Making Lasting Change | 4 of 5

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Can you remember the last headline that grabbed your attention?

Psychologists coined the term “negativity bias” to describe humanity’s collective hunger to hear and remember bad news.

Cognitive scientist Tom Stafford explained that while we may think we prefer good news, the vast majority of people “choose stories with a negative tone – corruption, set-backs, hypocrisy and so on – rather than neutral or positive stories.” This explains why the vast majority of news headlines are negative – and even tragic.

And we become what we consume. If our information diet is primarily negative, the rational, internal byproduct will be anxiety, anger, fear, scarcity, and an us-versus-them lens on life.

At Second Breath, we encourage community members to dare to imagine a friendly Universe. There is certainly a lot of bad news out there, but there’s also an abundance of good news. We may not be as biologically predisposed to look for it, but there is beauty, compassion, and love all around and within you.

Recent research on change reveals that if we want to experience genuine and lasting change in our lives, we must choose to focus on the positive and ignore our default impulse for negativity.

St. Paul intuited this 2000 years ago encouraging us, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).

This week, I hope that when you look for the good, you start to see it everywhere.


This week’s featured practice is part 4 of our 5-part series titled Making Lasting Change. You are invited to experience real change by focusing on the beauty that’s all around and within.

You can find the “Making Lasting Change” Series Spotlight at the bottom of the Second Breath app home screen.


(To try out this week’s Featured Practice, visit the Second Breath app on your iPhone or on your Android and find the “Practice of the Week” on the home screen.) 

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The fact is we are also surrounded by wonder, blue sky, blue birds, miracles and there are small acts of kindness and compassion all around. We are immersed in beauty and, in the words of Gerard Manly Hopkins, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”