We live in a world that rewards smiles and encourages us to be eternally positive in the face of challenges. Although being happy has its benefits, scientific research shows that you can actually gain a lot from being in a bad mood as well. Being human means we’re going to experience ups and downs throughout our lifetime, and it turns out that the lows we go through can do us some serious good in the long run.
Studies show that being in a bad mood improves your memory, makes you more creative, and motivates you.
In fact, being happy all the time might mean that you’re stuck in your comfort zone, where you’re in a “less detailed and attentive processing style.”
Some studies even show that being in a bad mood will help you make more sound judgments about the people around you. You’re more attentive, which means you’re more likely to tell when someone is trying to deceive you. You simply process details more effectively. Feeling temporarily down in the dumps can also help you treat others more fairly and act less on bias.
Finally, being in a bad mood helps you focus better on the task at hand, ultimately making you more productive.
If you find yourself suffering from long-term depressive symptoms, though, that’s a different story. These psychological benefits only come from a bad mood that soon goes away. So if that sounds familiar, rejoice, because there’s no need to chase after the kind of happiness that lasts forever. Embrace the emotional roller coaster ride.