Got Anxiety? Looking on the Bright Side May Help (No, Really)

by Lara DeSanto Health Writer

Looking for something good in a bad situation can actually be effective in reducing anxiety. And the less money you make, the more effective this tactic could be.

That’s according to a study, published in the journal Emotion, for which researchers analyzed data from an experiment and a survey to determine the role of income in a person’s ability to regulate emotions by reframing their experiences. In the experiment, 112 people watched a short film; if they felt negative emotions while watching, they were told to try to find a new, less-negative way of looking at the situation. Additionally, researchers asked them whether they used cognitive reappraisal strategies like reframing in their daily lives and for annual income info.

The results showed that those with lower incomes who used reframing strategies more often reported being less anxious. This was not the case for people at middle- or upper-income levels.

The study’s authors theorize that reframing was more effective in reducing anxiety for lower-income participants because they have less control over their environments, but can change the way they look at things.

Lara DeSanto
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Lara DeSanto

Lara is a former digital editor for HealthCentral, covering Sexual Health, Digestive Health, Head and Neck Cancer, and Gynecologic Cancers. She continues to contribute to HealthCentral while she works towards her masters in marriage and family therapy and art therapy. In a past life, she worked as the patient education editor at the American College of OB-GYNs and as a news writer/editor at