Anger, sadness, boredom, anxiety – emotions that feel bad can be useful

Remember the sadness that came with the last time you failed miserably at something? Or the last time you were so anxious about an upcoming event that you couldn’t concentrate for days?

These types of emotions are unpleasant to experience and can even feel overwhelming. People often try to avoid them, suppress them or ignore them. In fact, in psychology experiments, people will pay money to not feel many negative emotions. But recent research is revealing that emotions can be useful, and even negative emotions can bring benefits.

In my emotion science lab at Texas A&M University, we study how emotions like anger and boredom affect people, and we explore ways that these feelings can be beneficial. We share the results so people can learn how to use their emotions to build the lives they want.

Our studies and many others have shown that emotions aren’t uniformly good or bad for people. Instead, different emotions can result in better outcomes in particular types of situations. Emotions seem to function like a Swiss army knife – different emotional tools are helpful in specific situations.

Read the full article from The Conversation

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