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Embracing The Dark Side Of Life? How Adversity, Negativity, And Even Our Mortality Can Help Us Flourish

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Earthquakes, bankruptcies, gut-wrenching heartbreak, pandemics, fender benders … just as no one gets out of life alive, no one escapes life unscathed by the negative events and emotions—big and small—that are part of the human experience. Rather counterintuitive in a world that favors comfort, convenience, and sheer and utter pleasure is the idea that humans actually deteriorate without challenges and adversity placed on our bodies and minds (Lukianoff & Haidt, 2018). The hedonic pursuit of happiness, characterized by the maximization of positive emotions and the minimization of negative ones (Peterson, 2006) is a well-worn path for most of us: Dial the pleasure up, turn the displeasure switch off. Embracing challenges in our lives may ultimately lead to positivity. If our goal is to lead flourishing lives, an acceptance—a radical welcoming, even—of the negative side of life may help pave the way… (READ MORE)

Category: Featured Articles