Experiencing mixed emotions shows emotional depth not indecision

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New York, Jan 22 (IANS) Experiencing mixed emotions shows emotional complexity, not indecision, reveals a study.

According to the new research, people living in different parts of the world vary in their ability to distinguish between multiple feelings they’re having at once.

“We found that both westerners and non-westerners who show mixed feelings are better able to differentiate their emotions and experience their lives in an emotionally rich and balanced fashion,” said lead author Igor Grossmann, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

People living in self-oriented cultures — such as Canada, the US, Australia or Great Britain — were less emotionally complex than people living in other-oriented cultures with a greater emphasis on feelings of duty and familial bonds.

People in various parts of Asia and Russia showed considerably more complexity in their emotions, the research indicated.

“People in those other-oriented cultures are more likely to experience emotional complexity because they are able to see different perspectives,” said Grossmann.

The study examined how people across 16 cultures vary in their tendency to see situations as either all good or all bad, or in a more complex fashion by seeing a little of both.

The research involved three studies. One of them used a text-analysis tool to measure the prevalence of mixed emotional expressions in 1.3 million English-language websites and blogs.

The other two studies focused on the ways in which people report their emotions across a range of daily experiences, examining whether they report experiencing mixed feelings, and whether they differentiate between different types of positive and negative experiences.

The paper was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Why migraine worsens in women approaching menopause

Migraine headaches heat up as women approach menopause, a new study reveals.

The risk of headache was most apparent during the later stage of the perimenopause, which is a time during which women first begin skipping menstrual periods and experience low levels of estrogen, the study revealed.

“The risk for high frequency headache, or more than 10 days with headache per month, increased by 60 percent in middle-aged women with migraine during the perimenopause – the transitional period into menopause marked by irregular menstrual cycles – as compared to normally cycling women,” said lead author Vincent Martin, professor at University Of Cincinnati in Ohio, US.

The menopausal years include both the perimenopause and menopause. Menopause begins when women have not had a menstrual period for one year. Symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, depression and insomnia are common during both.

“Changes in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that occur during the perimenopause might trigger increased headaches during this time,” noted Richard Lipton, professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in US.

Women who participated in the study also reported that high frequency headache increased by 76 percent during menopause, the findings showed.

Researchers identified the group of 3,664 women aged 35 to 65 who experienced migraine before and during their menopausal years.

Women with migraine were asked to self-report their frequency of headaches as well as the characteristics of their menstrual cycles.

Based on the characteristics of their menstrual cycles they were placed into one of three groups: pre-menopause (normally cycling), perimenopause (irregularly cycling) and menopause (no cycling).

Researchers suggested hormonal therapies for women approaching menopause and suffering from migraine.

The findings were published online this week in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, a publication of the American Headache Society.

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