When people receive bad news during the day or experience a negative event, they subconsciously turn to coping mechanisms to help them deal with disappointment, regret or sadness.
Now, researchers at the University of Kent School of Psychology have figured out which coping techniques are most beneficial and which of them leave people feeling down at the end of the day.
Among the best ways to deal with negative events is a positive reframing strategy, wherein a person takes time to view their situation in another light. For instance, if an individual is feeling disappointed that they did not get a job they applied for, they may want to consider that their situation opens the door to unseen opportunities.
Additionally, people who accepted their fate and used humor to deal with their emotions had a tendency to feel better about their negative event by the day's end.
"It's no use ruminating about small failures and setbacks and drag yourself further down," said researcher Joachim Stoeber. "Instead it is more helpful to try to accept what happened, look for positive aspects and – if it is a small thing – have a laugh about it."
Conversely, individuals who relied on others to make them feel better, vented verbally, disengaged from their situation, denied that a negative event happened or blamed themselves were more likely to carry the weight of their shoulders throughout the day.
Finding your life purpose may be difficult at times, but these findings suggest that thinking positively may help individuals to think more clearly about life's events and see the possibilities in seemingly negative events. Meditation techniques for stress may be helpful in doing this.