jintropin

Calendar

January 2011
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Pages

Archives

Recent Posts

Blogroll






 

by Shankar Vedantam

Can thinking about being happy make you less happy?

Have you ever noticed when you are sad or angry that doing something mentally difficult — solving a puzzle or remembering a poem — tends to make you temporarily “forget” to be sad or angry? The moment you finish the difficult and engrossing task, the negative emotion often comes right back.

New research suggests that this phenomenon occurs because emotions are mentally taxing; they take up brain resources. When you focus your brain on something challenging, mental resources that were being previously devoted to producing and experiencing the negative emotion are now being pulled away to solve the puzzle or remember the poem. This is why you experience less of the emotion.

Here is a puzzle I posted recently on The Hidden Brain’s Facebook page, which is where all puzzles get their first airing. (Navigate over and click on the LIKE button if you want to be alerted about future puzzles — you’ll have to login to Facebook first.)

People experience less sadness, fear and other negative emotions when they …
A) Try to remember the lines of a poem memorized many years before
B) Count backward from 1 to 100 in steps of 7
C) Focus intensely on the negative emotion
D) Multiply the numbers 14 and 23 in their heads

The correct answer(s): A, B, C and D

Read in Full:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-brain/201008/negative-emotions-diminished-difficult-mental-challenges



Leave a Reply

*