How Pain’s Negative Attention Hurts and What to Do About it
Do you want to get someone’s attention?
Pain will do it.
There’s nothing like danger to wake up the human mind and body.
Showing The Pain
If you need an example, just look at almost any advertisement or news bite from a politician. It usually goes like this… “something precious and safe is being threatened by the political opponent. You can blame the “ugly-name-of-the-fearful-group”. And oh, by the way, you can trust us and only us to make it all better.”
Millions of years of evolution have conditioned us for this pain avoidance, and boy did evolution do a good job. Getting someone’s attention with a pain point works extremely well.
Too Much Pain
The problem with the danger-avoidance system is that it’s overdoing its job. It’s working so well that anxiety levels are higher than ever. Suicide rates are skyrocketing. Loneliness and isolation are increasing.
All this, despite statistics showing us that crimes of violence are lower both domestically and globally.
This is the Pain Story
By the way. Did you see what I did just there?
I presented a problem (pain), then I gave you an example of how it’s real (in politics), and how it’s only getting worse (more pain examples).
Now my job as a helpful guide is to show you a better way.
As storytellers and marketers, we need to understand how humans work so we can indeed help each other get better.
Finding a Better Way
Unlike the politician who uses blame of others to sell his point of view, we can use solutions that bring positive change to all sides.
For example, considerer the work of neuroscientist, Rick Hanson. His “Positive neuroplasticity” encourages us to change our brains on a regular basis, drip by drip.
By focusing on the good points of life for just 15 seconds we can develop new more positive brain pathways that counteract more negative emotions.
Also, by consciously seeking out these things that bring us feelings of joy and beauty we counteract the more negative danger-avoiding systems within us.
By being grateful at the end of each day for these “good points”, we gain better sleep, better emotions and better results for the next day and every day.