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The other side of emotional distress

The other side of emotional distress

Traditionally the psychology He has devoted much effort to studying the negative and pathological aspects of the human being (anxiety, stress, depression, etc.), often neglecting the study of more positive aspects such as creativity, emotional intelligence, humor , wisdom, happiness, etc. Fortunately, new avenues of study have been created, such as the Positive Psychology, which investigates the bases of psychological well-being and happiness, as well as human strengths and virtues. Based on this knowledge and the professional experiences of many psychologists, philosophers, educators, etc., basic and easy to understand ideas can be extracted that, if we are able to put them into practice, will help us to Relativize our misfortunes and learn to see the half-full glass more times and not so many the half-empty glass.

The benefits of emotional distress

Paradoxically, emotional distress is a human condition, which has also been since the origins of humanity. So the question would be: Isn't emotional suffering inevitable, since we are human beings and have the ability to feel? The answer is no.

We should not confuse painful feelings and emotions with an emotional disorder. The former are inevitable and as real and natural as life itself, they also depend on adverse circumstances. If we live, it is inevitable that we suffer setbacks, setbacks, sadness, losses, frustration, worry, etc. All of them and many more are negative feelings of the human being and against them we can do little, except to claim our right to feel them and to let others know that we feel them.

Recently, the psychologist Joseph P. Forgas, from the University of New South Wales, has been able to find out that when we are sad or irritated certain brain functions appear that improve to better adapt to the situation. Some of these functions are:

Functions of our brain when we are sad or angry

Improve our memory

The bad mood makes us concentrate more and be more attentive to what is happening around us.

We are more rigorous in our judgments

When making a judgment about a social situation or a person, we fall into certain biases that influence our final opinion. People in a good mood tend to be too enthusiastic about their first impressions and don't pay attention to the rest of the information they can get.

It makes us less naive

For the same reason that bad mood makes us more precise in our judgments, it makes us more skeptical about the information we receive. Several studies have shown that people in a bad mood or more pessimistic are less likely to believe in urban rumors or legends.

We reject stereotypes

This skepticism that characterizes people who are in a bad mood, is positive in living with other cultures, because it largely eliminates our tendency to be guided by stereotypes.

We are more persevering

Sad or angry people are able to be more persevering in the performance of their tasks and get better results in these, because they are not willing to give up as easily as people who, at that time, are in a better mood.

We have certain advantages in our relationship with others

Although we can instinctively think that people who are in a bad mood are more unpleasant in their dealings with other people, the truth is that they are more careful, educated and attentive in their interpersonal strategies. People in a good mood are usually more direct and assertive in their responses, something that can be positive at times (especially in a negotiation) but has its counterparts: in certain situations your attitude may be too bold.

We are more equitable and more fair

According to various investigations, a positive mood can increase our selfishness, while negative moods make us more equitable in our judgments and, above all, more careful with external norms. Psychologists have found this after subjecting participants to various role plays: oddly enough, people with a worse mood are more respectful of moral standards and are more likely to reach consensus.

We are more persuasive

Moody people are more persuasive and influential than happy people. Since when we are sadder we pay more attention to external information, our capacity to generate empathy grows and, with it, our ability to convince people to accept our point of view.

The so-called emotional disorders, on the other hand, are disabling emotions that get in the way and block our goals in life, that undermine our health and affect our happiness and that of those around us. These emotional disorders such as depression, excessive anxiety, panic, uncontrolled anger, etc., to a large extent (not always) are caused by distorted thoughts, little adjusted to reality, too rigid and, above all, irrational. And from this we can do something, not only can we, we must do it.

We have to think that the cost (not only emotional) of feeling panic, anger, rage, self-pity, etc., is very great at all times. It is a huge effort dedicated to sabotage our well-being and happiness and that of others.