The Good Part Of Feeling Bad

Yes, it’s better to feel good than it is to feel bad, but if you do feel bad, say researchers at UC Berkeley, it can help to embrace the dark mood. A UC Berkeley news release reports that researchers at the school are convinced that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which, they say, adds up to better psychological health. The researchers, who explored the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Denver, Co., metropolitan area, found that┬ápeople who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed. By contrast, those who let bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months. In one part of the study, more than 200 people were asked to write about their most taxing experiences over a two-week period. When surveyed about their psychological health six months later, those who typically avoided negative emotions reported more mood disorder symptoms than their nonjudgmental peers.

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