Sonja Lyubomirsky has been studying human happiness for 30 years. As a professor at the University of California Riverside, her research has centered around things people can do to become happier. In this episode she talks about her findings, including the power of social connection and how that might just be the key ingredient to happiness. She also talks about how we can increase our level of social connection. Show notes: www.tenpercent.com/podcast Sonja’s Website: http://drsonja.net/about-sonja/ Sonja’s Books: https://www.amazon.com/Sonja-Lyubomirsky/e/B001JP269S/ Sonja at UC Riverside: https://profiles.ucr.edu/app/home/profile/sonja Sonja on Ten Percent Happier: https://10percenthappier.app.link/0E69lbTsH3 Check out the new Ten Percent Happier course on Health Habits with Kelly McGonigal and Alexis Santos: WWW.TENPERCENT.COM/HABITS In the App: https://10percenthappier.app.link/gAd07mXoo2 References in the show: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Susan Cain https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153 Nick Epley, research on talking to strangers on the train https://www.nicholasepley.com/publications Liz Dunn - UBC Barrista researcher https://dunn.psych.ubc.ca/curriculum-vitae-2/publications/ Ed Dieiner - https://eddiener.com/ Barb Frederickson - Love 2.0 https://www.positivityresonance.com/ Dacher Keltner - UC Berkley https://psychology.berkeley.edu/people/dacher-keltner Ken Sheldon https://psychology.missouri.edu/people/sheldon Susan Nolen-Hoeksema https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Nolen-Hoeksema/e/B001H6IJH2 Martin Seligman - UPenn Positive Psychology https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/people/martin-ep-seligman Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Flow https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Psychology-Experience-Perennial-Classics/dp/0061339202 Lisa Walsh - Expressing gratitude on the other person https://www.lisacwalsh.com/ Nial Bolger - Columbia (visible versus invisible social support) https://psychology.columbia.edu/content/niall-bolger Ezra Klein’s Podcast with Allison Gopnick https://www.vox.com/podcasts/2019/6/13/18677595/alison-gopnik-changed-how-i-think-about-love) Ten Percent Happier Podcast Insiders Feedback Group: https://10percenthappier.typeform.com/to/vHz4q4 Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Four may be, is, as the ten percent happier vodka in her hey guys. I know there were now in February January has passed, and some of us have already failed at our resolutions, but maybe it's not just failing it's just temporarily halting in, and we just need to learn how to start again, speaking of which we ve got a new. Course that I mentioned before on the on the pod, but I just want to remind you a brand new course up on the ten percent happier at all about helping you make and break habits in a sane, shame free way. It features to recent guests and the pod Kelly Mechanical and Alexis Santos. If you're not a subscriber to the pod, you can get a seven day free trial. Go downloaded check it out. If you wanna, take a look directly at the Corsican
The ten percent. I come slash habits, let's get into the show this week is a really good one. I had a lot of fun interviewing Sonya S Sonia LEO immersed key. I hope and pray Can that Sonia is a Phd distinguish, professor and vice chair of psychology at the University of California Riverside she's originally from Russia. She then came over here to the states where she got degrees from Harvard and Stamford and has spent her life. studying happiness and coming up with ingenious ways to figure out what makes us happy what makes us unhappy. She has written a pair of books, the how of happiness and the myths of happiness, and we talk,
a lot about the various skills that can make us thrive and the various bad habits were we whither, and I think I think we can whittled down row at least one of her core ideas to the habit to to the idea that happiness is a habit he did take work. So we talk about one of the core areas where, where she's really excited these days in terms of a source of happiness for human beings, which is social connection, extra virgin versus introversion, we talk about talking to people on elevators how we can use social media. The counter intuitive benefits in this day and age of actually seeing your friends face to face. We talk about how social comparison is so insidious
dangerous and we talk about how the pursuit of happiness can actually notwithstanding her argument that it does take work, pursuit of happiness, she says, can also backfire in really interesting ways. One quick built before we start. She mentions all of these research projects and resources through our the course of this interview and, if you're not really interested in them and don't have a pen, don't freak out, you can find them all in our show, notes at ten percent dot com, slash podcast. So here we go here, Sonia Luba Mirsky, greater meet you greatly, you well I'm already impressive, because the fist, only before we set a rolling is that you're tired today, because you went to an all night party on Saturday night, so York, your keep it you're. to my German. My late forties out we'd have to name your age, but the fact that you did that is irish,
yeah, you know I think life is short and I steady happiness and I'm a happy person and I like to connect with people and have fun and dance all night So why not? I mean I wouldn't do it every day, but you know once in awhile: that's really fun, so a gibes. The decision to do something like go to in all my party, which is not a normal thing for you. I know this tell me. It is not disconnected from your research. You're not at all? I mean it, sir. Yes about friends and you know I should dancing- is really is its energy right and socially happiness. A lot of it is about energy and connecting with people, actually my my new research interest as about connection and sort of how to connect more with other people in our daily life, could be with your barrister? Or danger on the subway or your friend or your husband, and I really think that connection is what makes life worth living, and so you connect at a party you. My connect,
you know, in a coffee shop and no matter how you do it? It's, I think it really makes for life richer and makes you happy a person. Will let's go with it since we're on it? Why I why connection and what are you learning in your region? One we're getting really? I mean I've been doing research and happiness for now, thirty years, actually to celebrate it. My thirtieth anniversary of starting doing this research a lot of it has been on how how to make people happier. You know what can we do to become happier? and so my lab does what I call happiness interventions and their basically clinical trials are like clinical trials, where we prompt one group of people to practise a certain strategy like Express gratitude three times a week or two x of kindness every week for a month, and we measure the happiness. And then we have a control group. Here we have various comparison groups and I started thinking that
a lot of what we are trying to do to make people happier is about connection. So when we get people to express gratitude, they end up really feeling were connected to the people that they are expressing gratitude to cause is almost always about other people I mean. Sometimes it might be about your health or your opportunities in life. It usually when people express gratitude or think about greater. The thinking about the people in their lives. And then we do a lot of studies on acts of kindness or pro social behaviour, as it's called in thus ecology literature. So we asked people to do usually three x, kindness, they don't normally do on one day week for a few weeks. let's say every Monday like today's Monday, so every Monday do three x of kindness. They don't normally do and then do the same thing next Monday and so on and people become happier and they feel more connected. But we realise that both gratitude and and and kindness a really bad connection and when you engage in these processes, interactions you're really connecting with the person and we actually did a study to see. Is it really the pro social part, the kind part that makes people happier
