For the women listeners who want to support the men in your life, this is the episode for you. For the men who need support from other men or women, listen in. I loved Kristin’s thoughts in this episode to help liberate men to express themselves. Personally, I have struggled to feel comfortable as a man to express myself. I am a very expressive person and it’s hard to know when I can express my true emotions. This conversation was refreshing for me to dive into the barriers to emotional expression that exist in Western Culture for men. We also dived into some amazing topics in positive psychology like gratitude, wonder and awe. I just returned from one of the most awe-inspiring places on earth – the giant redwood forests of Northern California. I thought a lot of Kristin’s Stop and Wonder tool.
I hope you tune in to the whole chat with Kristin Petrucci.
Note: This podcast was recorded in 2019 and may have a few anachronistic referrals; please do forgive. However, the content we talk about is lastingly relevant and worth a listen!
More About Kristin Petrucci
Kristin Petrucci received her post graduate positive psychology training from the University of Utah. She is a Transformational Speaker, Corporate Mindfulness Expert and Positive Psychology Coach. Her main focus is to help men live victoriously. She believes that Active Gratitude is the key to Victorious Lifestyle and is the Founder of KP Speaks. She would love to collaborate and can be found on Instagram @kpspeaks_ and Linkedin
In Episode 132, I speak with Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, THE leading researcher on social isolation, loneliness, social connection and how those things impact health. Maybe you have heard the statistic that loneliness is worse for your health than smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day. Well, we dive a little deeper to clarify this notion to include the difference between loneliness and social isolation. We also talk about what a healthy socially connected life might look like. We also cover a few preliminary data points on how the coronavirus pandemic of COVID-19 has had an impact on social isolation and loneliness. Listen here or on your favorite podcast app.
Main points from our conversation:
What led Dr. Holt-Lunstad to study social neuroscience and health psychology.
What is the definition of an epidemic?
Is there actually a loneliness epidemic in the world?
What data can back this up?
The impact of COVID-19 on loneliness (some data is showing a 20-30% increase in loneliness (due to social distancing).
That Gen-Z has the highest prevalence of loneliness (some data shows up to 79% reporting feeling lonely)
What is the difference between loneliness and social isolation?
Why is social connection so important for our health?
How do social connection or social isolation compare to the impacts of well researched things like exercise, sleep, smoking, etc.?
What would a healthy socially connected life look like?
Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad’s advice on how to be happier:
Increase social connection and emphasis on your close relationships.
Positive relationships are key to a happy life.
Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app:
Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, where she is also the director of the social neuroscience lab. Her research is focused on the long-term health effects of social connection and has been seminal in the recognition of social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for early mortality. Recognized as an expert in the field, Holt-Lunstad has provided expert testimony in the US Congressional Hearing, worked on the US Surgeon General’s Emotional Well-Being in America initiative, served on the advisory group for the UK Cross-Departmental Loneliness Team, and a consensus committee for National Academy of Sciences. She also serves as scientific advisor for the Australian coalition to End Loneliness, the Foundation for Art & Healing, the Rural Aging Advisory Council, AARP Services Inc. and United Healthcare; and she regularly consults tech companies as well.
Holt-Lunstad has received too many awards to name and is making a positive mark on the world with her research. Her work has been highlighted in the BBC 100 Breakthrough Health Discoveries in 2015 and has been covered in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, Scientific American, “This American Life,” the TODAY show, NPR, and many other major media outlets. I am honored to be her TEDx speaker coach for her TED talk, and something we joke about is that her research has been cited in at least 10 other TED talks and dozens of books.
It’s an honor to have Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad on the show and I hope you listen all the way to the end for her advice on how to build a happier life.
Who do you intend to become? Are you satisfied with where you are at right now or do you want to witness a positive evolution inside yourself? If you desire a change, this episode is for you.
I honestly believe that this has to be one of the most life-changing episodes I have ever recorded because it is jam packed. If you’re like me, you’ll want to re-listen to this one and take notes and then go buy the book because today’s guest goes over some amazing principles about how to create real change inside yourself.
Today’s guest is Dr. Benjamin Hardy who is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. From 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer in the world on Medium.com. During that time, he grew his email list from 0 to 400,000 without paid advertising. His blogs have been seen by over 100 million people and have been featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Psychology Today, Cheddar and many others. Ben and his wife Lauren adopted three children from the foster system in February 2018 and one month later, Lauren got pregnant with twins who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando.
