Don’t Be Bitter, You Will Be Better!

Are you easily irritated? And, when you get angry, how long does the feeling take before you can be yourself again? You see, negative is not good, and the longer you keep it in your brain, the worse it is for your mental wellbeing. Psychologists have proved this at the University of Miami. To know whether you have an anger issue, look at this example. You drop your coffee on your way to your workplace, and it splatters all over your clothes. Then when you arrive at your office desk, a colleague comes to greet you without knowing how rough your morning was. Do you reply rudely because of your lousy day or respond politely? Food for thought.


The study reveals that individuals who hold on to anger in their amygdala (This is the region in the brain that deals with emotional processes) impact their psychological well-being.  Lead author and Ph.D. Nikki Puccetti says that the more an individual holds on to negative thoughts, the unhappier they become. Nikki adds that such individuals usually experience daily emotional experiences, which dictates how well they will do in their day-to-day work and overall lives.


Most research on neuroscience studies the intensity of how the brain reacts to negativity and not how long it holds on to it. Aaron Heller is an assistant professor of psychology, says that an emotional event usually would spill over to an individual’s daily happenings. Only if you understand this fact will you know the differences in how your brain works, your everyday emotions, and your overall and everyday happenings.


Never Hold on To Grudge


Amygdala affects one’s emotional well-being based on your daily experiences. Puccetti and Heller conducted research after analyzing 52 participants in their midlife in the US (MIDUS). They gave each a questionnaire to fill about their psychological wellbeing, either negative or positive, when they receive a weekly night phone call. They also went through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to determine brain activity when viewing several images, 60 of which were positive and another 60 negative.


It was discovered that individuals whose left amygdala held on to negative emotions for few seconds felt more positive in their daily lives, thus healthier well-being. This was not the case with individuals who had negative stimuli for long periods.

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