or is it the sofa part? Maybe you'll have to actually do an active kind, as you can just talk to someone else. it is tat. He will we. Actually. We had two groups, and one group did three more kind acts every week for four weeks and other group did three more social interactions every week for four weeks. So, like three directions, they don't normally have extra three today and we did find differences, so they both groups felt equally serve more connect a more positive emotions, so we think maybe what really matters is social interaction is so interesting it. It sounds like you're saying we ve been studying gratitude and kindness, and will we really so, while those are two really important, things in some ways were dancing around the edges of the issue that we hear that might be now. I think, there's things to me. I think them multiple pathways right, so I've, maybe One is the strongest one, but certainly there
other things that are going on with gratitude unkindness rights when you're kind to someone else not only acting, but you also, maybe whom you feel it a better person right you, you might feel just better by humanity as a whole and then, when you grateful you, you also might feel like humbled, because your success is not just about you about other people. You may feel inspired elevated, so not just my connection, but maybe connect as is the key, is kind the key magic ingredient. So is it possible that the come to nominate or among all three of them is that they all get you out of your own story? Yes, I actually think that most this kind of my intuition, I'm not in clinical psychologist, but I think that most or many problems that people have in their lives are due to too much Self focus and self absorption, sir, whenever you're focused too much on yourself in its often your dwelling ruminating and aims to do research and rumination, which is key to success of the about all. What's, but your problems,
in yourself ethic went whatever can help. You turn the focus off a view and to other people which could be to destruction could even be just you're watching a play and you really focused on it or you're working. You really focus on your work. I think that makes people less unhappy or less anxious, less less sad misfortune. That may seem not entirely germane under their own, that it's kind of a selfish question, and also on that many. My questions could resolve but this is kind of origin, a pretty in a reasonably crossway which that I'm writing a book kind of nationally, at least about kindness and I've, been thinking about how to frame this, because one of the sort of obstacles I'm bumping into is that I think that men and women think differently about kindness. And that this is a lot of women. I know specially young women who are coming up in their careers have said to me, will
Kindness isn't my issue, I'm kind enough. I really need to worry about standing up for myself, which actually figured that a lot too that, whereas some in this, I'm speaking bra gross generalities here. But though I, the man, I know much more resonate with the idea of hay yeah up. If I steps having such sharp elbows, maybe things go better for me and took the angle. I've been victory toward is the getting out of Europe. Head: do you think that has unisex appeal, or do you think that there are a lot of people who would say you know. Actually, I'm not totally self obsessed, I my old, I'm a nurse or social when I write my whole job is about helping other people. It is a great question and allotted in answer to one is, and we have we ever chapter that we wrote about how the pursuit of happiness might sometimes back fire. In one example, we had is when you were when you are when you wanted to acts of kindness, but your ready are a very
We give oh you're already very giving person and then that's not the right fit for you. Then you don't want to do even more of that. So you have to be careful and everyone has different values and goals, and jobs and personnel isn't so they need to sort of choose the right kind of strategy for them. So for some people they already kind is so giving of themselves that they should be even more giving to others, although when I say acts of kind of, sometimes there is very little things amend. It could just be you smile at the matter in a clerk that you that you see in a store, and you know you make them happy by that's it's not like. You have to start a burden necessarily so that's one point is that it really depends on, I think, probably is a gender difference. point is that I think what being in your head might mean different things for different people are different enters, so could be they yourselves orbed cause your arrogant and you just like, or your nurse assisted, and you think about yourself a lot because you you're so great Europe,
adult or it could be that you had a dwelling on things. I don't know. I can't believe I said that to that person and so could be because of it, purity or could be just because you're deployment depressive an anxious and so the door. The in your head, can be due to things, but all of those different reasons to be in your head, I think, can be toxic I am not saying we should never think about ourselves and well in that's natural that that's where there's a squeak called about how like each of us is protagonist of our own little piano play like that's true work, how to go about the day and were the protagonists and so ass normal. But I do think that no matter why people are too much in their heads, it's always their productive invaluable to get them a little bit out of their heads, And this is not to say that some people are maybe perfectly fine in there just just the right amount. That is balanced. I think I know people like that. Second point: we did a steady
I recently was just just impress journal of experimental psychology where we asked people to act more extroverted, What did you see, but extra version is actually has three components, so one is sociable. Talkative and one is a sort of, and one is basically energetic spontaneous and we asked them to do three things, and I think this sort of part is might be valuable for something well, maybe especially women, and that we are talking about women, may be being needing to serve serve to control the situation more and that made everyone much really really happy. Actually we got the biggest effect sizes. We ve forgotten, I think in any experimental overrun or we are able to act more extroverted. So so more about what the, how how we can be more x ray as well. In this study, we we had people for one week, we said act more extra. We didn't you support by the way where you setting can with with this part of your connection research, I guess you could say that. because I'm interests of interaction, but it's all with all related
Ok, so for one week we asked people to act more extroverted, and for this can weak or vice versa. We asked people to act more introverted, but we didn't Those charms because they have connotations right so for the extortion week. We ask them to act more. What it's gonna make them little, but even in of social disability, because in our in american culture, certainly extortion is more highly valued. So for the extra version week we asked people to act, more assertive, sociable, think and or talkative yak as talkative can be better good, talkative, assertive and seventeen and for intervention. We asked people to act more, I think was like reflective, oh gosh, I forgot introspective, and then we give examples and export of like We asked people to make plans like the next time at lunch. All speak up more or or all Alison WAR, and I won't say as much and it was really incredible so people who,
I still more extroverted got much happier much more positive emotions like every variable. We measured after that week, an intrusion weak. They got less happy, including introvert, because we expected- The intervention would not really enjoy acting more extroverted and they might get fatigued and Red Susan Keynes, really amazing book. If you re, I have read it, it's really terrific book. It gave me actually, like teacher, say this really help them understand their students because are still too just don't ever speaking, class their truly listening and they really taking it in oh, my god, I'm very extroverted now used to be interpreted. My daughter was so that can change yes. Well, sometimes it's a taste for me, but with a lot of will but my daughter, sometimes says mom you talk so much. I can't think and she's just like me. sitting is taking it in but anyway, so so
Susan Cain says that introverts yeah they built they get fatigued right. So like one of the symptoms of introversion, to do what you go to party afterwards, you might enjoy it, but you're. Just so tired. I need to recover from extrovert you go to a party you energize by it, so we, back to the interests and our study deserve to get fatigue, and maybe it was too short was just a week and if we did for a month they might get fatigue other set out a Melbourne, the did find the interest and benefit from doing from acting more extrovert introverted not did not benefit as much so a barrage did didn't fighting indifferent, but when we asked people to ignore extroverted for weak it, we subject extroverted like twenty four hours a day I mean they might. It might be for five minutes here, five minutes there, so it's very possible date that it wasn't so you know burdensome and, speaking for the intromits by things so fascinating. They just increasing social interactions, just there's some studies. It show just talking to restart at Starbucks or
