Mood disorders like anxiety and depression generally interfere with thinking and creativity.
A variety of writers including Eric Maisel, Kay Redfield Jamison and Tom Wootton express different perspectives on my site Depression and Creativity. There is even a post on Irritable Male Syndrome, about the work of Jed Diamond.
But what about being grumpy?
Here is an intriguing news story from the Daily Mail –
Why being grumpy like Victor Meldrew is good for you, as scientists find it improves memory
By Richard Shears
Photo: The fictional character of Victor Meldrew, played by Richard Wilson, in the BBC TV comedy series One Foot In The Grave embraced the spirit of grumpiness. The archetypal grumpy old man became famous for saying, ‘I don’t believe it!’
If you’re feeling like a sourpuss today, it may not be a reason to frown.
For, according to research, being grumpy makes us better at decision-making and less gullible.
In contrast, those annoying happy types who tell us to cheer up tend to make more mistakes because they’ll believe anything they’re told.
The revelations come from a psychology expert who has been studying the effects of positive and negative emotions.
Professor Joseph Forgas found those in a bad mood provide more accurate eyewitness accounts of events than those in a good mood.
A series of experiments also backed up his findings that the grumpier we are, the more likely we are to get problems sorted out and make less errors.
‘Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world,’ Professor Forgas writes in this month’s Australian Science Journal.
A sad person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain ‘promotes information processing strategies’, he says.
His experiments included asking people to judge the truth of urban myths after putting them into good or bad moods through watching films.
The sad group were less likely to believe the stories.
Professor Forgas, of the University of New South Wales, also found negativity promoted better communication.
Source: dailymail.co.uk 03rd November 2009