Screw anger management—a new study finds that being open to feelings other than happiness may be better for your health longterm.
According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, people who embrace feelings of anger and hatred at the appropriate times (an important caveat) are generally less depressed when compared with others who may force feelings of happiness.
Lead researcher Maya Tamir, a psychology professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studied more than 2,000 university students in eight countries including the United States, asking them what feelings they would rather have more often.
Predictably, many responded with a desire to feel more happiness—but not always. Eleven percent of those studied wanted to feel fewer emotions such as love and empathy, and 10% wanted to actually feel more hostility and hatred.
Are we as human beings becoming an angrier species? Probably not. But in our ongoing pursuit of happiness, it’s likely we’ve started to feel less and less happy by suppressing all other emotions. The key is allowing an emotional switch to occur, the study says.
So: The next time some dude tries to work in on your bench sets without asking—a critical breach in gym etiquette—or when the girl you might have settled down with doesn’t text you back, embrace the anger. Definitely don’t direct it at the offending party, but allow yourself to feel it. It’ll help you let go of it faster, and make you much happier in the long run. You might even get in a better workout.