our environment for potential threats. Only it turns out that most of these ‘threats’ are just gossip or worry or self doubt.

Our brain doesn’t know how to differentiate between perceived threats and real threats.

It has the same stress reaction either way.

In our hyper stimulated society filled with iPhone notifications and traffic and loud noises, as far as our brain is concerned, there are tigers fricken EVERYWHERE.

So it keeps us hyper vigilant. Hyper aware. On alert. This is what causes stress and anxiety. If you can’t feel it, it’s because you’ve normalised it. You’ve been living in a state of mild stress and overthinking for so long that you have come to think it’s your normal state of being.

It causes you to feel numb to highs and lows in emotions. Or alternatively, it can cause you to flip out/ snap/ get irritable more easily. You’re already running on stress hormones, so any stressful event tips you over the edge much more easily than it would a monk meditating in a cave.

If you’re as obsessed with the study of happiness as I am –

I highly recommend you read (or listen to) Hardwiring Happiness, by Rick Hanson. Rick (yea we’re mates. Not really – only in my head) – explains the science behind how our brains evolved, the negativity bias, and how you can use neuroplasticity to rewire your brain for more positivity.

OR you could just join me in Bloody Good Life 101 and we’ll tackle all the awesome stuff at once in a compact and relatable format! 

No doubt there are good things in your life right now – take a minute to think what they are – say them aloud to someone or write them down.

I’m grateful for YOU reading my posts.

Thank you for all your kind words and general legendariness!

Keen to get your zest for Mondays back and learn to tame your mind in the funnest and least rainbow-and-butterfly way possible? Check out my 1-1 mind-taming program here!

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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.

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