Six years ago a fellow blogger, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. of PsychCentral.com (“Mindfulness and Psychotherapy”) introduced me to the concept of mindfulness. A clinical psychologist and bestselling author, he familiarized me with the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program I participated in (at our local hospital, with a certified instructor). Elisha opened a whole new world for me, so I was delighted to spread word about his newest book, “Uncovering Happiness,” and host an interview with him on my blog.
Therese: Your book is titled Uncovering Happiness, what do you mean by happiness?
Elisha: That’s an excellent question as that term is thrown around quite a bit these days. The kind of happiness I’m referring to is what the Greeks call Eudaimonic happiness, this is a deeper more meaningful type of happiness than let’s say the happiness you experience when you have a positive emotion after winning a pot of money. You might get swept up with the mental and emotional waves from time to time, but underneath it is this core sense of self-love and confidence in knowing that you can handle it and things are going to be okay.
It’s interesting; research shows that people who have a high level of hedonic well-being (simply positive emotions) have a much higher proimflammatory gene expression than people with that core sense of eudaimonic well-being. Depression is associated with cellular inflammation.
So if we’re going uncover happiness, we want it to be the meaningful and purposeful type.