Teenagers that are expressive and let out negative emotions in an exact and nuanced manner are better guarded against depression than their peers, as per a new study.
The study, based upon negative emotion differentiation (NED), suggests that teenagers who are low on NED tend to describe their feeling by using general terms like ‘I feel bad’ or ‘I feel upset’ and are therefore less able to take advantage of helpful lessons encoded in the negative emotions they experience, which includes the ability to produce coping strategies which may help them regulate the way they feel.
On the other hand, the teenagers who are high on NED tend to use more of granular terms like ‘I feel annoyed’ or ‘I feel ashamed’ and are better guarded against the symptoms of depression post experiencing a difficult life event, explained study lead author, Lisa Starr.
The emotions convey a lot about a person’s arousal level, motivational state, emotional valence as well as appraisals of threatening experience, Starr said. A person needs to merge all the information necessary to determine what he/she is actually feeling, be it anger, irritation, embarrassment or any other emotion. And once all of this information is ready and available, it can then be utilized to figure out what would be the best action to deal with it, Starr added.