The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Difficult Times

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Tough Times

Painful experiences are unavoidable for everyone. Thankfully there is an upside to suffering and stress – because there are always powerful ways to grow from pain.  Within every challenge there is an opportunity to discover who you are, and gather insights to improve your life.

Quickie Question:

If you could live 10 years of your life in total bliss – with NO emotional pain – but in the end, not remember any of it – would you do it?

According to Aristotle, the answer should be NO.

He believes the goal of life is not to live pain-free.

Aristotle believes we are here on this planet to learn lessons to become our best selves.

In fact, Aristotle believes “true happiness” comes from using painful experiences as a miracle growth formula to “educate your soul.”

Without pain, all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure – which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person.

In a way the above bliss-chasing scenario is a description of someone who seeks out crack – or seeks staying in bed 24/7.

At the time it feels like you’re avoiding pain and seeking bliss – but in the longterm you’re NOT enjoying real life — with life’s inevitable ebbs and flows – which give you those needed insights to grow who you are.

All of this reminds me of a J.K. Rowling quote:

It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -in which case you fail by default. – J.K. Rowling

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Difficult Times

Life has ebbs and flows.

There’s no such thing as endless flow.

Unfortunately life can sometimes feel like ebb, ebb, ebb, brief-flash-of-flow, more ebb, ebb, ebb.

But every ebb always offers the opportunity to think a new thought flavor and feel a new emotion flavor.

The more varied the flavors of life, the more self-developed you will be!


Here’s a short 2 minute inspiring video on this topic – on my NotSalmonTV Youtube Channel –  to motivate you to feel better about the pain in your life.

In keeping with this theme…

Aristotle believed the highest form of knowledge is insight – even more so than any knowledge you might memorize from research books!


Because Aristotle recognized that “insight” is the only knowledge which leads to the “education of your soul.”

And…Aristotle believed the growth of your soul is what brings you your highest happiness.

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Tough Times
For this reason, Aristotle believed that the reason why so many people are unhappy is that they keep foolishly confusing “pleasure” for “happiness.”

  • “Pleasure” is simply about immediate gratification—of your body/ego.
  • “Happiness” is about seeking longterm growth for yourself as a thriving individual – and is about nourishing your soul/core self.


  • Often it’s our deepest pain which inspires us to grow into our highest self.

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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