On a personal note, I had the great opportunity to get to know Ben a little more personally as well and I have witnessed first hand that he is the real deal. He doesn’t just write really amazing blog posts and books and have another life. He lives it. I share a story in the podcast about how Ben’s book Willpower Doesn’t Work changed my life a few years ago and I think that his new book is even more life changing.
Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app:
Personality tests are no more scientific than a horoscope.
Your identity (how you view yourself and your world) is much more important than your personality.
If you take a personality test and use that label to form a view of your identity, you’ll limit yourself. For example, someone who is given a diagnosis of depression is not “depressed” permanently. People who struggle with depression still feel positive emotions like gratitude, interest, and awe at times. To say they are always depressed because of being labeled “depressed” would be inaccurate. Just like this, labeling yourself according to a personality test is not helpful, nor is it permanent.
If our identity forms our view of the past and can help form our future, why not take control of what helps us to strategically form our own identity instead of letting some test tell us?
“It’s less accurate to say that the past causes the present and it’s more accurate to say that the present causes the past.”
Who you are right now and how you view yourself shapes how you view the past
What elements and aspects of yourself do you still identify with from 10 years ago? Which do you not?
End of history illusion: We downplay the potential change in the future. Humans are works in progress that think they are finished. We think that who we are is who we actually are.
It’s good for decision making to think of your future self as a different person altogether.
You can’t engage in deliberate practice unless you have a future self clearly conceptualized with the skills you’re trying to develop.
The future is a more powerful space to begin framing your identity because that’s what you actually have an enormous amount of control over.
The future is a great place to begin framing your narrative to talk about who it is you intend to be.
It’s the most authentic thing someone can do – to visualize their future self to form the narrative of their identity.
“If you want to commit to the future, you have to reject the present” – Dan Sullivan
Use your imagination and confidence to create a future self that you actually want to become. Psychological flexibility helps you to do this.
Trauma keeps you stuck in the emotions and the identity of your past and it stops you from having confidence and imagination for the future.
Trauma leads to emotional rigidity and black and white thinking. It leads to a fixed mindset rather than being open and seeing new possibilities.
The more extreme the trauma, the less the imagine flexibility for the future, and also the more frozen your personality is in the past.
“You are kept from your goals not by obstacles, but by a clearer path to a lesser goal.”
We aren’t willing to go through the obstacles and learning that is involved in becoming our future self. Instead we are just pursuing a lesser goal, because a lesser goal is easier to conceptualize, it’s less complex and it requires less confidence.
Personality for most people is a coping mechanism to avoid dealing with the emotional problems and traumas of their past. – Gabor Mate
If you’re intentional and courageous about actively seeking and becoming that future self then you’re going to have peak experiences.
Peak experiences are moments that reframe your identity and perception.
Peak experiences allow you to not overly defend your view of yourself and also your view of the world.
You have to unlearn aspects of how you currently see yourself and the world.
One of the reasons why something is traumatic is because you have internalized it in a certain way and haven’t released it and let it go.
If you expose yourself to something you’re avoiding it stops being emotional and starts being informational. The past is flexible and useful when it is information and not emotion.
Math trauma – someone told you at some point “you’re not good at that” and that hurt you emotionally and you believed it. And then instead of pursuing it through obstacles, you pursue a different path to a lesser goal.
If you have a negative emotional reaction – which is involved in trauma – and you don’t let that out – talk about it and reframe it, then how you view math (or whatever you have trauma about) is going to be from the lens of that experience and the emotion of that experience. This leads you to not wanting to deal with it – to avoiding it.
“Trauma isn’t what happens to you. It’s what you hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.” – Peter Levine
Trauma is the story that you conceptualize about yourself in the absence of an empathetic witness.
You need an empathetic witness to help you reframe it.
“You’re as sick as your secrets.”
Trauma is the core cause that leads to addiction.
Addiction is a strategy. It’s a solution to avoiding pain or truths that you don’t want to deal with.
Coaching: You build trust and then you encourage people to do things that are scary.
You want to be around people who can help you be courageous
Trauma stops you because you stop at the level of whatever the trauma was and you stop imagining a future and pursue some future that you may or may not have chosen but that feels less painful.
