Most Moments Are Positive
I’m not sure who to credit with this exercise, because I’ve seen the idea pointed out multiple times. Probably one of the first places I saw it was in Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. The basic idea is that, if we only pay attention, most moments in our lives are actually positive.
We don’t notice this because the negativity bias predisposes us to react much more strongly to negative emotions. So if we get stuck in traffic, we feel a ton of frustration; but if traffic is fine, we hardly notice. We could notice a sense of connection as we talk with a coworker, the pleasure of biting into a good sandwich, or the satisfaction of cleaning up the kitchen – but many of us don’t. We’re surrounded by opportunities to feel positive emotions, but all too often we miss them.
Today my goal is to remind myself to notice these small positive emotions, bring my attention to them, and amplify their impact on my life.