When thinking about mental health, many automatically think of the negative aspects of mental health. The association of “mental health” with serious mental health issues is commonly made and turns many people away from seeking help. Undeniably, there are many serious mental health disorders but there are also some empowering and enhancing aspects of the field that can knowingly make a positive impact on one’s life.
The human thought process has a built-in mechanism called the negative bias. This psychological occurrence helped our early ancestors survive. Negative events have a stronger imprint on our brain and memory than do positive events. For our ancestors, the easy recall of negative events diminished the chances they would repeat and therefore increased their chances for survival. Our brain instinctually focuses and settles on the negative events. The same is true for our thoughts. They too are naturally drawn to negativity. Simply put, we tend to recall criticism over praise, traumatic events over positive ones, and negative thoughts over positive ones.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that negative bias can impact your mental health. Focusing on past hurtful experiences can make it difficult to maintain a hopeful and positive outlook. Negative bias can influence behavior, everyday decisions, and sometimes relationships.
How do we break that pattern of negative influence? What can we do to alter the programming that we have had for so much of our lives? The answer involves self-awareness and practicing our ability to recognize that negative tone in our thoughts about ourselves and our surroundings.
There are a few things you can do to lessen the impact of the negative bias and bring conscious attention to the good:
1. Recognize negative self-talk. (i.e., Self-criticism, self-defeating and limiting
2. Minimize and ultimately stop the negative self-talk.
3. Embrace the positive moments.
4. Redirect your negative mind by participating in an activity that is joyous to you (listening to music, exercising, or reading a good book).
Incorporating these suggestions may be difficult at first. Years and years of programming develop a pattern of automatic responses that are not easily broken. Recognizing the negative bias, even if it is after the fact, creates an awareness that helps diminish it.
The positive aspects of mental health can serve to improve and empower the individual. Fine-tuning our thought process and minimizing negative bias is just one way it can have a profound impact on our lives.
OVER TO YOU:
End your day by recalling an experience that made you smile.
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#CommUNITY iNFORMATION DURING COVID-19:
Following is a list of community services that need assistance. We would like to use our platform to share it with our friends and family in case you have the ability to help. We will continue listing these in our weekly newsletter and social media platforms as they become available to us.
Feeding the Front Lines Miami
During the COVID-19 Crisis, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami has been vigilant in making sure our families have what they need.
Here are the FACTS. BBBS Miami has committed to help our families by providing:
Access to Virtual Trainings
Connection via virtual programming and ongoing access to BBBS staff.
Transportation: Delivery of food and basic household supplies
Support: Social and emotional support through Mentoring
Help them continue to provide these items and services to our families during their time of need. You can help by texting BIG20 to 243725 to donate any amount or visit: www.bbbsmiami.org/connected
Gesu Catholic Church needs our help! Several days a week, the soup kitchen at Gesu feeds over 80 local senior citizens and countless homeless. These individuals rely on Gesu for warm meals. Due to COVID-19 and the suspension of masses at Gesu, donations, which are used in part to pay for the warm meals.
You can donate here – https://www.gofundme.com/f/gesu-catholic-church?utm_source=whatsappvisit&utm_medium=chat&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
The Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa are collecting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The Missionaries need our support to help people in homeless situations during this crisis. You can drop off the sandwiches at 724 NW 17 St. Miami, FL 33136. Please note hours: Every day until noon except Thursday. They are closed on Thursdays.
Touching Miami with Love has an urgent request for bikes for the parents in their Overtown and Homestead programs. These parents have to go to work but do not want to take public transportation because of Covid-19. They will take adult OR teen/kid bikes because “they are not too proud to ride a kids bike to get them where they need to go”. If you have a bike to donate, please contact them. firstname.lastname@example.org