Recognizing Everyday Traumas Leads to Happier Lives

Sep 16, 2013

Credit Aislinn Ritchie/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.

Dr. Epstein says in his book:

  • It isn't as important to find the cause of our daily traumatized feelings as it is to learn to relate to them.
  • While we all long to be normal, the unpredictable world we live in dishes up plenty, from home life to workplace to world events. 
  • In response to the world's iffyness, we like to pretend.
  • Traumas big and small cause us to tell ourselves stories that run like loops in the mind, causing greater suffering.
  • Suffering, no matter how big or small, isn't the last word. To recognize suffering allows its release from your mind and body. Learn how in Dr. Epstein's valuable book, which also explores how Buddhist philosophy offers keys to comprehending trauma as it speeds by.

After listening to our call-in show or podcast, we invite you to hear a fascinating conversation between Dr. Mark Epstein and Amy Gross, former editor of O: The Oprah magazine, who now teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in New York City.

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  • Mark Epstein - author, The Trauma of Everyday Life