We've written about how our brains are not wired for positivity; in an effort to promote survival and alert you to potential obstacles, it was designed to look for problems. "Our brain is not designed to create happiness, as much as we wish it were so," writes Loretta Breuning, Ph.D., author of The Science of Positivity, for Forbes. "It saves the happy chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin) for opportunities to meet a survival need, and only releases them in short spurts which are quickly metabolized."
Of course, the threats of the modern world are nothing compared to those of our ancestors, but unfortunately, our brains haven't quite evolved. Rewiring this negativity requires intentional effort on our part, something Breuning refers to as "setting up a positivity circuit." Here's how to do it:
"Spend one minute looking for positives, three times a day for 45 days. This trains your brain to look for positives the way it is already trained to look for negatives."
In addition to this simple challenge, she also recommends having realistic expectations so that you're not always disappointed. "Most human achievements came from efforts that did not bring immediate visible rewards," she explains. "When your results are disappointing, you can adjust your expectations and take another step."
Check out our more in-depth read on positivity if you'd like more strategies!