Summer Allen, Jeremy Adam Smith – How Happy Brains Respond to Negative Things

You drop a glass while making breakfast. You get stuck in traffic on your way to work. Your boss yells at you for being late. Congratulations! You’re having a bad morning. It happens to everyone, at one time or another. But how we react to the bad things in life reveals a lot about our brains.

It might seem to go without saying, but people with sunnier dispositions are better able to regulate their emotions than people with gloomier personalities, who are more likely to be thrown by unpleasant events. Why is this?

There are several possibilities. One is that happier people wear metaphorical “rose-colored glasses” that allow them to focus on positive things and filter out negative ones. Another possibility is that happier people are just better at savoring the good things and allowing them to lift their mood, while still seeing the bad.

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