Since the dawn of time, human survival has depended on how well we could avoid danger. This is only one theory of why human brains are set up with a “negative bias.” negative bias is when negative events, emotions, or thoughts are equal in intensity to positive ones but have a bigger effect on our state of mind. Scientific studies have concluded that in our mind, five positive things equal one negative.
To remain positive, scientists actively encourage staying in a state of gratitude. One man, John Kralik, took the challenge to turn his life around by becoming more grateful.
On New year’s Eve in 2008, Kralik was alone and evaluating all that had gone wrong in his life. He knew he had to make a change. To use up some old stationery, he decided to write 365 thank-you notes, one each day for a year.
Through this experience, Kralik realized that what he did mattered. He saw that his thank-you notes affected people. He said, “by showing others how their lives had meaning in mine, I found them reflecting back to me that my life had meaning in theirs.” More than anything, he began to focus on what he had, instead of what he did not. Now, instead of just sending thank-you notes, he receives them!