America isn’t in a bad mood. Well, not worse than normal. According to Gallup’s long-running “U.S. Mood” poll, the number of Americans reporting “daily worry and stress without a lot of happiness and enjoyment” hit a four-year high of 13.1% right after the 2016 election before settling back to its usual range of about 9-11%. Which, if you’re one of those 9-11%, is appalling.
Good! Let the anger flow through you! Because as social psychologist Joseph Paul Forgas explains in Quartz, there are psychological benefits to a bad mood.
There are the well-known and long-romanticized effects: Sadness inspires great art, and it helps us appreciate others’ sadness. But Dr. Forgas points out some more quotidian and practical benefits:
- Bad moods improve recall memory.
- While the theory that clinically depressed people have more accurate self-assessments is controversial and limited, a mild bad mood can improve assessments of others.
- People in a bad mood try harder (and perform better) at tough mental tasks.
- Bad moods can make people more concerned with fairness.
So when things are actually bad, consider feeling bad! And then use that feeling for something productive. Like calling your congressperson.
The Best Ways to Make Your Voice Heard About the New Health Care Bill
You probably haven’t heard much about the Senate’s version of the health care bill, because a small …