Suffering and Searching for the Sweet Spot of Meaning with Paul Bloom Ph.D. & Whitney Goodman LMFT
Original Air Date Wednesday, February 9, 2022
The best things in life may be free, but they are not necessarily easy.
The value a thing has for us increases, to some degree, based on how difficult it was for us to pursue and acquire. The more we suffer, willingly or unwillingly, sets us apart from other animals and can even enhance our social status. Why? Because being ‘happy’ all the time is boring. Voicing our grievances and in more extreme cases, self-harm solicits acknowledgment from our fellow human beings. If we are always content with what we have, what role would innovation and imagination have in our lives? To discover the ‘sweet spot’ between distress and eustress, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two experts of human behavior about the suffering that gives life purpose and meaning. Paul Bloom discusses key elements of his book, The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning, and @sitwithwhit creator, Whitney Goodman details the sobering information from her book, Toxic Positivity: Keeping it Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy.
Paul Bloom — The Sweet Spot of Suffering:
- Life without suffering would be boring because with struggle comes meaning. [2:00]
- The difference between unchosen distress and chosen eustress. [5:50]
- Paul explains why behavioral science may be a better measure of suffering and brain science. [9:44]
- Purposeful deprivation sets humans apart from other animals. [13:15]
- In his book, The Sweet Spot Paul contends suffering can enhance social status. [17:08]
- Experiencing flow, and the absence of suffering. [21:15]
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores the psychology of morality, identity, and pleasure. Bloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including, most recently, the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize, and he is the author or editor of eight books
Book: The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning
Whitney Goodman — Toxic Positivity:
- Looking at healing through a quantum lens offers opportunities to incorporate positivity into our body and mind. [30:52]
- We can learn to process and feel emotions. [30:16]
- Achieving constant happiness wouldn’t be appreciated and would be boring. [33:40]
- Whitney shares how to complain effectively. [38:03]
- How toxic positivity culture is discrimination with a smile. [42:03]
- How to find fulfillment in the modern world. [46:25]
Whitney Goodman is the radically honest psychotherapist behind the popular Instagram account @sitwithwhit and owner of the Collaborative Counseling Center, a private therapy practice in Miami. She helps individuals and couples heal past wounds and create the life they’ve always wanted. Her work has been featured in dozens of publications and programs, including The New York Times, Teen Vogue, New York magazine, InStyle, and Good Morning America
Book: Toxic Positivity: Keeping it Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy
This podcast episode about health & happiness is sponsored by:
Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life — A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?
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.
“If we have a life that is continuously happy, with the absence of discord, there is no value or appreciation to the joy.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“As humans, we are obsessed with the idea of just wanting to be happy.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Happiness is a by-product of something else. It is not the destination.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“What people value most are pursuits that involve struggle and difficulty.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Sometimes we put ourselves in painful situations because if you work it right when the pain goes away there is a rush of pleasure that overwhelms the original pain.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“What my book is saying is that having children, running marathons, starting a business ~ difficult pursuits ~ that's where value is.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“I don't think joy is fully found in a life of pure bliss.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Deprivation is a form of controlled suffering. It is the absence of something you want that gives it value.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “One theory about why people harm themselves is to get help from other people.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Sharp physical pain can distract you from your problems.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are at our best when we are in a state of flow. A state of flow is a state of immersion.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Toxic positivity is the unrelenting pressure to feel happy and be pursuing happiness at all cost, no matter what the circumstances.” @paulbloomatyale on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “We engage in toxic positivity because it is hard for us to accept what is going on.” @sitwithwhit on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We don't want to give too much power to our thoughts. But, if we go with a body sensation there are a lot of different ways to interpret it or examine it.” @sitwithwhit on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“It is easier to find the feeling of joy and happiness when we are living with our truth and our values.” @sitwithwhit on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet
CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY
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