Jeremy McCarthy has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, opening and operating spas in luxury resort hotels. He is currently the director for spas and wellness at Mandarin Oriental Group. He began studying psychology early in his career, and 10 years ago, completed his Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Jeremy is the author of the book, “The Psychology of Spas and Wellbeing: A Guide to the Science of Holistic Healing.”
In this interview, Jeremy begins by discussing the main principles of applied positive psychology. He goes into detail on the five key human wants/needs: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement. He also touches on the importance of vitality. Jeremy then explains how he applies psychology to his career in building experiences and spas. He describes how spas are one of the few places in modern society where we can disconnect from technology, have time in silence, and experience nurturing touch. He also talks about the key elements of well-being.
Next, Chris and Jeremy share their thoughts on the unhealthiness of the modern food supply, as well as the communal aspect of cooking and eating with other people. Jeremy describes the current epidemic of loneliness and how it negatively impacts our health. Chris and Jeremy also discuss the importance of human touch and why it can’t be replaced by technology. They expand on the connection between relationships, wellness, and longevity. Jeremy then revisits the importance of spas and how they contribute to self-healing. We ask him how people can nurture well-being outside of the spa environment.
Finally, Jeremy discusses the importance of spiritual or communal gatherings and spending time outside in nature. He also expands on the holistic approach to wellness in Asian cultures, and goes into detail about mindfulness. He clarifies his views on technology, and then shares his experiences with digital wellness retreats and detoxes. Jeremy reveals some of changes that people experience when stepping away from technology. He then discusses how modern technology is affecting dating and relationships. He leaves us with advice for navigating the challenges of technology and using it to our benefit.
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