by Connie S. Hall
I was angry when I had to make an unexpected visit to the doctor this past week with no reading material, because they usually have nothing I want to read. I can’t believe it, but I actually found a magazine that caught my attention. The longer I read the more I wanted to know. Much to my surprise I discovered there could be a benefit from being in a bad mood. After reading this short article, I decided to look into negative dispositions versus positive ones.
The magazine said that when you are dissatisfied you think from the bottom up, beginning with details and building up to bigger concepts. One article I read said that people who are sad provide more reliable eyewitness accounts, and show superior judgment and communication skills. Another piece said that a negative mood triggers more systematic, attentive, and vigilant information processing. Then I read that you should not view bad moods as detrimental, but should understand and treat them as a necessary part of the creative process.
The magazine stated that when you are content you think from the top down which sparks wilder ideas. Reading the first article it said that people in a positive mood were more likely to have relatively unreliable memories and to demonstrate poorer judgment and critical thinking skills. Another piece said that a good mood signals a benign, non-threatening environment where we don't need to be so vigilant.
By this time I was becoming a bit discouraged because I’m usually in a positive mood. Then I read that when you are in a positive frame of mind you feel confident, and this frees you to think more expansively. As your thoughts broaden, you come up with new strategies, long-range plans, and novel ideas.
The most important thing I learned is that you need a combination, both types of moods. That the highs and lows complement each other. I’ll never try to talk myself out of a bad mood again. Instead, I’ll go with the flow and keep writing.