One way to think about it is the longer your brain holds on to a negative event, or stimuli, the unhappier you report being. Basically, we found that the persistence of a person's brain in holding on to a negative stimulus is what predicts more negative and less positive daily emotional experiences. That in turn predicts how well they think they're doing in their life.I do wonder to what extent this can be voluntarily controlled by people. I feel like I get good bang for the buck by drifting past negative emotions that don't serve me, refusing to let them snowball or self-sustain. And I feel like too many people are too emotionally driven. But then I feel like I might some kind of Spock-ian weirdo! Or that by working on my equanimity via self-"Talking Therapy" I've given up some highs as well as the lows.
I do feel I can be cheerful enough, mindfully acknowledging all the comforts of my kind of privileged life, though I feel I might've been bouncier/happier in the mid-90s. Like, after I got over worrying about nuclear annihilation but before getting worked up about Y2K and after that, adopting a kind of existential equanimity against a general panic about inevitable mortality.