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