There’s an amusing little phrase I heard recently that sheds some insight into our brains’ negativity bias, that is, the bias that places more weight/emphasis/concern/importance on and has us react or fret or ruminate more on things or events or news that are of a more negative or bad nature than things of a neutral, positive, or good nature. *
It’s quite simple, and goes like this:
“Life has to keep winning every day; death only has to win once.”
This is so good! For what it speaks to is our calculating self and its survival-based (and thus evolution-narrowed) preoccupation and focus. Whatever could be considered threatening** gets the calculating self all agitated and screaming in ways that rainbows do not.
Mindfulness and being present are what work wonders to counter this bias. Letting our immediate reaction be, letting the calculating self sound off without becoming it, and listening to and even embracing our central selves as the voice to guide us forward, not only in our actions but also in how we get to experience our life with delight, wonder, and peace of mind.
* Of course, negative/neutral/positive are value judgements as well, so there’s malleability even there…
** And what we consider threatening can also be quite wild and out of place, especially in our current-day environment(s).***
*** Especially when we remember the way our calculating self cannot tell the difference between a threat to the body and a threat to our identity. So much of the threats our calculating self sees and responds to are often only of the identity variety…