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Mental Health

Podcast 174: Dr. Bill von Hippel on Human Nature & Mental Wellbeing

May 24, 2022

On this week’s episode, we’re continuing our series on mental health by doing a deep dive on human nature.

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WHOOP VP of Performance Kristen Holmes sits down with leading evolutionary psychologist Dr. Bill von Hippel for a discussion on what makes us tick as humans and how that plays a role in our mental health. Dr. von Hippel is the author of the book The Social Leap, and explains how the experience of our ancestors shaped the way our minds and bodies react to stressful situations, positive and negative emotions, and social settings.

Kristen and Dr. von Hippel discuss how the stress response systems our bodies developed millions of years ago can sometimes prove challenging in the modern world, social comparisons and the role they play in both happiness and unhappiness, and why we think about the future and how honing your ability to stay in the present can help you get into a flow state.


Dr. von Hippel Podcast Episode Chapters

2:30 – Beginnings of humanity

4:28 – Pursuit of happiness

7:57 – Social comparisons and mental wellbeing

12:02 – Healthy motivation

12:48 – Stress

17:50 – Framing the right mindset

23:56 – Staying present

27:23 – Getting into flow states

29:07 – Stress responses and negative feelings

32:29 – Self-control

34:54 – Willpower

37:27 – Limitations of human capability

39:11 – Social media and mental health

41:02 – Mindfulness practices

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