Embracing Pain to Find Pleasure
An internationally acclaimed psychologist makes the surprising case that pain, difficulty and risk are necessary to achieve happiness.
In the modern world, we have become addicted to positivity. We try to eradicate pain through medication and by insulating ourselves from risk and offence, even though we are the safest and most comfortable generation that ever lived. Yet social psychologist Brock Bastian shows that hardship and sadness are neither antithetical to pleasure nor incidental: they are necessary for happiness. In The Other Side of Happiness, he draws on psychology, neuroscience and internationally acclaimed research from his own laboratory to demonstrate how difficult experiences are ultimately proven to make us stronger, happier and more connected to those around us.
As Bastian shows us, the most thrilling moments of our lives are usually balanced on a knife edge between pleasure and pain, and carry the potential of loss, whether it is finding your true love, holding your newborn for the first time, scaling a mountain or even taking a dip in an icy sea. Rather than attempting to protect ourselves from risk or viewing difficulty as failure, The Other Side of Happiness encourages us to take a more fearless approach to living that recognises the meaning of pain in our lives.
“Pain is bad, right? In this fascinating book, Brock Bastian will convince you otherwise. Drawing on both vivid everyday examples and surprising laboratory findings, he shows how pain, suffering, and struggle give us pleasure, make us kinder, focus our thoughts, and give our life meaning. Bastian is a brilliant researcher and deep thinker and The Other Side of Hapiness is a delight to read”
Paul Bloom, author of Against Empathy
“Brock Bastian skilfully shatters the zeitgeist of positive thinking, showing how struggle and suffering are vital elements of a life well lived”
Adam Grant, author of Originals and and Obtion B with Sheryl Sandberg
“If you're tired of all the simple minded books telling you to just cheer up and be happy, this is the book for you!”
Roy F. Baumeister, author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
“Explains why hardship sometimes yields richer lives that are laden with meaning, deep social connections, and unexpected bliss. A beautifully written and important book that should be required reading for anyone who's ever wondered why well-being so often flourishes in unexpected places”
Adam Alter, author of Drunk Tank Pink