31/08/2014

What Makes Sad People Sadder

I'm not saying I'm unlucky but I've not found much to make me happy lately. Finally I read a news story that said "Being miserable could be BETTER for your health", I cheered up, and realised I'd just ruined my health. Typical.

The new piece of research has found that making yourself smile when you don't want to can leave you feeling worse. They needed research to find that? We all know that from experience. The boss comes up to talk to you, you fake a smile, they crack a joke that's as funny as ebola testers in Boots, you fake a laugh, they walk away and as you feel your soul die you headbutt the table. Headbutting tables isn't good for your health, it's simple.

The theory is that forcing yourself to wear a smile when you are in a bad mood trains your brain to associate it with sadness instead of joy. The next time something good happens, you smile and it brings back the feelings of misery.

The study was carried out by Anirban Mukhopadhyay, an associate professor of marketing at Hong Kong University Science and Technology, who said you should wait until your unhappiness lifts before attempting a grin, adding: "Making people who are feeling bad smile could backfire and make them feel worse, because they may interpret smiling as trying to become happy."

In that case you have to feel sorry for Pharrell Williams. He'll be on stage saying he's "Happy" night after night even when he doesn't feel like it. He'll end up the most miserable git going. And as for Supernaturals, by the end of one rendition of Smile the rate of people throwing themselves off buildings has doubled.

It's good to know that faking a smile is bad for you. I can stop doing it on health grounds. The next time someone shows me pictures of their new baby I can sit there stony faced and say it's on doctor's orders.

I wonder if faking other expressions has a similar affect. If I pretend to not laugh when I see someone fall over will I link not laughing with finding something funny? And in the future whenever I'm not laughing I can't help but laugh?

Should woman stop faking orgasms over the risk that they may link orgasms to not having orgasms and before long they won't know if they're coming or going?

Either way I am pleased to read some good news for negative people like me. The last time I read something like this it was a real piece of research that said pessimists live longer than optimists. And I thought, "Knowing my luck I'll probably become an optimists before long."

>Read the source story
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