Ever since it began, the pandemic has been a crash course in uncertainty. Safe behaviors, school openings, vaccination timelines, the job market, new variants—these have all seemed to change on a weekly basis, threatening our sense of security and stability.
Uncertainty is stressful and perhaps even harmful to our health, research suggests, and it can drive us to cling to our social groups to the exclusion of others. But a new study has uncovered a surprising upside to feeling uncertain: It might drive us to appreciate the little things in life.
In one experiment, researchers stationed on a sidewalk handed out flyers that said one of two things: “Life is unpredictable: Stop and smell the roses” or “Life is constant: Stop and smell the roses.” A short distance away was a table with a dozen red roses on it and a sign matching the flyer they’d just received. [Read more…] about On uncertainty, stress, emotion regulation, and carpe diem