#298 ‒ The impact of emotional health on longevity, self-audit strategies, improving well-being, and more | Paul Conti, M.D.

The Peter Attia Drive

15-04-2024 • 2 hrs 23 mins

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Paul Conti is an author and practicing psychiatrist who specializes in helping people heal from trauma. In this episode, Paul returns to The Drive to delve into the intricate relationship between emotional health, healthspan, and lifespan. He first challenges common assumptions about the inevitable decline of emotional health with age, providing strategies for conducting a comprehensive audit of internal emotional health. He establishes a framework for the foundation of good emotional health: a balance between the generative drive, the assertive drive, and the pleasure drive. Paul also explores the nuanced dynamics of motivation, happiness, and satisfaction as it relates to material possessions, draws connections between physical and emotional well-being, confronts the impact of negative self-talk, and describes how making peace with our mortality can foster a sense of hope, purpose and well-being. Additionally, Paul offers many practical insights into initiating emotional health improvements and navigating the search for a suitable therapist.

We discuss:

  • The importance of prioritizing emotional health as we age [2:45];
  • The impact of emotional health on healthspan and how to foster a proactive approach to emotional well-being [7:00];
  • The discrepancy between outward success and inner fulfillment, and the importance of a healthy “generative drive” for genuine well-being [13:00];
  • A deeper dive into generative drive: impact on human behavior, resilience, purpose, and more [23:15];
  • Evaluating one’s inner self: introspection, self-awareness, challenging societal norms, and returning to the basics of physical and emotional well-being [29:00];
  • Self-auditing tools: introspection, curiosity, and exploring underlying reasons for unwanted behaviors [41:45];
  • Breaking free from destructive cycles by understanding the continuum of self-care and addictive behaviors and remaining curious [50:15];
  • Critical self talk: the malleability of one’s inner dialogue and the potential for transformative change with perseverance and self-compassion [1:00:15];
  • Slowing the anger response and gaining insights into the underlying triggers to achieve lasting change and self-understanding [1:13:45];
  • Foster gratitude and humility by achieving balance between the three drives—assertion, pleasure, and generative [1:20:45];
  • The conflict between intellectual understanding and emotional feelings, problematic comparison frameworks, and the importance of living in the present with intentionality [1:24:15];
  • How making peace with our mortality can foster a sense of hope, purpose and well-being [1:34:45];
  • Advice for finding a compatible therapist [1:43:45];
  • The key components of therapeutic progress [1:57:00];
  • The caricatures of four common patient phenotypes, and how to get through to them [2:05:30];
  • How Paul manages his own well-being and the emotional challenges that come with his line of work [2:15:15]; and
  • More.

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