Feeling bad about being down can make things worse, says study
Feeling bad about being down can make things worse, says study:- Don’t worry, be unhappy.
It’s okay to feel down when you’re feeling bad, and, in fact, better than forcing yourself to always put on a happy face.
So say researchers who found that the pressure to always think positively and to look on the bright side can make you feel worse in the long run.
“We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said senior author Iris Mauss, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
More study is needed to understand the dynamics, but Mauss theorized that an accepting attitude keeps issues and problems in proportion.
For the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers followed 1,300 adults in three different settings. The focus of each was on the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health.
In one part of the study, 1,000 participants were surveyed and asked to rate their level of agreement with such statements as “I tell myself I shouldn’t be feeling the way that I’m feeling.”
In a second part, subjects’ stress related to delivering a videotaped speech was measured. In the third part, subjects recorded their most trying experiences of a two-week period.
Researchers concluded that people who resisted acknowledging negative emotions were found to be more stressed out than those who were able go with the flow and accept when they weren’t feeling great.
“It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being,” said lead author Brett Ford, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. “People who accept these emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully.”