Out of the Clouds
October 14, 2021, Anne V Muhlethaler

S2:E3 – Dr Tim Lomas

on finding happiness through untranslatable words, and men, meditation, and mental health

Dr Tim Lomas

Episode Notes

Dr Tim Lomas (@drtimlomas) is one of Europe’s leading experts on positive psychology and the programme leader at the University of East London’s MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (one of Europe’s most highly respected post-graduate courses). He has written for the Guardian, the Times, Psychology Today and has published numerous academic papers in high-profile journals, including Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Mindfulness, Psychology and Health and the Journal of Happiness Studies. His first book, The Positive Power of Negative Emotions, was published in 2016.

In this episode Dr. Tim Lomas discusses how his formative experiences travelling around China and Tibet led him into his specialism in meditation and Buddhism. He also reveals his other passion – performing as part of a Ska band, which eventually had to give way to his PHd on men, meditation and mental health. 

Tim went on to undertake research into untranslatable words that he describes as “portals into another landscape”. Words that led him to create his Happiness Dictionary, a compilation of words from all over the world that have no direct translation in other languages. He discovers that concepts within psychology are western-centric, and therefore incomplete due to English being the dominant language, where it’s not always to give exact equivalents to ideas from other languages. This leads to the idea that cultures that don’t have words or concepts for certain feelings or emotions mean their knowledge of them can be incomplete. Therefore, there is huge potential to develop the world of psychology outside of the English language.

Also covered by Anne and Tim is the idea that the more language we have at our disposal to convey experiences or emotions, the more conducive it is to improved wellbeing and behaviour. Tim suggests that we need to strike a balance in many areas of our lives; from work-life balance to emotions and exercise. From this, harmony and integrity can be reached in our lives if a balance can be achieved within all of these areas as a whole.

Selected Links from Episode

Watch Dr Tim Lomas at TEDxZurich: https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_lomas_expanding_our_experiential_horizons_through_untranslatable_words

You can also find Dr. Tim Lomas at: 

Dr. Tim Lomas’ Website – https://www.drtimlomas.com/

Dr. Tim Lomas on Twitter – https://twitter.com/drtimlomas?lang=en

Dr. Tim Lomas on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/drtimlomas/?originalSubdomain=uk

Read Dr. Tim Lomas’ Books – https://www.drtimlomas.com/books

Read Dr. Tim Lomas’ Papers – https://www.drtimlomas.com/papers

Find Tim Lomas’ Happiness Dictionary on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/happywordsproject/?hl=en

Discover Tim’s Positive Lexicography, an interactive hub – https://hifisamurai.github.io/lexicography/

Discover the Pema Chödrön  – https://pemachodronfoundation.org/

Read Lisa Feldman Barrett’s Book – How Emotions Are Made – https://lisafeldmanbarrett.com/books/how-emotions-are-made/

Read Emotional Intelligence by The Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman – https://tinyurl.com/r59y75pt

The global Wellbeing Initiative – https://www.globalwellbeinginitiative.org/

READ John Koenig’s – The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows – https://tinyurl.com/28nxa8cs 

Yancey Strickler & The Bento Society – https://www.ystrickler.com/

Arvo Pärt- Spiegel im Spiegel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ6Mzvh3XCc

The Kermode and Mayo Film Review Podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/kermode-and-mayos-film-review/id73802698

Sam Harris’ Waking Up App – https://wakingup.com/

Full Episode Transcript