Happiness, Health, and Well-Being: Stephen G. Post on the Simple Act of Giving
In this episode, Susan talks with teacher, speaker, and best-selling author Dr. Stephen G. Post about generosity of the spirit and how strengths and behaviours such as giving, helping others, and mindfulness (to name a few!) contribute to our health, make us happier, and enrich our lives.
Meet This Episode's Guest
An opinion leader and public speaker, Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving (Random House Broadway Books). He has been quoted in more than 4000 national and international newspapers and magazines, including Parade Magazine, “O” Magazine,” and US News & World Report, and has been featured on numerous television shows including The Daily Show.
Post has inspired thousands with great stories and the best of medical knowledge on how being kind is good for our happiness, health, and resiliency. Described by Martin E.P. Seligman in his book Flourish as one of “the stars of positive psychology,” Post is renowned for proving that in general it is good to be good, and that compassion improves patient outcomes as well as clinician well-being. Post addressed the U.S. Congress on volunteerism and public health, receiving the Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Achievement. He also received the Paper of the Year Award from the editors of The American Journal of Health Promotion for his paper “Rx: It’s Good to be Good (G2BG).” Post was awarded the Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in HealthCare from the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, and the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada.
His book The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (Johns Hopkins University Press) was designated a “medical classic of the century” by the British Medical Journal (2009), which wrote, “Until this pioneering work was published in 1995 the ethical aspects of the one of the most important illnesses of our aging populations were a neglected topic.” Post is one of three recipients of the Alzheimer’s Association distinguished service award “in recognition of personal and professional outreach to the Alzheimer’s Association Chapters on ethics issues important to people with Alzheimer’s and their families.”
He has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1988-2008), and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University (2008-present), where he is Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. He is an elected member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Medicine, London. He is the author of over 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In 2003 Post was invited to join the Founding Fellows of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR), based at Cambridge University. Founded in 2002, ISSR is the world’s preeminent learned society devoted to this intersection, with 200 Fellows from the sciences, philosophy, history, and spirituality. In 2001 he founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, named by Sir John Templeton, who selected Post as the Institute’s President (www.unlimitedloveinstitute.com). The Institute is a non-profit 501(c) 3 public charity that investigates kindness, giving, and spirituality