If you’re in a bad mood, this will cheer you up! That temper of yours just might make you smarter than your calmer counterparts! A new study performed by Joseph Forgas of the University of New South Wales found that people in a “bad” mood paid more attention to the world around them than happy-go-lucky people.
How does a bad mood make you smarter?
If you really stop and think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. A negative mood is better for your cognitive thinking skills than a good mood. Have you ever noticed how, when you’re in a bad mood, it seems like every little thing that goes wrong just makes you all the madder? No, the Universe isn’t out to get you. You just tend to notice those little things more than you do when you’re happy. This is because you’re subconsciously looking for ways to validate your mood. And this is especially true when you wake up feeling sad or mad for no apparent reason.
A study now shows that your bad temper might actually mean you have a high intelligence quotient. Yes, when you are in a bad mood you become more critical of your surroundings. You also become more capable of making good decisions in life.
Bad Tempered Women Have Higher IQs
Women tend to be less gullible and more able to judge the intentions of others when they are sad or grumpy. According to Forgas, “Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation, and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking paying greater attention to the external world.”
What does that mean? Basically, if you’re in a bit of a bad mood, you’re more likely to think critically (in the positive sense of the word), evaluate a situation, and react logically. The key term there is “bit of a bad mood.” Severe depression and anxiety has the opposite effect on your cognitive skills.
More interesting facts
Forgas also found that that a mild bad mood actually helped boost memory and made participants “more resistant to eyewitness distortions.” In simpler terms, you’re more likely to trust your own recollection of an event rather than being swayed by what others say happened.
An interesting study way back in 1995 found that our memories aren’t as reliable as we think they are. Our brains are actually easily tricked into completely rewriting them at times. Lawyers often use this research along with other studies to explain away “eyewitness testimony.” Our brains are very susceptible to suggestion in general, and apparently even more so when we’re happy than when we’re sad.
More benefits of a bad mood
Your bad mood may also help you deal with difficult situations better than your happier moods. Forgas explains that sadness “promotes information processing strategies best suited to dealing with more demanding situations.” A bad mood is actually very good for you.
Just consider this: when you’re in your bliss zone, it’s hard to imagine anything going wrong and knocking the sunshine out of you. So, when something does happen, it takes your brain time to adjust. When you’re grouchy you’re already waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you are more prepared to deal with a difficult scenario.
Your Bad Mood Might Make You Smarter
Now, keep in mind that there’s a difference between being “fiery and passionate” on occasion and being blinded by rage. Intense anger has a profoundly negative impact on pretty much every part of your body. It increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and testosterone (which, FYI, isn’t just found in men).
Temporary aggravation can help you make better decisions. But on the other hand, sustained anger can cause a myriad of problems ranging from anxiety and depression to heart attacks and strokes. Still, it’s good to know that there are some benefits to getting up on the wrong side of the bed Just make sure the good days outweigh the bad overall.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a bad tempered woman?