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Embracing dark moods good for mental health, says study

A new study has revealed that people who resist their negative emotions are more likely to experience stress while those who embrace their darker moods feel better


By   |  Updated On : August 13, 2017 09:32 PM

Los Angeles :  

A new study has revealed that people who resist their negative emotions are more likely to experience stress while those who embrace their darker moods feel better "We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health," said Iris Mauss, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the US.

Researchers tested the link between emotional acceptanceand psychological health in more than 1,300 adults. The result shows that people who avoid theirdarkest emotions or judge them harshly can end upfeeling more psychologically stressed. On the other side those who generally allow such bleakfeelings as sadness, disappointment, and resentment to runtheir course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months, researchers said.

"It turns out that how we approach our own negativeemotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being," said Brett Ford, assistant professor at University ofToronto in Canada. "People who accept these emotions without judging ortrying to change them are able to cope with their stress moresuccessfully," Ford said. Researchers conducted three separate studies on variousgroups both in the lab and online and factored in age, gender, socio-economic status and other demographic variables.

In the first study, more than 1,000 participants filledout surveys rating how strongly they agreed with suchstatements as "I tell myself I should not be feeling the waythat I am feeling." Researchers found that those who, as a rule, did not feel bad about their negative emotions showed higher levels of well-being than their less accepting peers.

In the second study, more than 150 participants were tasked with delivering a three-minute videotaped speech to apanel of judges as part of a mock job application, toutingtheir communication skills, and other relevant qualifications.

They were given two minutes to prepare. After completing the task, participants rated theiremotions about the ordeal. Researchers found that the groupthat typically avoids negative feelings reported more distressthan their more accepting peers. The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 

First Published: Sunday, August 13, 2017 09:25 PM


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