Here’s why a bad mood can actually be good for you

According to a U.S. Mood poll, 9-11 percent of people surveyed reported having “daily worry and stress without a lot of happiness and enjoyment.” This Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index is a long-standing poll that has been tracking the daily percentages of Americans’ moods for years. Not surprisingly, the percentage of people in bad moods hit a four-year high of 13 percent around the time of election, but it crept back down to the normal 9-11 percent range shorty afterwards.

But still, 9-11 percent of people report on a daily basis that they’re unhappy. That’s not cool, right?

Well, there might be positive news for those of you who are currently experiencing a bad mood—those doldrums might actually be good for you.

Growing evidence shows that negative moods, such as sadness or anger, actually have psychological benefits. Recent scientific experiments continue to prove these findings. Joseph Paul Forgas, a professor of psychology at the University of New South Wales, explains why being in a bad or sad mood comes with more than a few benefits:

You May Have A Better Memory

One study, conducted on people who were in a weather-induced negative mood, showed that that the group had improved memory accuracy. In another example, three experiments showed that people who were in a bad mood also had an easier time accurately recalling recent past events.

Researchers believe that eyewitness memories are improved because bad moods can reduce the effects of various distractions, such as “irrelevant, false or misleading information.”

You Could Experience More Motivation

One experiment had both happy and sad participants perform a difficult mental test, and it showed that those who were in a bad mood actually tried harder. They spent more time on the task assigned, attempted more questions and even produced more correct answers.

You May Be Able To Communicate More Efficiently

When in a bad mood, people tend to become more attentive and experience a more detailed thinking style, which in turn results in improved communication.

You Play Fairly

Two experiments associated with bad moods showed that people who were experiencing a mild bad mood paid greater attention to social expectations and were less selfish.

Psychologists have long been studying feelings, moods and our behaviors because of them. While no one really wants to be in a bad mood, they do have a useful role. Feelings of negativity, which include emotions pertaining to fear, shame, anger or disgust, are helpful in allowing us to recognize, overcome or even avoid threatening or dangerous situations.

So next time you find yourself in a bad mood, know that not only is it a part of life, but it might even come with the unexpected benefits. Yes, we’re just trying to look on the bright side.

[h/t: lifehacker]