As many readers know from personal experience, positive emotions such as happiness or amusement are more pleasant than negative such as fear or sadness. Of course, all of them are valid and have been a mechanism truly useful for our survival as human beings
But being realistic, some days we all would like to shut some of them up a bit… How could we do that? How could we manage negative emotions or at least make this time more bearable?
A study made by Barbara L. and Robert W. could provide an alternative: they wanted to test if positive emotions accelerated recovery from corporal changes produced by a negative emotion. They did that by performing a first study: first, 60 subjects watched a film that produced them fear. Afterwards, they viewed a different film that evoked them: happiness; amusement; neutrality; or sadness (depending on the group to which they were randomly assigned). At the end, they discovered that, compared to the subjects whose second film was sad and neutral, the subjects whose film was positive showed that the positive emotion provoked by the film may function to quell the initial body changes produced by the fear.
So, when you had an intense negative emotion that you want to calm down, try to do things that will provide you from positive emotions! This does not mean that the sadness or anger will go away as if by magic, but rather they could be alleviated by being replaced by a positive emotion.
Fredrickson, B. L., & Levenson, R. W. (1998). Positive Emotions Speed Recovery from the Cardiovascular Sequelae of Negative Emotions. Cognition & emotion, 12(2), 191–220. https://doi.org/10.1080/026999398379718