Thursday, January 7, 2016

Accept the bad mood to avoid emotional suffering

emotional suffering

In general, to be in a bad mood isn’t funny, nor is it good for our mental and emotional health. People who experience negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and sadness, often have a poorer social life and a worse long-term health. This indicates that the negative moods end up presenting an high bill to pay.

But now a new study realized by researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University, reveals that negative moods don’t affect everyone in the same way. In fact, those who take it as an experience that adds value and find them a meaning, can also take advantage of this situation. And, once again, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

Make the best of a bad lot: All depends on the attitude

These psychologists interviewed 365 people to analyze their attitudes toward the negative and positive emotions as well as to assess their mental and physical health. The researchers also monitored the moods of the participants for a period of three weeks, using their smartphones.

Six times a day, for nine days, each person should indicate how well they felt at that time, indicating their moods, from joy and excitement to anger and disappointment. Thus psychologists established a profile of the usual mood of each person, establishing a link to their mental and physical health.

They found that the most important thing was not the mood itself but the attitude that everyone had in front of these “negative” emotions. Who expressed negative attitudes toward moodiness paid a high price: the more negative moods indicated the worse was their physical and emotional health. However, those people who had a more positive attitude toward moodiness didn’t show these problems.

How can we interpret these results? Is it really so important the attitude?

These psychologists think that recognizing the value and the meaning of moods and negative emotions helps us controlling them. In practice, understanding them without a negative view allows us to smooth their impact, reducing both, their intensity and duration.

Accept and understand: The keys to avoid damage caused by negative emotions

Surely, no one wants to be in a bad mood, and it would be much better to enhance always positive moods. However, it is impossible not to experience negative modos sometime, so the only way is to learn to deal with these the best possible way.

This means we must not understand the “negative” emotions as our enemies, we should simply listen to the message they have to convey. When we accept those emotions we can get rid of them faster and recover our emotional balance.

In fact, sometimes anger can help use develop responsability and sadness can be so touching to help us getting closer to others. Every emotion has a reason to be, but if you don’t understand it and keep struggling against it, you’ll only generate frustration and tension, feelings that can become more harmful than the emotion itself.

Luong, G., et. Al. (2015) When Bad Moods May Not Be So Bad: Valuing Negative Affect Is Associated With Weakened Affect–Health Links. Emotion.


Keep feeding your neurons

Accept the bad mood to avoid emotional suffering
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

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