I have always thought righteous anger was a good thing for ones emotional health, it seems that it might not even have to be righteous.
The pressure to be positive has never been greater. Cultural forces have whipped up a frenzied pursuit of happiness, spawning billion-dollar book sales, a cottage industry in self-help and plastering inspirational quotes all over the internet.
Now you can hire a happiness expert, undertake training in ‘mindfulness’, or seek inner satisfaction via an app. The US army currently trains its soldiers – over a million people – in positive psychology and optimism is taught in UK schools. Meanwhile the ‘happiness index’ has become an indicator of national wellbeing to rival GDP.
The truth is, pondering the worst has some clear advantages. Cranks may be superior negotiators, more discerning decision-makers and cut their risk of having a heart attack. Cynics can expect more stable marriages, higher earnings and longer lives – though, of course, they’ll anticipate the opposite.
Good moods on the other hand come with substantial risks – sapping your drive, dimming attention to detail and making you simultaneously gullible and selfish. Positivity is also known to encourage binge drinking, overeating and unsafe sex.