Scientists have often made the case that we humans are born with a negative bias. Often people ask me whether this is an Irish thing? It’s actually a human thing. As a species we have survived because of this bias. We sought out all other threats and eradicated them. That’s why we remain conquerors of the earth. From birth, we quickly learn how to defend, to anticipate threat, to have what others have, or to have even more. We learn to compete and win. We learn how to fight or flight. It’s as if we have been programmed.
However, rarely as children were we taught how to calm ourselves down. Within our families or through the many years spent at school, most of us were never thought how to be rational thinkers. We never learned how our thoughts colour our moods. Or how sometimes we can think thoughts that make us feel worse than we really should feel about things. Or how we can worry too much about things that are never going to happen. Or how we can get the wrong end of the stick.
It is a pity that children are not taught by parents from the early on how to became aware of how they feel. Many people grow up without a language or a vocabulary for naming or expressing their emotions. Many unnecessary rows take place. People often stay angry for too long.
Some stress is inevitable. But we would have a lot less of the unnecessary stress if we were taught how to be neutral, objective, logical and fair-minded. A helpful starting point would to become better at asking questions, seeking the evidence before we decide and consulting with lots of people before we make big decisions. Often it is not the life event that is critical but even more so the meaning that we attach to it. The same events do not affect people in the same way because we can think differently about the same things.
(C) Shane Martin
TWO PUBLIC SHOWS:TICKETS SELLING FAST
CASTLEBLAYNEY: Saturday May 25th 8pm Iontas Theatre
Tickets €20 now on sale on this link
SLIGO: Saturday June 8th 8pm
Hawk’s Well Theatre Tickets €20 (plus €1 renovation fee) now on sale on this link