Have you ever wondered about Grouchy People Experiencing More Stress and Sickness?
This may sound like an obvious mystery to solve, but do grumpy people experience higher levels of stress than those of a sunnier disposition. It might seem like an obvious answer, and common sense might suggest that being grumpy cannot be a good thing for anyone. However, this may not be the case.
Let us look at some of the historical assumptions about grouchiness and the recent research and what was found regarding the link between grouchiness and stress.
The Chinese philosopher Confucius saw that negativity could have a detrimental effect on a person’s life, and this is what many of us would expect.
He once wrote:
- Watch your thoughts; they become your words
- Watch your words; they become your actions
- Watch your actions; they become your habits
- Watch your habits; they become your character
- Watch your character; it becomes your destiny
Despite what Confucius might say, is there any benefit to being a grouch?
Research at the University of New South Wales in Australia found that experiencing grouchiness really helps individuals think more clearly. The findings also suggested grumpy people have increased decision-making skills and caused less gullibility.
While positive people were more creative than grumpy people. Instances of attentiveness and careful thinking were higher in the group that was in a grumpy mood. This clear thinking could allow an individual to manage stressful situations better.
However, this isn’t to say that happy moods are bad for us. Being happy is beneficial in many ways, but they are different to how being grumpy can benefit us. Being grumpy has been shown be associated with more effective communication, both written and verbal. Interestingly, this has also been shown with regards to the weather.
Wet and miserable days have been shown to improve memory ability compared to dry and sunny days.
This is not to say that grumpy people do not experience stress. In fact, they probably experience higher levels of it. However, grouchiness is not the cause of the stress; it is the other way round. Research has shown that our brains struggle to balance our mood at times of stress.
One Swiss study found that stress triggers a reduction in certain molecules that help cognitive functioning, meaning lack of ability to reason and interact socially, alongside affecting memory. These symptoms of stress are all ones you find in someone experiencing a bout of grouchiness.
Other studies have sought to find a link between happiness and health, with stress being one factor. The million woman study at the University of Oxford attempted to identify cause and effect when it comes to stress and grumpiness.
In essence, the research found that unhappiness and stress were not significantly linked to an increased risk of death. However, this is only specific to women and cannot be generalized to men.
Similarly, another researcher has found that individuals who rate themselves as stressed, unhappy and feeling like they have a lack of control in their life, have microscopic increased health risks. However, while unhappiness in itself does not seem to be linked to health problems directly, there is still an indirect link.
Often many people engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms such as increased alcohol, drugs, and smoking. It is these coping mechanisms that can be detrimental to a person’s health rather than the being unhappy in the first place.
The research would, therefore, suggest that grumpy people do not experience more stress. In fact, being grumpy can have beneficial effects that are unrelated to stress. There is often a connection between stresses and being grumpy; this is likely to be stress as the causal factor rather than being grumpy.