What Good Are Positive Emotions?
Research explains how they don’t just feel good but are good for us.
Until recently, empirical psychology focused predominantly on the role that emotions like fear, sadness, and disgust play in our lives. Since these emotions are reactions to negative aspects of our environment they are often referred to as “negative emotions.”
These emotions are incredibly important, and each plays a protective role in our lives. For example, fear alerts us to danger and causes us to flee; sadness encourages us to withdraw and reflect amid loss; and disgust helps rid us of contamination by causing us to spit out potentially poisonous things.
Each of these emotions cause us to act in a specific way and has played an important role in our survival. They narrow our attention and make it possible for us to act swiftly and effectively in life-threatening situations.
Imagine a car barreling through a red light headed straight for you as you’re crossing the street. No time to think and no need to: We are on red alert, our fear at a high, and we immediately sprint out of the way to safety.
Thank goodness for these automatic reactions that can help keep us safe. Individuals with the highest sensitivity to these emotions reacted the quickest and were most likely to survive and pass along their genes to future generations. We can understand why we are so tuned to these so-called “negative emotions” and so good at responding to them. We also understand their importance–our survival.
So what good are “positive” emotions, if they're not for survival?
... Read more via the full & original article HERE >
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