Discovering the Power of Words and How Reading Aloud Impacts Our Hearts and Minds with Meghan Cox Gurdon & Tim Lomas

Original Air Date Wednesday, Sept 4, 2019

There are approximately 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. In each of those languages, words are used to write and read books, create songs about culture, swear-in life-long commitments, and comfort babies. But how those words translate into different languages is not always an exact science. To discover the three intrinsic needs humans need to feel happy and fulfilled and what part words play in fulfilling those needs, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two wise wordsmiths about how words facilitate human connection. Meghan Cox Gurdon talks about her book, The Enchanted Hour and describes the physiological and emotional benefits of reading aloud with others and Tim Lomas explains the essence of his Positive Lexicology Project and how languages create a different kind of world map.


Does something in this conversation resonate with you? Are you in need of a professional speaker who can elevate your tribe & enliven your culture? Lisa Cypers Kamen is an award-winning speaker, author & happiness expert who facilitates life-changing presentations for organizations of any size. The science is clear, happier people thrive in life. If you are ready to inject joy into your organization, find out which program is best for you at Lisa’s Live Events.

Meghan Cox Gurdon — The Impact of Reading Aloud:
  • Meghan explains how being read aloud to benefits humans. [1:57]
  • Reading aloud encompasses the three things humans need to be happy. [6:52]
  • Meghan shares personal stories of reading aloud to her children. [8:30]
  • Meghan’s book, The Enchanted Hour begins with an insightful quote about love. [16:04]
  • Can reading aloud to your spouse improve your marriage? [22:49]

Meghan Cox Gurdon is the author of “The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction” (Harpercollins), and the children’s book critic for The Wall Street Journal. Her essays and criticism have appeared widely in publications such as The Washington Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, and National Review. She also has five children and has read to them all from the moment they arrived.



Book: The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction


Meghan Cox Gurdon Website
@MeghanGurdon on Twitter
The Enchanted Hour on Facebook
@enchanted_hour on Instagram

Tim Lomas — The Power of the World’s Words:
  • Tim describes his books and how words unique to cultures create a language map. [30:49]
  • The Positive Lexicology Project is an evolving index of ‘untranslatable’ words. [34:40]
  • Some of Tim’s favorite words and why he catalogs them the way he does. [42:41]
  • The different ways Tim has expressed himself in his lifetime. [48:46]

Dr. Tim Lomas has been a lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London since April 2013. Tim completed his Ph.D. at the University of Westminster in 2012, where his thesis focused on the impact of meditation on men’s mental health. Since 2013, Tim has published numerous papers and books on topics including positive psychology theory, mindfulness, Buddhism, linguistics, and gender. His work has been featured in articles in prominent publications including TIME, The New Yorker, Scientific American, The Atlantic, The Psychologist, and The Times.


Book: Translating Happiness: A Cross-Cultural Lexicon of Well-Being and The Happiness Dictionary: Words from Around the World to Help Us Lead A Richer Life

Dr. Tim Lomas Website
@drtimlomas on Twitter


This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

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H-Factor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film that explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally-desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.


“When we are in the read-aloud dynamic the listener is fully present and the reader is fully present.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Reading to another person is a form of giving.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Even just reading a little bit of poetry or an inspirational passage to someone we love, can be soul food.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Every culture has a collection of words that everyone understands but doesn't have an exact definition for.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is a physiological reward of having human companionship has an immediate effect on hormones.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Humans need three things if they are to feel happy and fulfilled. They are feeling competent at what we do, feeling authentic in our lives, and feeling connected to others. Reading allowed hits all three of these things.” @MeghanGurdon… Click To Tweet“We need to have others show us the way sometimes.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Newborn babies are wired to react to the sound of their mother's voices. The language circuitry of a baby's brain lights up.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The joy of life is not in receiving it’s in giving.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“You equip children for life when you read to them.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When you read aloud to someone you are speaking to them in their native tongue.” @MeghanGurdon on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Different cultures seem to have subtly different language maps.” @drtimlomas on @HHTalk_Radio Click To Tweet“The whole idea of how words transform from one culture to another it's fascinating.” @drtimlomas on @HHTalk_Radio Click To Tweet“You can always give a rough definition of what a word means in another language even if there is not an exact equivalent.” @drtimlomas on @HHTalk_Radio Click To Tweet





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