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Being psychologically well does not mean being super excited, happy or exuberant at all times.
We are seldom aware of the stability of our ‘pendulum’ of thoughts and feelings, and the steadiness of our state of mind. We let our thought stream cross all boundaries, unable to realize that the outside circumstances, people and events have gained power over them and pushed our mind to the extreme.
In psychological terms, our minds have a certain bandwidth within which we can tolerate discomfort, a certain speed range in which we can drive with ease, taking care of the challenges and problems. This is known as the window of tolerance.
If we cross the upward barrier in this speed range, we feel terrified, guilty or shameful. If we are below the bottom threshold of this window, we feel lonely, bored, alienated and numb. Remaining within the Window Of Tolerance is our daily challenge as we zig-zag between various emotions and try to keep ourselves sane by self-regulating the mind to remain in the ‘harmonious’ window, while not being stagnant.
If we continuously feel a lot of distress and draining, we should recover ourselves by moderation in eating and drinking, meditation, reading, exercising, and ample rest.
We need to be aware of the direction and trajectory of our moods, emotions and feelings, and make use of introspection and self-observation to get us out of possible pitfalls, avoiding a ‘crash landing’ at a later stage if we do not pay attention.
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A healthy mind resists unfair comparisons. It does not allow the successes of others to make us feel inadequate; neither does it frequently find fault with its own nature.
A healthy mind keeps at bay critical judgements. It does not tell us how appalling we are; instead, it allows us to talk to ourselves as we would to a friend.
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St Augustine was deeply interested in finding explanations for the evident tragic disorder of the world.
Augustine contemplated the idea that human nature is inherently damaged because, in the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Her guilt was passed down to all people. As a metaphor for why the world is in a mess, Augustine implies that we should not expect too much from the human race.
‘Kings and Philosophers shit, and so do ladies’. This is a blunt phrase of 16th-century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne.
He wanted to let us feel closer to and less intimidated by people whose life might seem very impressive. Montaigne attempted to free us from uncertainty and shyness from thinking too much of others and too little of ourselves.