or HOW TO OVERCOME THE COGNITIVE BIAS OF NEGATIVITY

It is rare to face turmoil that affect us, but also the whole planet. The events that currently overwhelm us affect not only our microcosms, our private spheres, but also almost all spheres of human activity on earth.

It may seem difficult to imagine regaining our calm or a little serenity in the context of a crisis as novel as it is aggressive. However, it is necessary. You have to stay firmly grounded in trust, remembering that all of this will pass. And not get carried away by fear and uncertainty, and risk losing yourself in a negative spiral.

The world is not going adrift. Admittedly, there is a palpable shock wave, but it is possible and necessary to stay our course to face the next challenges. It is necessary for us, our families, our colleagues, our business partners and for all our fellow citizens.

It is tempting to anticipate the future, to plan the next stages of this global crisis when we are worried. And it is natural to prepare and try to flush out the next problems to surface.

A complex brain

We inherited from our ancestors a complex brain, but above all, a default programming which favors considering negative aspects over positive ones. To cope with potential dangers in a hostile environment, our ancestors used various defense mechanisms, such as fleeing, freezing or attacking. These mechanisms have served them well, but now we need to be aware of this default bias and cultivate our internal resources in order to make more fluid and adaptive decisions.

So our brain tends to pay more attention and remember negative events. This bias strongly influences all of our decision-making and judgments about others and the situations we face. It sometimes makes us overreact. It is very difficult for the human brain to process information in a neutral manner.

Now that we are aware of the default tendency of our brain to amplify the negative side of everything, let’s try to thwart this propensity to see everything as dark!

Think positively

A rather easy solution to integrate would be to make a conscious effort to reverse this natural tendency by paying more attention to what is positive: celebrating successes for example. Let’s go a little further and imagine really internalizing positive experience by the sole power of our thought. A real brain hack!

We can also focus our attention on repeating the following mantra: “Everything is fine at the moment, I am strong, I am calm, I am at peace.” And really feel these words in all parts of our body.

At this time, it is normal to be afraid, to be tensed and even anxious, but one must not be overwhelmed by fear and insecurities. Let’s find a little calm by developing a space of serenity, a refuge of peace in ourselves. Meditation can also help us a lot.

Here is a suggestion for meditation by none other than renowned neuropsychologist Rick Hanson:

A Meditation for Feeling As Safe As You Reasonably Can

Here is another tool to find inner peace and coherence of our heartbeat (in French):

The current crisis is a story whose end is still unknown to us. The next steps, the next challenges, will require us to be open to change, as well as solidarity and a lot of creativity! And for that, we need to feel resilience, confidence, serenity and a feeling of security, a feeling that everything will be fine, that we have the strength to adjust and co-create the future…

Source and inspiration:

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

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Zélia Lefebvre

Passionnée par l’être humain sous tous ses angles et détentrice d’une maîtrise en gestion du développement organisationnel des HEC, Zélia est passée par l’enseignement à titre de chargée de cours à l’UQAM et œuvre désormais auprès de diverses organisations comme coach agile et conseillère en développement organisationnel.

Elle propose un style de coaching et de consultation basé sur de solides bases académiques et pratiques, ainsi que sur une approche de psychologie positive. Elle est certifiée pour l’utilisation des outils MPO (tests de personnalité, styles de communication et talents) afin d’aider les ressources humaines à mieux recruter les candidats et accompagner les individus et les équipes à collaborer et gérer les conflits efficacement.

Reconnue pour sa curiosité sans limite, son sens stratégique et sa créativité, elle met toute sa bienveillance et son enthousiasme au service des clients pour qu’ils osent s'engager dans une évolution viable et durable.

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