talking to strangers on a train is a great study from Nick I in Chicago, where he found that people who take trying to think he use people in Chicago, took me a committed by train everyday and yes, like WWW, enjoy talking to a stranger on the train. Is it no? I will not enjoy that and I strongly feel that way like. I would much rather work or whatever read, but then ask them. Ok, I want you to exit arose at the with instructs. I remember exactly instructions, but I know I want you to tomorrow to talk to a stranger on the train and they did and they got happier so they didn't even realize they would make that. Actually happier to connect to even the small talk could work I'm really interested in more the deeper talk it doesn't it. revealing your deep secrets, but, like really you kind of showing a little bit of yourself You know a hairy recently received by Tristram I'm covering with as a theory that the key to relationships is to feel understood, valued and cared for understood, valued and cared for
or loved- and I think this is so and packed full and powerful and like applies to many situations and any kind of relationship and what he It describes how do you get there? You have to have someone express something about themselves which basically means of disclosure so ice off. This close, I told you, but this party I went to and then you respond in a way that makes me feel understood and respected or valued and that's a connection and then you and they have more moments of connection like that and that can lead to a relationship. It can lead to chemistry writing a paper right now about what creates chemistry? So, yes, oh that's a little bit of a deeper conversations, not just about the weather, about sports. What creates chemistry! yeah. That's it Can we get away now? That's that's it! It's it's! A complicated question could well I'll, send you my paper or paper we haven't. Why would I if you read the paper, we have set
yeah, but basically it starts with these repeated moment of connection I so this present an b I disclose. Again, disclosure doesn't have to be supersecret anything. You could just be my opinion about something. And then you ending you respond in a way that makes me feel understood, valued and cared for, and then maybe you disclose something, and then we have sort of this connection repeated moments of action, and that leads to chemistry in chemistry. We propose has three components: the first component,
is a sense of a shared identity that we have that we feel like there's a similarity between us and a complementarity between us it. It could be a sense of sort of if it's a team. It's like a team spirit. Org is a couple, a couple identity and if its friends or acquaintance as a sort of just a sense of shared identity, says one component, another component is basically positive effect and attraction. Positive effect right. We feel you know some good talking to each other attraction in a broad sense. It could be actual like romantic attraction or could it be? You know, attraction abroad. Sense like I'd like you and the third component is: we are able to serve pursue goals together in a coordinated way. So this there, they d is that we can accomplish more together than we can apart, and so the goals could be to have a great conversation or it could be that were writing a song together or writing a book together or were working on something together. Our we're trying to
and a building together in some altogether we're like better off than apart so rights. You know: are there some people with whom I just never will have chemistry? Probably guess so. Somebody could express an opinion. After we wrote about it, but I find the opinion, abhorrent and, and therefore yeah yeah, of course, and that's why we don't have chemistry with everyone we meet so just staying on extra just looking back again to being an extrovert for those or or I guess more on point having social connections, started to tackle a little better boot bout it with trains, but for those of us who maybe don't take a train and our intrigue by the growing body of science and says social connection which, by the way, was put some context on. It is a is under assault right now, in an era of, you, know tat induced animalization and political polemics.
nation and urbanization, etc, etc. All these forces driving us apart, how kept What are the little things or very big things? We can do to increase our level of social connection, especially given that the data that suggested really is key to happen. Yeah disagree idea, I visited question so is done out of you B C. Study. Where was she was asking people to connect order to chat with their barista in the coffee shop? So a lot of us, even in an urban environment, might go to a coffee shop or a restaurant, and even that kind of connection can work on the Isle I got a whole foods alight in my neighborhood in Santa Monica and sometimes like the the cashier will be so good at her job section. So fast, I really like people to go fast and others say you are so good at your job and an end. I think it makes her day. You know she's just like no one says that or I'll tell people that this is easier for women and men, but I'll
I'll, see someone I'll, say you're, so beautiful, isn't that you know when I go along, or I mean that it does have you like that? I mean it could just be hey. You know inimical to be anything you know. Did you see that over there? I think you know we possibly most of us at least interact with other people and some Wendy live. I actually started taking over poor more often or lower, it had seemed that's a big live. That's a big! I would have to really think I know, but you know I always think I'd want to do that, but, like we did at the other day with their two different people, they're both really are like a college or right after an we like had display conversational, both of them of exists. As a friend of my night like us, it was for us that that's happened to be a number of times. You have to become evident right mood for that. I guess sometimes you just talk to anyone. How do you do when you get it said this? Is? I read a study recently about chatting with people an elevator, and this was a big challenge to my
and I ve been able to do it sometimes sometimes. I just feel this lack of generosity of spirit kicking in. How do you do in elevators? I know I think to be there mood, but you know what, if I could put you to study- or everyone goes into this can say I consider them look this week three more times this week do something like that that you would normally do, and it could be one time, an elevator one time at a coffee shop. You know I wasn't outspeeds coffee and someone was wearing like a cool short. I said all that I really like that shirt with like a very middle so easy, and it is, I think, of it. of kindness like you're. Here you maybe someone smile and it couldn't what other anyways make it Africa resolution and then it s easier, the more you do. It is obviously not a percentage extroverted but extroverted with kind of friends of people. I know a little bit and I used to like my husband- will just chat people up when we're two strangers and aims to public. Why are you doing that links
stop talking to people, but now I'm doing a little bit more myself, because I realized like it's nice, you know it really does make thirty in especially people who are serving you, you know really talking to them. How are you you know they? They really do. You know you want to have people, people want to feel respected and appreciated for were they You want people want to be seen as a person, and I just like a valet, or as a waitress so challenging, but I think, like anything, the more you do with the easier becomes. I really think like you will be happier if you do that more I've seen it. I've tried it allows trying was trying after more after I read the study in the weeks after weeks after that, I've been I've fallen off the wagon a little bit. I really resonate, though, with what you said about. I see myself in what you said about being extroverted, I'm actually voted with my friends out. I think my friends would say I'm warm to them, but there are many instances, especially with you.
