Good News for People Who Freak Out About Possible Bad News

posted: 11/09/15
by: Courtney Reimer
Worried Female Entrepreneur Looking At Laptop

If you freak out at the potential for bad news, and if you've been freaking out about how that freaking out may affect your health: you can rest easy (once the anxiety wears off). Turns out being nervous about a possible negative outcome can prepare you mentally to deal with the news when it comes..

A new study published by the journal Emotion found that people who tried "coping mechanisms" while waiting for the results of a test (or, say, a job interview or college acceptance letter), "failed miserably at suppressing distress." Added bonus they found in their study: "when the [good] news arrived, the worriers were more elated than their relaxed peers."

Put another way: if you worry, you're going to be better off whether or not the news ends up being good or bad.

"One definition of waiting well is not having negative emotions. But not going through that thinking process leaves you less prepared to receive the news," said Julie K. Norem, the author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking said in the New York Times article on the study results.

Now the conundrum is: if you know that worrying is good for you, will you be less worried about your anxiety, and thus lessen your helpful anxiety altogether? Now we're worried about that, and I guess that's not such a bad thing.