It starts with becoming aware of it. Similar to meditation, it’s the practice of noticing when these negative perceptions arise.
Achor recommends making a daily list of good things that happened to you. Couldn’t sound fluffier, right? Science disagrees. This trains your brain to scan for positivity and helps your brain notice it. It’s the same logic as keeping a gratitude journal. It’s human nature to put more weight on the negative aspects of life than the positive ones (it’s this little thing called negativity bias), so physically writing out the good things you experience will bring more attention to them, and you’ll come to realize that there are more positives than you think.
Like we said earlier, our brains can only store so much information at once so, if you occupy your mind with pleasant thoughts, you literally won’t have space to think about your roommate’s annoying chewing. Hack!
Writing down some positives from your day really works and really lasts. After practicing this for just one week, a study found that people were less depressed at the 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-ups. People got so used to scanning the world for good that they continued to do it even after stopping the exercise. It doesn’t need to be anything grandiose. As they say, it’s the little things that count: the weather being nice, catching up with a friend, or having your favourite meal for dinner. Alternatively, there’s also evidence to back up that writing for 20 minutes, 3x/week about a positive experience can help us too.