520: Can You Really Trust Your Feelings? | Lisa Feldman Barrett & John Dunne

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A common idea in the west is that our feelings or emotions should be viewed with suspicion, superseded or overridden by rational thought, and that your mind is a battleground between emotions and rationality. But on the show today, guests Lisa Feldman Barrett and John Dunne are going to offer a very compelling science backed argument that disputes the notion that thinking and feeling are distinct. Furthermore, they argue that understanding how emotions are actually made can be a life or death matter.

Lisa Feldman Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barrett is among the top 1% most-cited scientists, having published over 270 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She has written several books, including How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, and Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain. Her TED talk has been viewed more than 6.5 million times.

John Dunne holds the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities at the Center for Healthy Minds of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science and Psychology. He earned his PhD from Harvard.

This is part two in a series we’re calling The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together. In each episode we bring together a meditative adept or Buddhist scholar and a respected scientist. The idea is to give you the best of both worlds to arm you with both modern and ancient tools for regulating your emotions.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Lisa’s scientific definition of emotions
  • John’s Buddhist contention that emotions, as a category, do not exist in Buddhism
  • The difference between suffering and discomfort
  • What we can do to master our emotions including understanding what Lisa terms as our “body budget”
  • Becoming more emotionally intelligent
  • Mastering our feelings in the moment
  • Whether or not pain is an emotion and how it works
  • How and why to be present in the here and now
  • The upside of unpleasant feelings

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/lisa-feldman-barrett-john-dunne-520

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