Episode Eight: How to Be Happy in Difficult Times – With Dr. Puff

In this episode, I’m thinking – and talking – about happiness. For me, happiness has been achieved largely through loss, and the incredible redemption that can be had on the other side of that grief. When we allow ourselves to stop and learn, miracles can be wrought.

But my guest, Doctor Puff, says there are actually many approaches to happiness.

As a clinical psychologist and the host of the biggest podcast out there on happiness, Dr. Puff, is a certifiable expert. And to some degree, he agrees with me. There are specific things we need to do to become happier, he says, and they are almost always uncomfortable. It takes work and effort.

These are shifts that need reinforcement. Ultimately, the cocktail and TV and chips solution is not an answer. Nor is our wrong-headed attachment to the latest thing, or person, we believe will make us happy.

As Dr. Puff puts it, “We are like a computer so whatever we put in, we get back.” That would include whatever your binging on in Netflix, and the non-stop intensity of the current divisiveness in the U.S., as told by the media.

And so we numb out to our unhappiness.

Instead, we must work towards having preferences, instead of ‘Must Haves’. And work towards celebrating what we do have, right here and right now.

We must also learn to meet our own needs in order to be truly happy.
The good news is that this can, indeed, be done.

In talking to Dr. Puff, I learned about:

  • How we usually approach happiness and why it doesn’t work
  • Why attaining happiness isn’t actually a goal oriented process
  • Toxic thoughts that take down our natural happiness
  • How the aging process affects our happiness
  • The ‘set point’ for your happiness – and how to find our own
  • How crisis affects your happiness set point
  • An easy thought that can change your happiness level immediately
  • Do all of our problems have to be resolved in order to become happy?
  • Why we resist happiness
  • What’s a holistic overall recipe for happiness?
  • Our ego’s job … and how to engage in it in a healthy way
  • How to manage media in the Trump era so we can still stay happy
  • The power of negative visualization in crafting a happy life
  • The power of humility
  • What about the power of a good cry?
  • What about media and violence in films?



Dr. Robert Puff is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist and host of the Happiness Podcast.   He teaches a holistic approach life.  He has authored 13 books on a variety of topics, including relationships, anger management, holistic healing and happiness.  He is regularly sought by the media for his expertise on a variety of healthy living issues and has been quoted in the media over 1000 times. The Happiness Podcast is one of top self-help podcasts on iTunes and focuses on ways for all of us to find happiness. For years, Dr. Puff has been a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

Dr. Puff consults with businesses and nonprofits on a variety of topics, including personal and work relationships, depression, career success and happiness, stress and anger management, workplace stress management and meditation. He can be reached at DrPuff@cox.net or 714-337-4889 (his cell phone).

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