Findings suggest that it’s the diversity and frequency of emotions, not the type, that matter most. Several studies have found that greater emotional diversity and various positive health outcomes were related, but we don’t know which causes what yet. One theory is that experiencing many different specific emotions (anger, shame, sadness) may have more adaptive value than experiencing fewer states or more general ones (like just feeling bad), as these specific emotions provide richer information to guide our everyday decisions and help us deal with challenges.
For now, our best bet for a healthier emotional ecosystem — and, maybe, a healthier body — may be to embrace the negative along with the positive, and to keep an open mind about what positive really means. By experiencing the full range of emotional experiences, you may enjoy the benefits of your positive emotions while having less stress around your negative ones.