Do you have a tendency to be grumpy!? Are you more likely to do a naked bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower than to give your follow co-workers a big, happy smile in the morning?
Are you a negative nelly with no optimism left in your cold, dark soul?
Science to the rescue! It has now been proven by sciencey people that being bad-tempered and pessimistic helps you to earn more, live longer and enjoy a healthier marriage.
What’s that I hear you, cry!? No, I haven’t gone barmy, it’s completely true!
Recent studies conducted on volunteers have shown that pondering the worst has some clear gains. Us grumpy as*es may be fantastic negotiators, more picky decision-makers and cut their risk of having heart problems. Cynincal Sally’s can enjoy more stable marriages, higher earnings and longer lives – though, of course, they’ll antipicate the complete opposite turn of events!
Whereas, studies have shown that having a sunnier disposition can actually lead to great dangers! Wow!
Draining your drive, killing your attention to detail and making you gullible and selfish all at the same time. Being cheery and overly positive is also thought to encourage binge drinking, overeating and unsafe sex.
The backbone of this study, is to remember that all our ‘bad’ emotions, like anger, resentments, negativity and pessimism, isn’t just bad luck or because we haven’t had our coffee yet, it’s all there to protect us, like our brain is our very own cynical bodyguard!
The guy behind this fascinating research, Matthijs Baas from the University of Amsterdam, explains;
“Anger really prepares the body to mobilise resources – it tells you that the situation you’re in is bad and gives you an energetic boost to get you out of it,” says Baas.
“Though it’s thought to have evolved primarily to prepare the body for physical aggression, this physiological response is known to have other benefits, boosting motivation and giving people the gall to take mental risks.”
So, shouting at your overly cheery co-workers in a morning, has it’s advantages, it seems it could motivate you for the whole day! Excellent!
Apparently, venting anger in the right way is absolutely crucial for our well being. As long as it’s expressed in a healthy way (no Lion wrestling in your underpants or anything like that!) then it’s the secret to having a long and healthy life!
However, avoiding your true feelings and repressing your grumpy old sod persona, apparently has more serious consequences…
It’s still not known exactly why this occurs, but other studies have shown that suppressing anger can lead to chronic high blood pressure, leading to high risk of heart attack and chronic long term illnesses.
In fact, those sciencey people are also recognising that excessive grumpiness may be helpful to the full range of social skills, improving language skills, memory and making us more persuasive.
“Negative moods indicate we’re in a new and challenging situation and call for a more attentive, detailed and observant thinking style,”
explains Joseph Forgas, who has been studying how emotions affect our behaviour for nearly forty years.
Whereas, although it’s lovely to be happy and positive all the time, apparently, those cheery emotions bring no such health benefits…in fact, they don’t do anything for us at all! (Except make us extra annoying to deal with in the mornings!)
Happiness apparently carries far more serious dangers. It’s associated with the cuddle hormone, oxytocin, which a some studies have shown reduces our ability to identify threats.
“Happiness functions like a shorthand signal that we’re safe and it’s not necessary to pay too much attention to the environment,” Forgas explains….
“Those in a continuous happy haze may miss important cues. Instead, they may be over-reliant on existing knowledge – leaving them prone to serious errors of judgement.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was sold by the time they said ‘being grumpy pays!’
Now, you have a REAL an excuse to be a miserable b*stard! I don’t want to get too optimistic, but life suddenly seems wonderful!
Oops, better not get too happy!