sadness, pixar, inside out, slumped, sad

There is an upside to feeling down

Sometimes you can have a superpower lying latent. Like that fantasy where you imagine that you would have been a world-class ceramicist/romantic novelist/textile designer if only you had taken up clay/saucy pen/ummm… those printing block things? Could have been a contender.

Well, here’s one for all those who feel sad. You are WAY better at recognising faces than your happy all the time counterparts. Who’s smiling now? According to a report in Frontiers of Psychology, sad people recognise faces more accurately than happy people. A team of British scientists, clearly keen to look on a bright side, recently studied the relationship between sadness and facial recognition.

Their hypothesis stemmed from evidence that those who suffer from sadness employ strategies to actively enhance their mood by being more accurate – sort of ‘I may not be happy but at least I am right‘. We know. Sad people are also more likely to process messages deeply – probably in order not to be persuaded by weak arguments.

After a series of exhaustive tests the experts concluded the memory superiority that sad people exhibit is due to an unusual allocation of attention. Because sad people are wary; they are paying attention. Just like anxious people – constantly checking the mood and the temperature. Reading the signs on people’s faces like ancient runes. You are not like the happy fools blithely clutching at the gist of everything and skipping past. So, yes, you may be sad sometimes. But you also have a gift. And attention must be paid.

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