Can reaching for the sky make you happier?
The connection between “up” and “happy” and “down” and “sad” goes deeper than we might think.
Activating the mental metaphor of “up” can cause you to think happier thoughts and recollect more positive memories:
Via Science Daily:
Moving marbles upward caused participants to remember more positive life experiences, and moving them downward to remember more negative experiences, according to Daniel Casasanto (MPI and Donders Institute, Nijmegen) and Katinka Dijkstra (Erasmus University, Rotterdam). ‘Meaningless’ motor actions can make people remember the good times or the bad.
“These data suggest that spatial metaphors for emotion aren’t just in language,” Casasanto says, “linguistic metaphors correspond to mental metaphors, and activating the mental metaphor ‘good is up’ can cause us to think happier thoughts.”
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