Maintaining a stiff upper lip and keeping our emotions under control is not beneficial to our mental health. Of course for our resilience and ability to cope with the lifes ups and downs we need to be able to regulate our emotions. But a common emotion strategy called ‘cognitive reappraisal’ may actually be harmful in our daily lives.
Allison Troy a lead researcher on the project says
“For someone facing a stressful situation in which they have little control, such as a loved one’s illness, the ability to use reappraisal should be extremely helpful — changing emotions may be one of the only things that he or she can exert some control over to try to cope”. She goes on to add that “But for someone experiencing trouble at work because of poor performance, for example, reappraisal might not be so adaptive. Reframing the situation to make it seem less negative may make that person less inclined to attempt to change the situation.”
This new research is fascinating and is well worth the read.