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Shift Your Focus: Overcome Negative Bias for a Happier Life

Live with intention

Your Magenta Monday Magic.

Surrounding Yourself with Positive and Supportive People

Play along with me for a minute!

Let’s pretend that the following things happen over the course of your day:

  • Your boss compliments you on how you handled a presentation.

  • You PR your bench press at the gym.

  • Your husband tells you how beautiful you look in your new sweater.

  • The dry cleaner ruins your favorite blouse.

Which one of these do you think you’ll ruminate on for the remainder of your day?

If you guessed the dry cleaner – ding ding ding!! – you are correct! 🎯

Why is that though? It’s because as humans, that’s just the way we’re wired. It’s believed that we developed this trait thousands of years ago as a way to protect ourselves from the numerous predatory threats we faced, as well as to navigate midlife crises in women, thus prompting us to shift our focus and look for danger as a way to survive.

This behavior is called ‘Negativity Bias’ and it is defined as our proclivity to “attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.” (Vaish, Grossmann, & Woodward, 2008, p. 383)

We may not be evading any life-threatening predators these days, but that bias still exists; we just seek negativity in different places – in ones like these: 

➡️ The news, and its never-ending pessimism – people wouldn’t watch it otherwise. I mean, we’ve all heard the expression, ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’

➡️ Gossip magazines – where we collectively dish on the downfalls of others as a way to make us feel better about ourselves.

➡️ Focusing on negative comments that come from our friends or coworkers.

All this negativity ends up impacting your well-being though, because when you’re focused on the negative, your level of fulfillment, joy, and self-satisfaction tanks. You may feel depressed, hopeless, or helpless – which can end up leading to anxiety, highlighting the importance to shift your focus.

I know that I had plenty of those moments where I felt both hopeless and helpless when I spent too much time watching the news.

And when you’re in that state, guess what? You draw more of that negative energy to you – creating a never-ending loop that only serves to validate the perception that you have no agency over your life, emphasizing the need to shift your focus. 😧


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

But never fear! There are ways to overcome this bias.

Here are a few ideas:

♡ Starting a meditation practice will help you tune into your thought patterns more closely and become more aware of when you’re focusing on the negative. You can then interrupt your thought pattern by saying to yourself, “Okay Bridget, enough is enough. Let’s find something positive to think about.”

♡ Search for the good. This is why I love celebrating Magenta Moments – those small moments of good happening all around you that go unnoticed unless you really look for them. When you seek out all the good happening around you – whether it’s someone holding a door open for you, a warm smile from the barista at your local coffee shop, or a cute baby giggling at the next table – you’ll start noticing that you are, in fact, surrounded by beauty, love, and joy.

Go for a walk or have a solo dance party. Moving your body will help to move the negative energy through you and lift your spirits.

Practice gratitude. When you consciously choose to take stock of those things you are grateful for, and really drop in and feel them in your body, you can’t help but begin to shift your mindset in a positive direction.

You may be wired to look for what’s negative, but you have agency over your thoughts, even during midlife crises in women. A little gratitude – combined with a mindful intention to look for the positive – will go a long way towards countering that bias, underscoring the importance to shift your focus.



Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Click on my calendar link to sign up for a FREE 45-minute Pathway to Purpose Breakthrough Session now.


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