Go against the wiring


After the school bell rang, signaling the end of the day, I made my way through the school to the girls volleyball locker room to get ready for practice. I was riding the high of having an uncommonly spectacular day of school; however, the moment I crossed the doorway into the locker room, I could feel the tension and depression in the air. I, apparently, was the only one who’d had a good day.

Walking in, I was greeted by the conversation of some of my teammates that went a little like this: “My day was absolutely terrible! I did horrible on that math test, but it doesn’t matter because the teacher hates me anyway.” To which one of my other teammates replied, “Well at least that was your only test today, I had three! But yeah, the math one was the worst.”

Setting my bag down I turned and was shocked to hear myself say, “Oh yeah same, it was terrible.” Why did I just say that? I actually thought I had done pretty well on that test, and I took pride in knowing how to do all the problems.

So what possessed me to instantly agree with my friends and say something negative that wasn’t even true?

People today are wired to instantly turn to the negative in our lives, given it’s what has the largest impact on how we feel. For some reason that seems to elude us; our brain has been designed to retain negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences for a longer period of time than positive ones. Two-thirds of our amygdalas neurons are used to detect negative while one one-third focus on the positive.

So, we know that our mind has a thing for the negative, but still, the question of why we are wired this way goes unanswered. And unfortunately, I don’t think that anyone has figured out why yet. The science of our brain and emotions is so wonderfully complex that even though science is advancing in leaps and bounds, it may be quite a time before we know why we are made this way.

Research at MSU has shown that people are either positive or negative thinkers, meaning that people are either inherently positive or negative. Which kinda sucks for the negative people, doesn’t it? But not to fear, studies have also shown that by consciously amplifying positive emotions, we can learn to keep negative emotions in check.

Though we don’t know the reason behind society’s inherent negativity, it doesn’t mean we can’t work to change this aspect of the human race. We may be wired to be negative, but we can learn to overcome that and be more positive in our outlook on life. However, it would take all of society trying to make a change for it to work. It would take each person deciding that they won’t let the negativity of others drag them down just so they can fix it. It would take people consciously attempting to connect over the positive instead of the negative to make a change.