Make Happiness Your New New Year’s Eve Tradition

Make Happiness Your New New Year’s Eve Tradition

At this time of year there are all sorts of dates and traditions.

Depending on your religious beliefs or even the calendar you follow, expectations abound regarding what we should or shouldn’t do and think and more.

That’s all well and good … unless it’s not.

If these traditions are working for you then great; but if they’re not …

via Psychology Today by Daniel Fryer


  • People have a tendency to focus on the negative and then make decisions based on that information.
  • The so-called negativity bias was once a helpful survival strategy but it’s not needed as much in modern times.
  • With regular training, you can overcome your negativity bias; keeping a happiness jar is one such method.
  • A happiness jar is a container in which you put a daily note of gratitude or positivity and those notes can be reflected on at regular intervals.

As each year comes to an end, it’s easy to reflect on what a horrible time you’ve had of things and then wish and hope for a better year to come. In fact, I have a family member who says (every New Year’s Eve, without fail), “Happy New Year, let’s hope it’s better than the last one, eh?”

And it’s not without good reason that they say it. All human beings are genetically predisposed to focus on the negative. In fact, research has shown that not only do we pay more attention to negative events than positive ones, but we also learn more from negative outcomes than positive experiences and make more of our decisions based on negative information than we do on more positive results. This is known as ‘negativity bias’ and is an ongoing topic for study. 1

Go back a few thousand years and keeping a watchful eye on all the bad things that were happening and could happen and then making decisions based on that information was an excellent survival strategy. But it’s not needed so much these days.

Even on the worst of days, good things really do happen, but with that tendency to focus on the negative, we can quickly forget that they did. Extrapolate that over the course of a week then it was no wonder that, pre-COVID, people were offloading what a stressful five days they’d just had on Friday evenings in bars and restaurants the world over.

Given that we are two years into the pandemic (and that living under its cosh in 2021 has seemed extra exhausting for everyone) and then couple that with our tendency to focus on the negative, and it becomes all too easy to lose both hope and optimism (two key components of resilience and elements you don’t want absent from any good new year shindig). However, you can train yourself to overcome your negativity bias.

This is where the happiness jar comes in…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE