By Jennifer Taitz
There isn’t always something negative on the horizon.
Ever felt as if the joy of a big win was contaminated with the stress of imagining when the pendulum would swing the other way and something awful would happen to balance it out?
If so, you’re not alone: Often, when driven people care about something and finally experience whatever they’ve been hoping to achieve — whether it’s a new relationship, a health goal, a promotion or something else altogether — they’re unable to entirely savor the good times. They may, in fact, do the exact opposite: endlessly worry about when their peak might plummet.
But taking yourself out of the moment to dread what might happen next won’t prepare you for disaster. Indeed, research has shown that it’s the ability to experience positive emotions that improves our ability to cope with distress. Even better, research from Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, finds that experiencing positive emotions doesn’t set you up for disappointment, but increases your likelihood of achieving your work, health and relationship aspirations.