either? I work within dont. Don't know that well or people? I don't know it all where I can feel all the armor go up with no provocation. Yeah, that's! Ok! I mean you don't have to write. You'd have to be connected with every single person, the area, that's ok, and sometimes we just wanted like be alone, but maybe just a little bit more than usual. You wanna. Do it more cover more points, so is done the reason that she did the steady with the barrister or what's the mail barrister away. That's a lawyer, and even now, like Starbucks PETE's, they have this. You can you get it. mobile apps. Now right. Will you just get your coffee without ever I came to Bristol and whose of her thought was. This is not a good thing because, as like now we're, not gonna connect, even with the person that we're gonna give us or change to. So that's just in terms of social media. We are now also really interested in that question you know, is the use of smart phones is over media
We even listen to music, where you can like talk to people on the street like I'll. Ask us to try to ask directions in New York as I do not. I don't live here and I can't ask anyone production because they all have their headphones, and they came in here. You are so we are actually doing some studies now. One big study, China serve discover. So what are the effects on happiness and connection of people using or not using sulphur Medio just their smartphones? And lots of lots of bodies is about that because certainly their ways that people are fighting to connect and social media especially if you're shy or if you're living in a rural area not contain a yacht able to see your friends and family. We have all Paris from Germany mostly and if we use it, if our kids, so we ve had a Paris because we have four kids we ve had appears since for twenty years. Actually for twenty years and at first there was newly no internet and they were miss their friends and family at home, and they would talk on the phone with them once in a while. But then we really, I like ten years ago. It didn't matter
like they were connected with their friends of Emily in Germany, like all the time, all day, long and so there are they did it is that it wasn't a problem. A cop, sickness homesickness was nice big of a problem anymore. So that's wonderful and people who are really shy in its wonderful for some of them, because they can connect better and easier so media. Certainly lots of people have started. Relationships offers social media great for them, people they would never have otherwise met their husbands and wives. But we also know that it's not often it's not real connection, and in its that's interesting, it's like a sort of like us Looking so it satisfies our need for connection just enough that we don't maybe make the effort to like truly connecting person. There was a great in the Atlantic about the sex recession. Did you see that you are fascinating, was a cover story. It was about how, people are having less sex now and partly because, They're just on sulphur media. All the time I am an there, maybe they're texting or sexting, but they don't have to get together in person,
which, like doesn't make sense to me at all, but you know that supposedly a trend, I don't know what the data are really. So that's not good rights were not connecting in person as much on, But you know it's if there's a lot of research that needs to be done in this area. You know like how can we Can we use of a media to connect? I think it's great, to connect with some one and then make a plan to mean in person, and I think that is happening. But that's I really think you know human beings were, like you can argue, were sort of evolution, early, hardwired to connect in person right, not of is obviously not connect digitally in I contact touch smell. A gesture is so important for connection. We obviously can have that in you know when we're texting, although texting can also be like really funny connecting. So we do also did a study where we looked at how much people connected over different.
forms of media, so been person face to face versus like face time. Video chat versus phone for social media taxed web. So I think that's it and we found like this beautiful linear relationship, so the most connection was worthwhile. Surely the three most was in person, video and phones? Actually, video phone, we're, not distinguishable internet connection, positive motion, which is really interesting, so I think maybe video phone can cancer approach, the maid, that in present pretty well but texting. Sulphur media was a lot less, connecting not surprising so just to button up this topic. If, if we have urge you. If we are convinced by what you're saying the the move to boost our connection quotient would be to push ourselves out of our comfort zone a little bit and is at it yet a little bit
and then maybe more and by the way you couldn't, let's say, you're married, and you know if you're not married for while you're not necessarily connected with her spouse or the time. Sometimes, if you have kids and you have jobs, you might be barely speaking to each other. I mean, even if your happily married? And so you could also try to collect more with the closest people in your life. Maybe really- and you know when you talk to your spouse or your girlfriend or your best friend, like truly listen to them or ask them questions a euro. Maybe have forgotten to ask them, you know. Maybe you sort of taking it for granted so is not just about. Currently with strangers, but I think at the very least, try to connect all but more than you are- and I think all of us can connect more like the extrovert. Instead, it's interesting because we're we're doing in others to follow up and we sort of thinking like all, would have like I'm up You text her right now and and we're sure my students said well what, if people ready really extroverted, are they really going to want to be more extroverted and so so
change, your instructions to be like will you know like I'm extrovert but necessarily extraordinary situation. And I'm not necessary, assertive like that, might be situations that I wish it were more assertive in, and so you could always it's gonna be more sociable or spontaneous or energetic restorative in some situations where some people, and so we can all cut to use a little bit more of that, and I think we all can connect global more, even if you have if you're happily married, and you have lots of friends you couldn't, you could still benefit from what connection and when you connected it's like you feel, life is richer you're, just happier and when you're happier you know this you're more productive at work, you're healthier! You have better relationships. You know you're more creative, like all kinds of good things come from. Being live. Having more positive emotions, you more generous to others. So it's it's a good thing, stager and, moreover, conversation is on the way after this better help offers licensed professional councillors specialised in a week
array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief, conduct with your professional counselor and a safe private online environment? It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love looks all with every second and asked the question I usually start with, but I just was going with the flow. Why did you you become? interested in having three decades of studying this. What drove you to it? It was serendipitous actually said Oh, I see a certain grad school and the first they ve got. Scottish Stanford I met with my adviser, is immensely Ross and I just saw him in Toronto, wonderful adviser and but his his expertise is in conflict and negotiation. So you are totally different.
kind of the opposite to happiness, but that first day we start we walked on campus and remember we went to the reduced sculpture garden and was telling about what a great experiment that agreed experiment is like a great sculpture And we just start talking about what is happiness and in how you know, what's a secret to happiness and why some people happier than others and I dont know who it was? Probably him I mean I remember who first asked the question back then this was in nineteen. Eighty nine there's only one person was setting up. His dinner was really one of the most Ed Dena dinner at Illinois, news really, the the founder of the field, the sides of happiness. another wonderful person, but in he was sort of sitting at that point in a really correlation really kind of like. Are you a women happier than men? Are people have more money happier than people have less money and so we so we just were starting in this. Like total wild West, like no one really knew, we only knew very little.
I was kind of secured first about it, because I felt that all my other gratitude friends were doing like real science and I was just kind of exploring and it was all kind of fuzzy and seems like seemed unscientific, but then, with time we learn more and now happiness is ass. You topic and lots of fielders economists sitting be and neuroscientist sitting happiness is become like me very, serious field of inquiry. Do Was there anything your personal background that made the subject resonate with a little bit side from Russia? the importance of the union and I emigrated afraid I was almost ten when I came to the U S where in Russia, so Moscow, Moscow, and in Russia, are you people, while they report themselves as being less happy by. and they look less happy you're walking on the street and they have not a reason to be less happy. When you go in their homes, I mean there, king and having fun and there really connecting with.
