Good things happen when people are in good moods. People show courtesy and respect for one another by holding doors open or helping out those in need when they are in happy moods. Vice versa, when we are in bad moods, we tend to stay isolated from others and we are less likely to treat others with respect or kindness. It is safe to say that for most people, being in a good mood makes us productive and being in a bad mood makes us miserable.
Psychologist Joseph Forgas at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia argues that there is a mental and social upside to occasionally being in a bad mood. He claims that there are actually important benefits to bad moods. As evidence has revealed that being upset every now and then helps to improve important types of thinking and behavior in people. Positive and negative moods provoke thinking styles suited to either nonthreatening or troubling situations. In one investigation, it was found that people in sad moods have an advantage remembering details of unusual witnessed events. People in sad moods have also been more eager to work on demanding tasks and can communicate more persuasively. They are often times more fair to others than people in happier moods.
In other words, emotion theorists and psychologists like Joseph Forgas agree that negative moods direct attention to tasks at hand and promote analytical thinking whereas positive moods broaden attentions and prompt original thinking. What this all means in my opinion is that perhaps people should rethink the stigma surrounding bad moods. While it feels great to be happy, it is okay to get a little upset sometimes, especially when the situation calls for it. As crazy as this may sound, there are benefits in being happy just as there are benefits in being unhappy.
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By Amanda Okpoebo