Think you should force yourself to stay positive (no matter what) when difficult things happen? Think again: Research shows that the key to long-term happiness may actually be dropping the “Everything’s fine!” act. A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that newlyweds who remained positive in the face of negative but controllable circumstances (problems at work, financial issues) experienced more symptoms of depression four years later than people who looked at situations in a less positive (and more accurate) light.
Chronic stress is linked to conditions like heart disease, but short-term stress actually has a positive side, pushing you to get things done-and succeed at them. “Stress triggers the hormone cortisol, which helps energize us, revving up our systems to handle the day,” says Judith Orloff, MD, author of Emotional Freedom. “It also motivates us to do better on the things we care about and problem-solve.”