The Relationship Between Negative and Positive Emotion

In order to experience more positive emotion in your life, should you strive to experience less negative emotion by minimizing bad events in your life? The answer to this question is surprising. Contrary to popular belief, having more than your share of misery does not mean you cannot have a lot of joy as well. There are several lines of sound evidence that deny a reciprocal relation between positive and negative emotion…

The ancient Greek word Soteria refers to our high, irrational joys. This word is the opposite of phobia, which means high, irrational fear. Literally, however, soteria derives from the feast that was held by Greeks upon deliverance from death. The highest joys, it turns out, sometimes follow relief from our worst fears. The joys of the roller-coaster, of the bungee jump, of the horror movie, and even the astonishing decrease in mental illness during times of war testify to this.

Martin E. P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness