Joe Forgas, a prominent psychologist, has spent several years studying one of the most unwanted emotions of human nature – sadness. In his many years of study, you wouldn’t believe that this has not made him depressed or gloomy at any rate. He actually found something very surprising. He discovered that there are several good things that can be obtained from sadness.

First, let us define sadness. Sadness is an emotional pain associated with the feeling of despair, helplessness and sorrow. It is felt when a person undergoes a lowly moment in his life.

In the many times that we have experienced sadness, you wouldn’t think that you can actually derive positive results from it. Being sad can improve your thinking and motivation.

Here are some benefits you can get from sadness:

Reduced gullibility. People who experienced sadness are more likely to become smart and not easy to fool. This is because they have a good grip of the realities of life. They will question implausible acts of goodness and make better judgments of other people’s actions.

Motivational benefits. People who have gone through sadness are more likely to be unrelenting in the face of difficulties. This is because they know that in sadness, they are alone. Other people can empathize and help make them feel better, but it is only when they motivate themselves that they can overcome the sadness. They will not let the idea of sadness consume them, but rather build their strength and confidence.

Increased fairness. Psychologist Forgas performed an experiment which determined that people in a sad moon are more likely to become unbiased. They are more reasonable and open-minded because they know how to consider other people’s feelings. They know how it felt like being uncared for, so they tend to become the opposite.

Increased politeness. Compared to people who have just seen a happy moment in their lives, people who have gone through sadness have a tendency to become more polite. They recognize the need for understanding and courtesy of sad people so they avoid arrogance. Happy people are often self-centered while sad people are often more considerate of others.

From all his research, Forgas made the conclusion that “These findings stand in stark contrast with the unilateral emphasis on the benefits of positive affect in the recent literature as well as in popular culture. It is now increasingly recognized that positive effect, despite some advantages, is not universally desirable.”

However, Forgas notes that these findings have important qualifications. One important factor is that these findings involve everyday mild and negative moods. These do not apply to intense, long term feelings of sadness such as depression.
Forgas’s research also increases supporting ideas to the many studies conducted which emphasize that negative as well as positive moods and emotions all serve useful functions to humans. As such, Forgas notes, it can be self-defeating to spend one’s time in the unrelenting pursuit of giddy levels of euphoria.

So the next time you find yourself feeling sad, you might want to change your perspective. Instead of beating yourself up and running into the medicine cabinet for a dose of happiness, try to look at the good things that your sadness can give you.

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