Did a study showing that there is less likely to express happiness to strangers and this initiative the evil eye and you're. Not really, you know supposed to express happiness or publicly dodger. Culture is really interesting. in Russia. I spent a little time their people, even People were middle class, have a house in the woods it goes there, you sit in a hot terminus, I fancy an drink vodka, you really connect in your making peace, making move dumplings together with those called gear. Be many yes, I mean every Nikita. I can't pronouncing, but there? Is this doing up stuff together? That that does seem very family seem tight. I you know is a cameramen of work with for a long time with who lives in Moscow, and I've done much stories with him and MAX, and you know his head and then he and his adult children will get together at their data, which again not fancy there is this connection embedded into the culture absolutely it is more of a collective collectivist culture. I guess you could say by either
but I came to the: U S. One now and I was like mine- have won the first things I notice as a people walk in the street in the smaller you and if you go to the bank, people smile at you remember getting Samson Russia like when I return let lears later and I didn't my russian wasn't as good and and the woman was just yelling at me at the post office and look why yelling at me issues like really mad, and she was angry and unlike anyway, and in that way- I've been here- and I was so maize that people with a small at you- and they say- and this is it's a high like why this a high to me- so I was kind of fascinated by that ethical- a pretty happy person about like a ten, but am I in eight. I was studying it because I wanted to be happier which sometimes like some does stews want to work with, because they say they want to be happier which is usually wretch like for me. In a characteristic yet mean me, you could do that
but I really want someone who wants to do the science and they don't the scientists because they want to be happier personally, although you could do both effectively. so I think I was already. Can interested I mean it's interesting topic, I mean most people find it interesting. So when I start talking to my adviser Lee about that interest, you I've been, It was interesting and then it really took off so for the first about ten years of my life, my career, we, I really can paired happy and unhappy people going to seek out how differently, as a window interested of what? What really is the secret to happiness? I also had a whole line of research with seasonal unhook, some another adviser. How does wonderful on rumination, which is kind of the the flip side of the coin? But it's really got sadness. Enterprise People are depressing, are more like a ruminate. Women are more likely to ruminate but also give me eleven sites to happiness to, and then ten years after that, the media kept calling me, and they would ask me I storm over this. I did my dissertation those about sulphur comparison, and I found that have you
me of have yeah. I found that happier. People are less likely, whilst others are less likely to compare, because we all can help but compare racist out there. We can see other people more beautiful than us or make more money or whatever, but they just don't care as much they're, just that they dont focus on their own dwell on it. They used to on standards, more took him enough for their own successor, whatever they want in life, but the unhappy people are like dwelling on it, and so that's what I found an end, so journalists would call me and they say wall. What does this mean like which I tell my readers should ever? Should we compare less and I would say: well first of all this very applied question. I don't know it's I don't know. The answer is that the correlation? What I found was a correlation and just because happier people are less likely to compare themselves with other. So don't care as much doesn't mean that if you are unhappy- and if you did that, then you would also get happy right, because you know correlation is not him
causation. We know that, but then I realized like wow. That's actually really interesting question. Yes, it's kind of applied, but is also What you mean by apply meaning I want I was this experience researcher right. I didn't really want to study like how to make people happy because it sounded like I don't know, what's in some basic science, but then I realized, that's that's false. It is basics. In its studying how happiness can shift overtime. How can go up and down in that is interesting. Research, question scientific question. This also applied in that it has like very clear implications for the average person for you so then my students and I started doing in what we call interventions and try to get people to to be happier. We actually never did the study of we ask people to compare less other, so we probably twenty years later, we should probably do that. So, yes, I was concerned put us as I said, how we started doing research happiness, but but like a letter
so many questions, because I said at the beginning there were so few people studying it and then positive the feel the positive psychology was born and I was at that one of the initial meetings with Mighty Seligman and make checks at me high and we We all like. I should just tell people who those are. My Saddam is the founder of known as the founder of positive psychology use it you, Japan is a pen and and then chicks Emma high. I can never pronounces downright might you call them like others Mick, failures and how he had been like as what you. Ok, he wrote a book called flow so he's written yet lotta bucks, but his famous for runabout flow, which I think I shall is a really beautiful com, you know what you're really so absorbed in what you're doing that you don't even notice the passage of time and in the sense of self
but the two of them really started this field, but with what was great about that is that they stay. They had all these meetings, so we would meet an optimal Mexico which is near can well near, could have two hours from Cancun in his look, beautiful legal, place and we would sit under pull up us and talk about happiness and said that the best thing about those meetings is that we connected with other sort of younger people in the field, so Bart Fredricksen, for example. I am reading her book right now. She wrote a book. I love to prevail. She's amazing, so she's become a good. collaborator, so I ate canaries listening. I want you to get out I'll. Ask her to me: She says she's at USC, chapel hell monsieur actually next week we're gonna meet at the Vatican for for some meetings of unhappiness, so bar furtive suntan Sheldon, whose at Missouri, who I shall you were buckled, optimal human being and he's wonderful to some. He became a club raider. So you know what wonderful people that
met there, and so we start cooperating together and so there's all this synergy, and so this field was born. And so now tons of people are studying, that's happiness, but your gratitude, daiquiri Kintner, also from Berkeley Who says gratitude? Ah, thereby also studies, kindness, yeah? Absolutely so she was there, and so it is wonderful that now we all kind of nature that we work together or we talk to each other about ideas. We see each other conferences. So that's really important in because this house of the fearless created I dont actually like the term positive psychology You know, I know I think it's. It implies that the rest of the world is negative. beside us use while being science or gratitude science her. You know what you're not having aside I mean You could call happiness science, it doesn't matter foundational question. What is happiness Ok, I use a dinners, definite
of happiness. I think a lot of people do and ideas to the happiness has two components and I think the best way of thinking about it is you can be happy in your life and you can be happy with your life. Ok to be happy in your life is basically to experience positive emotions on a regular basis, but positive emotions. I mean joy, tranquillity, enthusiasm, curiosity, affection, pride, etc. Doesn't mean you express them all the time. Negative motions in particular circumstances are important, also Sometimes when you see and justice in the world, you need to be angry and that will probably to change things in that happens. A lot if you say so so, deposit emotions is, though he being happy in your life. Be happy with your life. Is life? Satisfaction, in the sense that your life is good. They are progressing towards your life goals and I think you really need both of those components to be a truly happy person there to be questioned
I ask a throne both at EU and then you we can decide together with the order, is too how'd. You sum up what you ve learned in these thirty years. What are the primary learning and then the other question I want to ask you can take him whatever already one is. How good are you at applying your own advice or learning, or else it with the first one, and that the ridiculous question to ask us it would take me like three hours six hours to answer by her. We have plenty of the net party. You know we can go and talk about happiness for six hours. You're invited ok What do I learned? Well, as I said, the more I do, research unhappiness, the more. I think it's about connection, it's all about connection. What am I learned in the last thirty bears and that it takes ok, it takes effort to become happier if those people are putting that effort in our thinking I know
