With the overwhelming low moods being caused by unfulfilled dreams, lack of friends, loss of loved ones, season changes and breakups; a variety of psychologists and social scientists claim there are some unappreciated mental and social perks to sadness.
Being sad from time to time has purposefully been helping humanity to survive. We usually consider sadness as an unpleasant state, and majority of us device several ways in defeating our low moods by building around us massive happy walls which always come crashing. Surprisingly, the feeling of sadness which often force people to regret their existence in the universe, is full of benefits that are sometime hard to understand. Thanks to scientific studies that confirm negative emotions, like sadness, fear, anger, disgust and mindlessness as part of our survival system.
Joseph Forgas, Psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said:
“Bad moods are seen in our happiness-focused cultures as representing a problem, but we need to be aware that temporary, mild negative feelings have important benefits.”
Note that, sadness is clearly different from depression which I fervently suggest anyone having it should seek for help. This article is solely to let people embrace the feeling of sadness as a force for good instead of evil.
These findings may not be directly the keys to happiness which is desirable and preferable in many situations, but they show that sadness has some adaptive functions that are more advantageous than we think.
Sadness can improve judgment.
Due to biases, people are more likely to make social misjudgment when they are happy. Findings show that negative mood can improve the accuracy of impression formation judgments, by promoting a more detailed and attentive thinking style.
According to a study in which participants were asked to detect deception in videotaped statements of people accused of theft, findings show that participants in sad mood were better than those in happy mood at distinguishing between deceptive and truthful suspects.
Sad moods reduce other common judgmental biases, says Forgas. Such as “the fundamental attribution error,” in which people attribute intentionality to others’ behavior while