Most peoples’ stories are reactions to negative experiences. Not intentional emotionally regulated decisions about how we are going to choose to view this thing.
Whatever a person’s goal is, in order for them to get from where they are too where they want to go, they have to have those types of experiences that you just described – they need to have a “subconscious-enhancing experience” The situation was above your confidence level so it required courage. You were striving to act as your future self.
As people age, they become less open to novelty and they become less open to intensity.
Experiences that push us toward our desired future self have these three things:
In the direction of your future self
“Personality is an effect, it’s not a cause.” The ultimate cause are the goals we set. Those things form our identity and our identity dictates how we see the world and then we act in the world, what we attend to and who we surround ourselves with and those repeated actions and behaviors ultimately reflect what becomes of our personality.
It’s up to you how intentional you want to be about refining the goal and the vision and defining the future self and then the willingness to to go through the emotional rigors of learning
Personality Isn’t Permanent debunks the pervasive myths of personality that have captured pop culture. For example, personality tests like Myers-Briggs and Enneagram are not only psychologically destructive but are no more scientific than horoscopes. Personality Isn’t Permanent provides science-based strategies for reframing past memories, becoming the scribe of your identity narrative, upgrading your subconscious, and redesigning your environment. Science proves you are going to change throughout your life. You might as well be intentional about that change.
How do you make friends as an adult? And if you have made a friend, how can you keep them and strengthen that friendship? In today’s episode we talk about the importance of friendship as an adult as well as how to build and strengthen friendship in our lives. I interviewed Kat Vellos, the author of the amazing book We Should Get Together, on these things, and I’m very excited to share this with you.
What are the biggest barriers to friendship?
The demands of partnership and family
Declining capacity for intimacy and compassion in the age of social media
We talked about a lot of practical ways to overcome these obstacles in the interview.
We talked about Dr. Jeffrey Hall at the University of Kansas conducted research that showed that it takes approximately 200 hours to go from strangers to really close friends. When was the last time you spent 200 hours with someone? How many people can you say you have spent 200 hours with in the last 5 years?
This is a fascinating interview and I hope you not only listen to this interview, but pick up Kat’s book! I have it now and have devoured it! It is an amazing book with such charming illustrations and memorable stories and the best part is that it is packed with tips on how to build and strengthen friendships. Do you feel like you need more friends right now? This is the perfect book (and podcast episode) for you!
A few tips when making a new friend:
Ask yourself: What kind of friend are you looking for?
What do you love and feel passionate about? Where are people who are also passionate about those things?
Have courage to ask a potential friend for their number
Follow up with people!
When you say ‘we should get together’, take out your phone, open your calendar, ask the other person when they want to connect again. Don’t let those friendship sparks fizzle and fade away.
More about Kat
Kat Vellos is the author of We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships as well as Connected From Afar, A Guide to Staying Close When You’re Far Away. She is a user experience designer, facilitator, and community creator. She’s researched, designed, and advised on the user experience of countless flows in digital products serving millions of people at companies like Slack and Pandora. With her debut book, We Should Get Together, she’s turned her expertise in user research and experience design towards helping people live healthier lives through the cultivation of more fulfilling platonic relationships.
Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app:
In this episode we talk about increasing resilience through listening. We go into depth on many ways this is possible, but the one we really focus a lot on is getting present with our body. I loved this conversation. It calmed me down and I hope that it helps to calm you down as well. Here are some of the topics we covered:
In practice for over seven years, Leslie Santos is a psychological archeologist, mindset cartographer and champion of the life-thirsty. She studied positive psychology under Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. It was while working with Seligman that she discovered how childhood adversity affects adult behaviors, an epic realization that catalyzed her mission and compelled her forward.Her working model is that all humans experience childhood hardship and through this adversity protective adaptations are formed. Left unresolved, these adaptations become maladaptive in adulthood and block our momentum forward: every earnest step toward our desire is countered by an equal force in the opposite direction. These findings led to the development of her resilience process, designed for 1:1 mentorship and corporate human development for enlightened leaders.
Add more life to your days and more days to your life by applying science-backed inspiration and research from Andy Proctor, a well-being expert and PhD candidate studying the science of human connection.