they become the Buddhist softened, say the common denominator. Among all living beings is, we all want to be happy and yet do you think most people are actually thinking about how to become happy. No and some people I wanna be happier for various reasons. Sometimes I just feel like they see the world. Sometimes they do, you like to see the world as it truly is, and they don't want to which they don't want to see it with rose colored glasses. You know, that's fine, like I don't want to I'm not like forcing people to become happier. So I know plenty of people who, like I'm fine with the way I am, and I don't want to be, That's fine, but lots of you. I see the majority wanna become happier, but just like anything right, if you want to lose weight, be healthy. It takes effort, Edison like. You can go on a diet for two weeks and you're done for us, your life. You have to watch what you eat and how you move and exercise your exercise. Your whole life every week of your whole life. You need to be thinking about it, but ideally it becomes a habit and you,
joy it simply what happiness or or if you have a strong marriage. If you want to raise happy and successful children. It's a lifelong kind of thing, pursuit and the same thing with happiness and and some people do it definitely and sometimes a kind of fall off the wagon s really know lots of people. They try to be grateful than they like they get busy in. They stop I'm not again. I dont want to force people to do that, but if you want to do it, if it takes work, it takes effort, but ideally that work is not like it, but not. A bad kind of work is actually very rewarding kind of work, and you can also make other people happy and that some other way to think about it. That happiness is not selfish. When you're happier You make your your partner happier, you make your friends and your colleagues happier, I mean you're gonna, be a better. her nicer, more productive person, a more generous person. so you just doing it for yourself, you're doing it for the people around you. I think this one good way of thinking about it. Since one take on the message, effort, yeah effort, it takes work,
another one? Is that its different for everyone? There are lots it there. I mean I've become a personality psychologist with time, not just a social psychologist started. precise ecologist interested individual differences. Everyone is different. Now, every happiness strategy is gonna, be right for everyone and my first book the half happiness that was one of its main themes is the theme of fit because a lot of books of kind of say it's going to be about. One thing like you need to do this to become happier so gratitude graduate is amazing and I think it's very happiness inducing, although it can backfired. Sometimes I just had introduced with someone about that about Thanksgiving and how it's not always good to force people to be grateful. But it doesn't work for everyone like. I actually find gratitude, Qana hokey and I dont like counting my blessings. I do like to sort of like written
once in a while to someone like care about and really express card you to them. So we might express go to very differently in some people. Just don't want to do that, not fine, so we different kind of things work for different people, so I dont want to kind of form and I dont want to suggest the same strategy for everyone. So the second theme is really before I go to the third him. I'm gonna force you to go down the tangibly already started. Why is it that gratitude can backfire and by Heaven, trust in how the pursuit obvious can backfire. Liquidity talked about how kindest can backfire like if you're already occurring person, I so glad you came back when it makes you feel indebted. So it's it's very, very common. When you express guide you two people in your life, which is by the way what mostly garters about sometimes with strategy for our health or opportunities etc? But most is about people it might make violent at it cause you feel, like you haven't, really paid them back. Maybe you haven't really express the gratitude. The way
should have in some languages. The word grateful and the word indebted or the same word, which will is telling and so indebtedness is not a bad thing. I mean it might feel unpleasant, but it can trigger, sort of motivation, inspiration to sort of paper, which is good thing, graduate also making feel uncomfortable, embarrassed ashamed, maybe you're on uncomfortable and bear subversive meeting help in the first place. It might be awkward when you share it. You know more mischievously siwashes doing a series of studies about the effects of expressing gratitude on, first on the other person because it could be, it can be awkward for the other person and their cultural differences and some cultures its we found in it. I'm awkward to express gratitude so sometimes is, but I think those unpleasant feelings and on a surly about thing, it also can humble you ashes really interesting. We line, seven humility when you are truly grateful for people in your life, it makes you feel,
like you know. My success in my happiness is not just about me. It's about other people, helping me right and that's humbling and effect, listening a while ago to some like Ox Oscar speeches and a lot of them are about that right is like in its inspired. like you feel like, or they really humbled ticket this word, but I think some people are there like really, I could not have gotten it would like this team of people. I often don't buy I've joke about the day ass. Sometimes, when people get up and say I am Humbled Motors Award and when you know look humbled as Polly True, but if it for some people is certainly very believable that it could happen. Yes, if you like classes and yes, yes anyway, Attitude can feel sometimes you'd feel unpleasant. An emphasis on this, fact? Often there some research by not now bolder it inspire you and motivate you to do to do more. Be more generous yourself to pay back. So Any kind of strategy can backfire and a minister
anything, and so I'm just interested in that, like kindness, can backfire because it might make the other person feel like their needy. You know a vulnerable in fact, often some research by not now bolder it at Columbia, about visible versus invisible sort of support? So when sofa support, which is basically helping others when is visible, sometimes it could barely it can backfire it can make you can make people feel serve patronize like here. Let me help you, but when its invisible can actually work better, it's like you're helping people without like making it. You know making it really obvious re read, that's very interesting, not really interesting. I've just come processing how that may or may not play out of my own life, and I can think about my mom. I My dad's has himself Brahms recently in my brother, and I have been very active in serve to supporting our mom and were not doing it invisibly. It will be impossible to do.
Invisibly and she's just repeatedly set thanking us all the time I could see a world in which she could start to feel like we're infantilism her or something like that. So get just decked with Canada that that seems like a very important balance to keep. I really think it is, I think, is a really important reach at finding. I wonder if kids and parents are one of the exceptions like if my kids were helping me a lot. I think I've just feel so wonderful about that, but made not of my men are always but yeah, you could help sometimes in a way we're like the percentage, even know the yes right right, you wouldn't get credit. Well, yes, but if you're a good person right, You would care, but it's very hard not to. But you know, if you listen, you helping lots of ways, but you know tat. Two of the ten ways are invisible, yeah,
maybe that could be a resolution we can all make like do something this week. Will you helping someone and they don't know well and that you will feel really good about yourself? just an end of one here, but I I have noticed in the hat. I've noticed my mother. My mother will be quite a few seven thanking me and so does Canada. Take me back because I dont experience. It is a pain in the bud. You know my mother and both and my father were wonderful parents. I love my parents and giving back to them actually is, and vigour And yes sometimes it's another thing and might to do list but or if I have to hop on the phone to talk to my mother for an hour about various things, she's very thankful, TAT was like a wide set of our and the phone. My mom, that's so even when I'm doing things that I know she's not gonna, know about. It still feels good in some way. Of course, of course it does.
No, not everyone is lucky to have the kind of ownership of their parents, and I know that and for what it really is very burdensome in or friends or in our partners, But here too it's interesting yeah mean you'll, you'll, be a better person. If you, if you get something out of helping people without any credit and have I've, heard countless doors but people countless I've, heard stories about people who that difficult relationships with their parents. And then they have to help them in their hour of need? Maybe some is maybe the eleventh hour where the relationship can switch theirs. The expression that I've mentioned on the show before that I heard on a different podcast, Casta Azra Klein has applied cast it, I think, is really excellent and he had this woman on Alison Gothic, yet remain. I'm ok, I've never read arousing you're also invited the show, and she said something that has really been reversed.
