Speed Reads

There, there

Study explains science behind 'I'm so happy I could cry'

Turns out, feeling like you might get a bit teary-eyed about that adorable puppy video your friend just emailed you can be explained by science.

A new study to be published in the journal Psychological Science found that people often react to a positive experience with a negative emotion — and vice versa — in order to restore their emotional equilibrium.

"These insights advance our understanding of how people express and control their emotions," Oriana Aragon, a Yale psychologist and the study's lead author, told YaleNews. "(The findings are) importantly related to mental and physical health, the quality of relationships with others, and even how well people work together."

Aragon and her colleagues studied subjects' reactions to images of cute babies, and they found that by using a negative reaction ("I want to pinch her cheeks!"), individuals were able to moderate their emotions more quickly. The researchers think the same response may work in opposite scenarios, too (someone nervously laughing during a tense or scary situation).

So no worries, Kristen Bell, that sloth meltdown is totally understandable.