London - The most painful experiences in life may come with an upside, by promoting the ability to appreciate life’s small pleasures, scientists have said.
A new study suggests people who have gone through divorce and coped with the death of a loved one are better equipped to enjoy the little things in everyday life in the long-run.
A total of 14 986 adults were studied to see if their exposure to hardships affected their ability to enjoy positive experiences.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Barcelona School of Management, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, first determined the participants’ exposure to painful experiences.
Individuals were asked to indicate if they had experienced these events and, if so, to specify if they felt they had emotionally dealt with the negative event or were still struggling with it.
They then presented the adults with six positive scenarios, which included going on a hike or looking at a waterfall, to see how their past disrupted their enjoyment of present pleasures.
The study, published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, found people who have previously dealt with pain are more able to enjoy transient pleasures.
The researchers wrote: “Individuals who had dealt with more adversity in the past reported an elevated capacity for savouring.”
However, the researchers also concluded that people struggling with divorce or mourning someone close to them reported a “diminished proclivity for savouring positive events”, The Huffington Post reported.
The study seems to support the maxim “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” and enables people who have gone through difficult circumstances to appreciate small pleasures more easily. – Daily Mail