#36: How to overcome the negativity bias

How to overcome the negativity bias: Episode Notes

Negativity Bias is a term that refers to our tendency to focus on negative experiences more than on positive ones.
Such inclination is the result of our natural evolution as human beings, given that our species has managed to survive thanks to the ability to quickly detect dangers and threats.

In this episode of the Stepsero podcast, we discuss some implications of the negativity bias, as well as a few ways to keep it under control. 

Below are some highlights:

  • About 60 to 70% of thoughts occurring in the untrained mind are of a negative nature. Thanks to the plasticity of our brain however, it is possible to train our mind and keep the negativity bias in check.

  • Positive experiences take about 12 seconds to sink in our memory, which is much longer compared to negative ones. This partly explains why it seems easier to focus on challenging situations.

  • While it is in our nature to escape negativity by seeking distractions, it is important that we try and consciously assess our feelings, instead. Rejecting our negative thoughts may eventually make them stronger, therefore resulting in a counterproductive effort on our end.

  • We need to bring compassionate acceptance to our negative experiences, rather than wanting them to be different. When we can relax into them, they are likely to change. In this regard, we could start asking ourselves: Which areas of our body are being affected by our thoughts, and  how does it make us feel to experience them?

  • Compassion is based on the willingness to engage with our own experiences and accept them for what they are. Leaders who bring compassion to both themselves and their staff are more likely to establish authentic, strong bonds at work.

Our Guest: Karen Liebenguth

Karen Liebenguth Profile Photo

Karen Liebenguth is an accredited mindfulness teacher and supervisor, a certified coach, mentor and facilitator.
Karen works with individuals, groups and teams and offers tailored mindfulness and coaching programs for the workplace as well as corporate retreats days in nature.
She set up Green Space Coaching and Mindfulness in 2008 to foster personal and professional development, self-leadership and mental resilience. 

Karen is a member of the Association of Coaching and an accredited and associate mindfulness trainer with Breathworks. She follows the Good Practice Guidelines set out by the Association for Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA)

Karen has worked with clients such as Kew Gardens, Deloitte, GAMA Healthcare, The Royal Town Planning Institute,  Trades Union Congress, Working Well Trust, The City Centre (Corporation of London), NHS Trust London, Collinson, Chobham Academy and others. Karen offers a free initial coaching / mindfulness conversation. Contact her to arrange your complementary session.


Karen Liebenguth Linkedin profile

Green Space Coaching – website

To reach out to Karen: karen@greenspacecoaching.com