We all have bad times in our lives. It is the time when we feel nothing is going as per plan. Things seem to have taken a turn so bad that they might affect our complete life. We start to think that nothing will be the same and dive down into a deep ocean of sorrow and sadness. It is surprising to know that our brains are not built that way. Brains are hardwired to get used to stuff. The technique of being happy when things are going south is already with us. However, we are not able to connect those wires in our brains. Let us learn to overcome them.
Our brain tends to overestimate the emotional impact of a future event both in terms of intensity and its duration. This overestimate can be for both positive and negative feelings. Most of us have experienced in our childhood, we feel that if we get our favorite thing, we will be happy forever. However, that feeling lasts only for a while. Eventually, it fades away.
Impact bias of traumatic events
Trauma triggers our psychological immune response. It has been seen that a negative response is generally higher than a positive response. Since the immune response is similar for all the events, the depth and intensity of the traumatic event are mispredicted both in intensity and duration.
How to take care of Impact Bias
There are majorly two ways to take care of impact bias and come out of sorrow quickly. Once we learn this, we can be happy even on our most sad days. Let us understand them one by one.
Focalism is the tendency of our brain to think about just one event and forget the other things that are happening around us. For example, if we lose a job or are demoted at work, we focus completely on the event. We do not realize that 99 percent things of in our life remain the same or maybe better in certain spaces. Hence we have to take an event as one of many and explain to ourselves that it is just a single of many things happening.
Mind diversion is a tactic that you can apply to move from a traumatic event to somethings that make you happy. A famous example that is being used is that if someone loses a leg, he goes lame, but his willpower remains the same. Hence the traumatic event can be off-minded by moving it or doing certain events which one likes such as talking to friends, eating a tasty meal, or watching a football game.
Happiness is a state of mind
There is plenty of room in our daily life to be happy. A life that may seem very sad or disturbed after an event may be nothing if we consider everything that is happening around us. All we need to tell ourselves is that our brain is miscalculating how much a situation is going to make us sad. Also, try and find the nearest thing which went well to make you happy.