Rating through my skull recently, which is you don't care because you love you love, because you care and it is the exercise, the practice of caring for somebody that generates the love. You know I've always loved my parents, but I in this time. When you know the tables returning and I'm a little bit more in loco parenthesis, I've fine, there's, there's more love there in some ways. This beautiful you should write about that in your book you're right about it. I've, except here, there's, there's a red there's, a theory and old theory and source of conjugal soft perception, theory and
It's when you use it of you, see yourself doing something and you make our tradition and explanation. You have to explain it, and so, like look, you see yourself helping this person, and so you gonna conclude. Well, I must really care about them or I must love them like was. Why will you know so, like the behaviour comes first and the emotion comes later, so that's what this reminds me of, and but yet you can make anything a habit. I think and so you first are doing it and first maybe unnatural and then like dislike extra virgin right. You might act more extroverted and it feels very natural. But then, with time it becomes more natural. So you we in and it all comes back to- and this is, I think, a lot of leading up the question here You have said before it all comes back the connection, but I'm wondering whether as I posited gingerly earlier whether in fact the level deeper than connection still is getting out of your own head, whether that did you know
the source of so much of our suffering. Is this rumination You have said you study for a decade and connection. Does that frame it unless a great question, and I would I'm gonna, do I'm? I try to do some experiments to try to disentangle those things like, for example, we can compare. One group can connect with others, and another group might just be varied me very destructive. So, for example, video games get you out of your own head and make they make lotta people happier we actually just found it was. That was just a point to correlation, but the more college student spent on gaming, apps, where they were, and there was a significance, because we hadn't was point you, but if we didn't have enough people in the study, so you compare some delay that or even just focusing on work. So it's not connecting to but it's getting yourself out of your head cause you're, really focusing on something else. I don't think it's gonna be as enduring because they think that connection is sitting
during an it, produces these upward spirals right, so you connect and then you feel, like you care about the more, and that will lead you to the next moment of connection and it can create a lots of sort of positive benefits over time, a downstream effects worth it, whereas just sort of pure distraction or absorption, something meaning do that with this, so it maybe it's a double helix me no self reinforcing upwards by, but thinking of meditation so in meditation, gradually. We learn to focus on something that is in our story. It's usually the feeling of breath. Coming and going out or any sensory objects. That's arising and There are many ways in which this makes us happy, but I think I've found national way is in that year. You're no longer taking your inner dialogue so seriously, and that has nothing to do. In the moment with connection, and yet it makes you here s a great comparison, but but loving kindness
adaptation, which is maybe maybe Morton when the most powerful one. I'm not sure. If I think some people have tried to compare that really is you are trying to connect to it, not in other sort of in your mind. Yes, so I think that even more powerful but I'll be agreed comparison, so you have tried to connect with other person, other people actually person you're meditation gaming in a work I mean that those we greater compare with. Maybe it isn't You know I made. Maybe this is truly academic, but these two things seem super important. We are wired for social connection, as I have said many times or, and I'm rip this offer but in a lonely, human on the Savanna back in the day was dead human. So we of course need we deep in our wiring to have the social connect and we know- and you know better than anybody just having studied, is so love that rumination is makes us unhappy. So
these two things seem somewhere near the core. I don't know which one is, I think the other agri shall. We checking through the lists of where I ask you this reading the question of whether the things you learn to thirty. He hears doing this work. I did this thing of, as I mentioned to you before we started rolling here. Grace living in one of the producers on the Show Rugby League compiled. For me, this great research back and you and I took out these notes on it circle all these things and then I left at my office you didn't bring it here, but I, if my memory serves one of the other big learning, was something bout savouring positive experiences, while this there's yet dealt with that that's one of the strategy, so there is actually ten or twelve twenty strategies that we can use to be happy, and I focused today on gratitude. This in connection with savouring, does actually not about connection truly living in the moment and send savouring, is basically extracting the maximum positive emotion from an experience now
we can live in a moment all the time in fact Studies, show that we are more. People are more future oriented. I think that's appropriate we're gonna, focusing on what we're gonna do next and articles in life, but I think it's really good. eight to also be some time when we are when I'm talking to you or I want my kids or a warm watching, a movie that I'm really in the present. I'm relics savouring. Oh I'm eating across Anti. I'm really savouring that enjoying it, not thinking what have to do next, and I think that will definitely that definite, maximizes happiness, but we have to have a. I once I mean, there's a study that showed, for example, that the people who are homeless are come almost completely living at the moment and thus actually adapted for them. But it's not obviously that's not gonna be adapted for everyone. Yet provocateur under an enormous amount of Zat, yes, and they found a gazelle, I'm living moving from one moment to the next or they have to be present focus just so. We can do that all the time, but
but when we are- and I realize this I realized relating to your last question- I think about you- whether I'm happier when it was how we relate the research. My own life I realise when I was writing the half happiness and has literally every chapter I would write. I would think spend so much time. It was like this deep dive into forgiveness into kindness and gratitude into savouring into rumination. I would start to give a mountain life has got a funny like the kind of chapter on like I should do more. Like the kindest for my husband and I literally so doing that, I'd like bringing something from you know from the store, a special something you know things like that or like and take out the trash erroneously do that, but that his new knock on his work, but with savouring I noticed that was what I had too little kids my flight that might have took as in college now there a little and then have to other kids don't ask, but They were like foreign, six, five and seven- and I remember,
singular was with them. I was thinking like. Oh, I have to take him to the tomorrow or I have to because I was about what I to do next. So wasn't really savouring like I wasn't really living at the moment with them, and I remember thinking like that's ridiculous. Likewise, with them are sure to speak all in and then you knock, it could do the other thing to do, and so it really made me realize how important it is, and I have tried to do that more like when you're you're walking from you know, you're off from your whatever you're home to office or the subway stopped. to your house and you are truly or savouring, maybe your savouring, the architecture or a bird song or the flowers are or the music. You know why not you know and standing align standing, Align, hey, you know what you can connect to the persistent next. You are equal do that, but sometimes they do or you can just fear on the ground here: listen to the sound! Exactly so do
engaging rumination around falling short of tough falling short. Yet in terms of but here I'm this happiness, evangelist on the export with passionate crap well. I certainly ruminate a dinosaur about that. I'm not happy enough by just in about things that happen. Like some conversation I had with someone- oh no like that into it go well or something at work, or you know My family was always things a great now. You know there's a, next to my new near, are our city and the schools. I just wondered supporting the schools closed in some like thinking about that, I'm so deadly ruminate about things ah yeah. I- and I think that fine like sometimes we have to kind of think about things
the proposed regulation is that it's going in circles like you, go from a to b, backdated Europe problem solving, not getting any insight sea have to go from rumination to problem solving. Ok, what I need to do next, not just like, oh my god, this about this as bad as a bad or like. Oh, my god. This means that person really doesn't like me. Some pretty good at stopping their boats are, of course I do that. I think I think most people do that at least once in a while. Some people were made a lot. As you said earlier, we could talk for six or seven hours, which actually sounds really fun, but for this conversation is there something that I should have asked you, but didn't I'm wondering is another, take a message that I wanted to tell you about really there's lots of. We actually covered lots of mice. In my recent interests, I think we covered really a lot of ground yachts really been great talkin to you. It's really contact your especially I'm so impressed, given that you,
