I am particularly excited about sharing this article. So often when we find ourselves sad, or in a bad mood or funk, (I am careful not to include debilitating levels of clinical depression in this category), part of the difficulty of being in these states is that we automatically reject them, and oftentimes feel even worse about ourselves for not being happy. This article by Douglas T. Kenrick Ph.D. lists the 7 findings that point to the benefits of being sad.
1. Improved memory
2. More accurate judgments
3. Reduced gullibility
4. Reduced stereotyping
5. Motivational benefits to persist at difficult tasks
6. Increased politeness
7. Increased fairness
A key take away from this article is that we need not add more difficulty or suffering through judgment and criticism of our sadness. Rather, if we embrace the potential positive aspects of sadness, which include clarity of thinking, we may help reduce the negative feelings associated with sadness, which in turn may cause it to pass more quickly. In doing so we not only minimize our suffering and the time spent being sad, but also potentially utilize the benefits of sadness for personal growth and deepened understanding.