Monday, December 9, 2013

Study: Experiencing hardship is GOOD for you: People who have pulled through hard times are happier in the long-run

Experiencing hardship is GOOD for you
The most painful experiences in life may come with an eventual upside, by promoting the ability to appreciate life’s small pleasures, scientists have said.

A new study suggests that people who have gone through divorce and coped with the death of a loved one, are better equipped to enjoy the little things in everyday life in the long-run.

A total of 14,986 adults were studied to see whether their exposure to life’s hardships affected their ability to enjoy positive experiences.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Barcelona School of Management, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, first determined participants’ exposure to painful experiences, including bereavement and divorce.

Individuals were asked to indicate whether they had experienced these events and, if so, to specify whether they felt they had emotionally dealt with the negative event or were still struggling with it.
They then presented the adults with six positive scenarios, which included going on a hike or looking at a waterfall, to see how if their past disrupted their enjoyment of present pleasures.

The study, which was published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, found people who have previously dealt with pain are more able to enjoy transient pleasures.

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