SAMUEL WEST - PSYCHOLOGIST
Historically melancholy was more accepted. People were allowed to have their ups and downs. Today we try to medicate any feelings that we don’t like. Feel down - just take a pill.
We disengage from life and turn our attention inwards. We no longer feel engaged in the various activities of life that usually give us pleasure and meaning. It is also a trademark of melancholy that we ruminate by getting caught up in negative cognitive loops. Life gets filtered through a negative filter.
Most research shows that positive emotions boost creativity, however there is also evidens that many great artist and writers were know to do their best work during melancholic periods. Happy content people do not innovate. They have no need to improve things or change the world.
Haha - being melancholic is status quo in these dark arctic regions. It is dark and cold and miserable weather here in Sweden, even in the summer. I come from Iceland where being melancholic is part of the national identity. At the same time people today seem to be more afraid of feeling down - it would be much better if they could just accept that a healthy emotional life includes both happiness and sadness.
Absolutely. Creativity is enhanced when we experience a wide range of stimuli and emotions. Including those on the dark side of the mind.