A new study concludes that for some people, embracing negative feelings may be one of the most powerful ways to feel happier overall.
Researchers surveyed more than 2,300 college-age students in eight countries and many students said they wanted to feel more pleasant emotions, like love and empathy, than they felt on a regular basis. However, 11 percent wanted to feel fewer pleasant emotions, and 10 percent wanted to feel more unpleasant emotions, like anger and hatred. Overall, study participants who actually felt the emotions they desired reported greater life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms.
“Wanting to be happy or joyful all the time is not very realistic,” Tamir told HuffPost. “Never wanting to feel sadness or anger or fear is not realistic.”
If we are able to accept and even welcome the emotions that we have, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, we are likely to be happier and more satisfied.
Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General