In Western culture, we have become addicted to positivity. We try to eradicate pain through medication and by insulating ourselves and our children from risk, even though we are the safest generation that ever lived. Yet in his research renowned social psychologist Brock Bastian has found that hardship and sadness are neither antithetical to pleasure nor incidental- they are a necessary ingredient for happiness.
Drawing on psychology, neuroscience and internationally acclaimed findings from Bastian's own lab, The Other Side of Happiness encourages us to take a more fearless approach to living that acknowledges the value of pain in our lives. As Bastian shows us, the most thrilling moments of our lives are usually balanced on a knife edge between pleasure and pain, whether it is finding your true love, holding your new-born for the first time, finishing a marathon or even taking a dip in an icy sea. This is because hardship quite literally increases our capacity for happiness, making us stronger, more resilient and more connected to those around us.