are you you had it. You exerted yourself quite a bit over, though again and any good for it. I think we really connected. Yes, that is true. So in closing key plug everything that We want to do a deep dive on you cages and plug all your books web where presents, etc and wonderful yeah, so. I have to book some M trying to work in a third one, but that can be a while there, the half happiness about how to become happier. And then the mists of happiness in us about some misconceptions: people: how about happiness things better to read second, If you're interested everything I do, including my academic research media staff and interviews, my my website is Sonya Lewinsky dot com. Now, that's kind of a hard name to also doktor Sonia DOT. Something, whatever will be out through the air so and I'm oppressor and you see Riverside sold,
his way to find me and find my email actually, I love to get emails for people, and I read you respond sometimes very briefly, but to respond is just go. the website? Freedom receive California, oversight, psychology, faculty and I'll me, They are so it's easy to find me. Well, you you're. Ok answer eels yeah, I'm am just. I answer every email, but I often answer very briefly. Ok, I don't answer emails. before I ride. I was that it doesn't mean you. Yes, I will add that we did that but I dont use. I don't answer phone messages from strangers, so only eight such a pleasure to sit and talk to you. Thank you. Thank you. Pleasure touch you, as I said, a love that chat with Sonya and if you want more from her she's got some content up in our app she's done some talks. If you go to the talk section of the Epp and she's right,
putting a piece for the news letter which comes out on the top ten percent weekly newsletter, for which you should sign up and her her peace comes out on Sunday February. Ninth, we ve got to voice does this week, if you before we do them. I just want to tell you if you want to call and leave your own voicemail. Here's the number six four six. Eighty three, eight three to six: six, four, six, eighty three, eight three to six love the voice, males, here's number one. How then think further thing- and I said I condemn medicated lamar- painted that perspective- that I recently attended- may first retreat at lived a life on the schedule. Cited things and your work because it is the bridge those two world and actually ended up, leaving their retreat early because as having come a reconciling some things and as one to they wanted to go deeper into my practice. I also discuss scared of the,
known and ended up, leaving so and the working through some of that, but something that came up on retreat that I had an experience before is that while I was sitting I just today the rocking back and forth- and I wasn't controller- I could start, but if I wanted to, but it was it- I wasn't doing it. It was this happening and continue to happen in my practices. I returned home some wondering if you could help me at their from a scientific since then point what the heck is going on with that thinks. Ok, so much like Russia's recognition
first of all I can hear I think some sort of guilt- maybe some hope not, but maybe a little shame about having left their retreat early I to the best of my ability. I wish I could just surgically remove that from your mind. It super brave to go and a retreat their hard and may be. Tough stuff came up for you and you decided. The best thing to do was leave, and so what so you can go again or not. It's just like at the top of the show, and I was referencing the fact that you know were now by now. Most of us have failed quote unquote at our resolutions at our resolutions. The quota, unquote, failure does not preclude you from starting again and starting again is one of the one of one of the most incredibly powerful lifehack. So though you have you should so brave retreat and you can always do it again. If you are moved to do so, the rocking back and forth is very common. I happens to me:
there's a word for it. Any ancient language of Polly reputed to have been spoken by the Buddha and the word is p p. I t I and I think it translates into rapture, but it it's a known to happen when a meditative gets concentrated when the chatter am mind, goes down and the meditate her is or yogi is getting better at staying, focused on the object of meditation. Usually, that's the field breath coming in and going out or could be the the phrases that we send in so called loving. And his meditation, where, as you get concentrated, the body and the mind can of all sorts of interesting
reactions in one of them is this sort of rocking back and forth it sometimes accompanied by a body high. It can be assured of a rhythmic rocking back and forth. There can be little spasm of movement very, very, very common. I once talked about this with Joseph Goldstein. I've talked about it many times with Joseph bills in he has pointed out that some of us like this feeling of rocking back and forth, and we may be feeding it sort of unconsciously so that such a thing to look for and meditation and but in terms of the Quest can you actually asked which was what's the science behind this? I have no earthly idea. I dont know there are so many things about meditation in this kind of connects back to some the top of your question, which is so the
balance between the scientific and the spiritual there are, as I've had grown in my practice. I have retained my scepticism to, I think a large extent, but I've become sort of maybe embarrassingly open minded about things about an end, and that's really not that embarrassing. It's more of a sort of open minded, respectful agnosticism about things that I might have reflexively rejected here too, for and things like p t. Just raise all sorts of questions of what that happened. I have no idea. Does that mean and I'm open to all sorts of unbelievable metaphysical claims, like you know, of ice something mean right now. I'm gonna be reincarnated as vote. No
Am I slightly more open to those claims? I'm a little bit more open, but I still bet at my back stuff is you know? I'm definitely not going to be pounding the table about claim about about point where I don't have any evidence. So there's a lot there to do. Question, but one way that for you to look at pity- and I hesitate to say this because it can feed the sort of driving mind of a type, a meditative, but one way to look at He D or the rocking back and forth is assigned Actually, your meditation is going well, the mind is concentrated, but I would advise you not to get too attached to it, because things are always changing. Our great question keep up your practice. Try another retreat. If you feel and brave here's voicemail number two what's up then remarked the text. I was wondering what you would think it
out of combining like meditation retreat with they re a delegation like three day rehab program. If you know any of those exists and your daughter on it thinks so I headed It say too much because I'm not in I've never been to rehab and I dont know I just don't know that much about the process. What I do know is that many, my friends who have been and many people I met, who ve been if this could be rehab for drugs and alcohol? I have also been too we have centres for people who could have both addiction and also underlying psychological issues and that sort of co morbidity is, as I understand it, quite common meditation from I can tell is increasingly common in these contexts.
It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm thinking great now about the work of my friend Judd, brewer, doktor, judge and brewer, whose at the Bat Brown University and has been from is an expert in addiction and for many years has been looking at the ways in which we can use mindfulness and meditation to not be so caught up in art, dire to say, smoke or use opiates and he's had a lot of success in using this with patients. So I think am. I am really optimistic, based on the evidence, I've seen out in the world that that this is a great combination. I don't know of any body whose specifically run Thirty three halves or twenty a dairy heads and combining with a meditation retreat. But I do think that the introduction of meditation in my phone us into this context sounds extremely promising to me really appreciate the call that thing
you and I just want to remind everybody- we love your voicemail, so here's the number again six hundred and forty six, eight hundred and eighty three eight thousand three hundred and twenty six will put that in the show notes, if you don't have a pen before I go just want to say a big thanks to all the people who work really hard to make. This show success. Ryan cast Samuel Johns, Grace, Livingston, Lauren, hearts, activity, Yamaha Andrew. They thanks to all of you big to everybody, was listening and the next week a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time, these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News. You gonna hear from damage.
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