Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good News or the Bad News First? Why Taking the Hit Early Leads to Happiness

When it comes to living with depression, and you have a choice of taking good news or bad news first, research says to grab the bad news first. When both good and bad things happen, taking the pain so you can recover from it and the pleasure afterwards so you can savor it, leads to greater happiness.
Studies in happiness also show that happy people use positive social events, like meeting up with a close friend or talking with a cherished loved one after a bad experience.

Depressed individuals, however, tend to use positive monetary events like shopping or gambling as buffers against negative events, rather than social ones.

This study offers great insight into the everyday experience of how we choose to order painful and pleasurable experiences. For depressed people, take the bad first, then the good second, and make sure you surround yourself socially with others. This three-fold process will help you find greater well-being.

Resource: Sul, S.; Kim, J. & Choi, I. (2012). Subjective well-being and hedonic editing: How happy people maximize joint outcomes of loss and gain. Journal of Happiness Studies, DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9379-6



Deb said...

What if those "happy" people go through a depressed stage? I'm sure one time or another they're going to slip into a temporary isolation period. It's normal. Especially for me, (and others alike) who have lost someone very dear to them, grieving or being "depressed" can mean taking different methods than others. At least, that's what I believe. For me, right now, as I grieve, I am not okay around others just yet. I'm taking baby steps.

Wanda's Wings said...

I have noticed that I truly do look at things so much differently than my friends that do not suffer from depression.

Sid said...

I have always asked for the bad news first because I've found my idea of good news isn't necessarily the same as everyone else's.

I do need to work on the third part of that, surrounding myself socially with others. It's a catch-22 kind of thing though. I'm usually so incredibly depressed that no one wants to be around me, but I know hanging out with people would probably make me less depressed.

Dr. Deb said...

Hey Deb,
It's important to do whatever feels best to you. If you need baby steps, to be away from others, or with others....whatever it takes to feel better. Thinking of you, my friend.

Dear Wanda,
I also see things differently than those who don't have depression.

Dear Sid,
I hear you....I really prefer isolation and quiet away from others. It's not easy for me to be in groups or join in social things too.

aurevoir said...

This is so very true. I just wish I had another way to let all this out than just going with my psychologist but I hope this is for the best. I also think that what Deb said was right though, whatever works to lift the depression is ok. Once in a while those "happy" people are also going to use something else, the difference is, I think, in feeling the pain. Whereas people who are extremely depressed want to only focus on the bright side in desperation to get out instead of facing what we're going through like if you go buy a lollipop you think this will make me feel better, and other people might be going through a lot of emotions inside them but be aware of them, of being sad then knowing the lollipop might not help and will be temporary until the emotional problem is fixed. Makes sense? I hope it did hehe

Raine said...

its not easy to get in among people socially when you have isolated to the point you have no real life friends. Its not easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger when depressed either.......