Feeling angry and hateful might make us happier people Advertisement

Feeling angry and hateful might make us happier people

Let yourself feel all the emotions, even if they're unpleasant

By Katie O’Malley  August 17th, 2017

Door slamming. Ghosting an ex on Whatsapp. Uncontrollable tears. Anger takes many different forms, but according to a new study examining happiness, people have greatest life satisfaction when they’re able to feel the emotions they desire, even if they’re painful ones such as anger and hate.

The study involved researchers asking 23,000 university students from the likes of United States, Brazil, China, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Poland and Singapore to reveal what emotions they wanted to feel and how they actually felt at the time, which was then compared to how they rated their overall happiness.



The study found that despite the fact the majority of people want to experience happy and pleasant feelings, they’re better off feeling whatever they wanted to feel in order to find satisfaction. “If you feel emotions you want to feel, even if they’re unpleasant, then you’re better off,” lead researcher Dr Maya Tamir from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem told the BBC News website.

The findings also showed that 11 per cent of people wanted to feel less positive emotions, while 10 per cent of volunteers admitted to wanting to feel more negative emotions.



Dr Tamir explained: “Someone who feels no anger when reading about child abuse might think they should be angrier about the plight of abused children, so want to feel more anger than they actually do in that moment.”

“People want to feel very good all the time in Western cultures. Even if they feel good most of the time, they may still think that they should feel even better, which might make them less happy overall,” she added.

Dr Anna Alexandrova, from the University of Cambridge’s Wellbeing Institute, argues the research may change how we view the concept of happiness.

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However, she points out the study only looked into the effect of two unpleasant emotions – anger and hatred. “Anger and hatred may be compatible with happiness, but there is no indication that other unpleasant feelings, such as fear, guilt, sadness and anxiety, are,” she explained.

Stop bottling your emotions inside and allow your body to naturally go through the motions, instead of constantly chasing the illusion of constant bliss.

Basically, sometimes, you need to be miserable to be happy.