If you've ever found yourself trapped in a seemingly endless loop of negative thinking, or wondered why you fixate on a stray rude comment but easily forget compliments, you may have a culprit to blame: evolution.
According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and New York Times best-selling author, humans are evolutionarily wired with a negativity bias. Our minds naturally focus on the bad and discard the good. It was much more important for our ancestors to avoid threats than to collect rewards: An individual who successfully avoided a threat would wake up the next morning and have another opportunity to collect a reward, but an individual who didn't avoid the threat would have no such opportunity.
Thus, the human brain evolved to focus on threats. Millennials are no stranger to stress and depression, especially when it's work related-a recent study reported that around 20 percent of Millennials sought out help or advice in the workplace for depression-a higher percentage than any other generation. According to the Status of Women in the States report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Millennial women ages 18-34 report an average of 4.9 days of poor mental health per month, while Millennial men report an average of 3.6 poor mental health days. Our brains are highly attuned to stress, even when such stress is of the mundane variety and not at all life threatening. ...[Continue reading on attn:]