This is a great question. In short, it does! As humans, we tend to have a negativity bias. This means that we are more attentive to negative information than positive, and as a result, negative information tends to be remembered more readily. In early days, this negativity bias was beneficial, enabling us to be aware of potential threats and focus our energy on dealing with them. By better remembering negative events, we also were able to avoid getting into similar situations to avoid harm. For example, if you ever accidentally touched a hot pan after baking or cooking, you likely think twice before handling a pan now. In modern times, however, this negativity bias can skew our perceptions and impact our well-being greatly. We tend to remember criticisms more than praise, and think about negative events more than positive ones. This can even lead to our perceptions of the world being skewed, as media and news often can amplify the effects of the negativity bias.
So, it is definitely very helpful to focus on happy times and memories to keep us grounded and realize that the positives are just as plentiful. Moreover, by focusing on happy times and memories, you can strengthen the connection, making it easier to recall these positive moments.
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This work has been funded by Viewpoint Foundation.