Summary #776

Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just “Positive” or “Negative” Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life
  • Experiences become meaningful based on how intense they are -- regardless of whether they’re positive or negative.
  • Analysis of reports from three studies has shown that either extremely pleasant, or extremely painful events are the most meaningful.
  • Emotional intensity and need for contemplation afterwards are what makes a meaningful experience.
  • Without pain, there is no way to appreciate the good in life -- happiness and sadness are both essential.
  • This puts a question mark on the recent mindfulness craze -- while it has benefits, peaceful meditation is not the only element to a meaningful life.


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