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Feeling grumpy 'is good for you'

In a bad mood? Don't worry - according to research, it's good for you.

An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly.

In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed.

While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.

'Eeyore days'

The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain "promotes information processing strategies".

He asked volunteers to watch different films and dwell on positive or negative events in their life, designed to put them in either a good or bad mood.

Next he asked them to take part in a series of tasks, including judging the truth of urban myths and providing eyewitness accounts of events.

Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly - they made fewer mistakes and were better communicators.

Professor Forgas said: "Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world."

The study also found that sad people were better at stating their case through written arguments, which Forgas said showed that a "mildly negative mood may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style".

His earlier work shows the weather has a similar impact on us - wet, dreary days sharpened memory, while bright sunny spells make people forgetful.

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According to this study I have fallen very short, for being nasty, negative and fowl mooded is just not something I am very good at! For long anyway!
I would wonder if contrary opinions could be found to this study, I should look it up and see.
I thought there might be something out there. This might shed a tad (little) light on why some folks are grouchy, Hope it helps!

"Why are We Some Days "Grouchy" in the Morning

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

"I don't know what was wrong with me the other day. I woke up in a foul mood. All day I kept going off at everybody." Has this happened to you too when you felt "you got out of the wrong side of the bed?" Being a psychologist, I hear this a lot from people.

Sometimes, it's difficult to put our finger on exact reason that might have made us grouchy that day. We scan the events of the previous night and of that morning and we can't come up with anything that bad that could account for our mood. A friend of mine once asked me, "I didn't fight with my spouse, my boss didn't rake me on the coals, and I didn't spend the whole night worrying about anything. So tell me doc why do I feel like this on some days?" I smiled trying to avoid psychologizing a light conversation and used a Shakespearean instead, "There is a method in his madness. Even when he says there is no reason, there is a reason."

Sleep normally has a restorative function. It repairs the body and the mind. Normally, one should wake up in the morning with a cheerful outlook for the day, relieved of the previous evening's worries and self-doubting. In fact, studies show that a good night's sleep improves mood in healthy individuals.

I believe that the restorative function of sleep is disturbed by negative and toxic thoughts of the wakeful state and by sad or anxious dreams during sleep. The degree to which the thinking and dreaming patterns would interfere with the restorative function of sleep depends on the total emotional health of an individual at a particular time. The effects of sleep on emotionally healthy and overstressed people are different. Take for example our dreams. Dreams have a job to do while we sleep. Dreams should repair our mood and aid our thinking about things we think about during the day. Dreams, sometimes, do problem solving through a different kind of thinking, using pictures and symbols.

The reparative and restorative mechanism of sleeping and dreaming stops working when we are emotionally overloaded. In one study, psychologist Rosalind Cartwright, a sleep researcher, invited mentally healthy participants to her sleep lab and gave them a mood test to determine how they were feeling that evening, "feeling neutral" or "feeling low." In the night, all participants were monitored for their sleep and awakened periodically to describe the content of their dreams. The mood test was administered again when they woke up in the morning. Remember these were all normal healthy individuals.

Cartwright found that participants who were in a neutral mood before going to bed, felt about the same when they woke up in the morning. However, those who went to bed in a bad mood reported feeling much better after a good night's sleep. Their dreams also told an interesting story. The participants whose mood was improved in the morning actually started off their night with more negative dreams. However, as the night progressed, they reported fewer and fewer negative dreams. But, the participants who went to bed in a neutral mood didn't show any change in the content of their dreams.

Perhaps, people who are emotionally healthy and stable can work off their negative moods while sleeping and dreaming during the night, but what about the people who are going through a particularly rough time? Cartwright repeated the experiment this time with people who became depressed after a recent marital separation. She discovered there were two sets of people: one, who dreamed fewer negative dreams as the morning approached and second, who had more and more disturbing dreams just before they rose in the morning.

It seems that if we do not have too much emotional overload, our mood gets regulated overnight and our dreams work as aids to improving our disposition in the morning. However, if there is excessive emotional overloading and our coping resources are overworked, this restorative mechanism may not work adequately.

We can take our cues from our dreams to determine if we are emotionally overloaded and our coping resources are overburdened. With the exception of nightmares, most of the dreams we can remember are the morning dreams. So, how are your morning dreams? In order to feel good in the morning, morning dreams should have a positive, or, at least, neutral ending. If you see disturbing dreams or wake up with a bad mood or headache, more than just once in a while, your personal resources are being overburdened. Do something about it."
I am going to hope that "green tea" will have the same effect, I haven't drank coffee in years, even the smell is too much for me any more! lol
Not sure I could deal with much more change at the moment WendyLynn, but if I thought it would truly change something for the better, chances are, I'd try it out! :)
I may just send for some WendyLynn, Thanks for the suggestion and virtual capucchino (how do you spell that?) shouldn't hurt much, you would have to be correct on that! lol :)
Wendy, I really do not care how you spelled it, I was asking because "I" don't know how to spell it and there were some jokes being made earlier today about spelling. Yes WendyLynn You are communicating perfectly.
I often type so fast that I miss spell half a posting, as usual I meant nothing by it. It was something to reply and I wanted to know was all.....Thanks
Wendy try some of that Arizona Green Tea.
I know for me Quinn, That it has helped me alot to try! I also know that "perky" people are annoying to some, as I have been told and degraded for just that very thing! I think for me, I have lived through so much in this human life that I seize every opportunity to be cheerful and to try and pass that on.
I have learned alot from some people's "crankiness".
I do agree that human life is not always a "bowl of cherries", mine got a little more cheerful when I made the choice to start picking some pits! :)
I think I will stay fat, dumb and happy.

I doubt you are "dumb" Darroll, you don't come across as that! Your weight I wouldn't know, I have never seen you! Your kitty here could loose a pound or two! and happy? Nice way to feel and to be..Whenever humanly possible, I think! :)
I'm not fat, I just had to add that.

I've always been a happy guy Nick, but this study of yours really pisses me off .............




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