Grit has become something of a buzzword this year, but with good reason: mental toughness has been linked to success in a big way. But what do you do when a negative event threatens to derail your thinking? Counterintuitively, you might try focusing on it.
According to a study published in Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, repeatedly thinking about a negative event might reduce its power over you. Psychologist use a version of something called the Stroop test to evaluate a subject’s emotional state. A subject is shown words and asked to name the colour the word appears in; in general, it takes people longer to identify the colours of negative words than it does for them to do the same with neutral words. The effect is more pronounced in people with emotional disorders.
Researchers in this study have shown that they can diminish subject’s reaction time by repeating the test, in this case, at least ten times. The subjects also reported bad moods after the first test, but said bad moods diminished by the tenth.
So, if you see a headline that pisses you off, we suggest reading it a few more times, until you’re either numb to the trials of the modern world or too bored to be mad. And whatever you do, avoid the comments section.