We didn’t get where we are today by being positive you know. Oh no. Survival is a tough, uncompromising business. Our ancient ancestors needed the negativity bias that is neurally wired into our brains in order to be successful. And successful they were; the fact you are reading this today being proof of that. The paradox is that this very successful survival mechanism – ‘the negativity bias’ – can often get in the way of people being able to experience life positively.
Let’s look at a simple model of how the human brain has been built up over tens of thousands of years of evolution. (see also Rick Hanson’s article on this subject). We can think of it as being composed of three (evolutionary) layers:
1. The Lizard Brain This is the ‘old brain’. It shares many characteristics with…
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