As we evolved over millions of years, eating and getting eaten, it was a lot more important for our survival to react and remember bad and painful experiences than it was for us to notice how beautiful life was. Noticing a gorgeous sunset was not as important as detecting the predator in the bush.
At the end of the day, people are hard wired to remember the one thing that didn’t go right and forget all the things that didn’t go wrong. He says that “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.” This is because Nature is only concerned with passing on our genes. If we suffer in the process, it is beside the point to Her. As long as we survive long enough for this purpose.
But you can take control and actively soak in the good things that bring you happiness. This doesn’t mean you go around painting the world pink and tossing rose petals. It is an inner process of lifting your own energy by actively noticing and soaking in the good experiences, kind and compassionate people, cute baby animals, and gorgeous scenery.
When you concentrate on absorbing the good, it actually starts changing the structure of your brain. It will no longer immediately hurl itself towards the negative. As Hanson says, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” The more you get your neurons firing about positive events and experiences, the more they’ll be wiring positive neural structures.
So sit and watch something that you really love, listen to beautiful music, do something creative and really submerge yourself in it. Don’t just gloss over it and go on to the next experience. Let it sink in so you can make the changes. And that is how to avoid being negative, cynical, and jaded.