Oliver Burkeman: "In order to be truly happy... we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them."
November 4, 2012 8:32 AM Subscribe
Oliver Burkeman on happiness through negative thinking
: "I think many of the techniques that claim to enable us to achieve happiness don’t work. They are too focused on strenuously stamping out any trace of negativity, rather than cultivating the conditions of real happiness... We are all to some extent in its grip, whenever we think that the way to achieve whatever we’re trying to achieve is to go after it vigorously, and that if we believe it will all work out fine then it will." A "five books" interview with the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
*an animated trailer for The Antidote
(done in a style simliar to RSA Animate)
: "...Burkeman argues for a much more sensible proposition — namely, that we’ve created a culture crippled by the fear of failure, and that the most important thing we can do to enhance our psychoemotional wellbeing is to embrace uncertainty."
*Happiness is a glass half-empty
: "Be positive, look on the bright side, stay focused on success: so goes our modern mantra. But perhaps the true path to contentment is to learn to be a loser" (an excerpt from The Antidote
in the Guardian)
*NYT: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking
writes an ongoing series in the Guardian on "social psychology, self-help culture, productivity, and the science of happiness" called This Column Will Change Your Life
- full archive here
*Happy conservatives, unhappy liberals, and the power of "imposed selfishness"
: "It's a fairly well-established fact, in political psychology, that leftwingers report lower levels of happiness than rightwingers... What's much less clear is why."
*Halloween needs more death
: "The notion that we might stand to benefit psychologically from dwelling more on our mortality isn’t a new one, of course... Newer studies, though, suggest that what’s crucial is how you remind people about death: Do it more gently and subliminally, and in the context of topics other than terrorism and war, and it makes people more compassionate, happier, and healthier."
*Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project interviews Burkeman
*a 15 min. RSA talk on The Antidote
(description of the event and full podcast
*an Action For Happiness*
talk (video, ~80 min): An alternative path to happiness
*a half-hour RSA talk (video): How to become slightly happier