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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Some of our most despondent moods are caused by failures of the imagination. Imagination here is the power to envision alternatives. When we're sad, we can't imagine fi...
As grown-ups, we have choices. We are not small children where we have to depend on our parents for everything.
We could work as a bus conductor or retrain as a psychotherapist. We could volunteer in an emergency shelter. We can throw ourselves into learning a new language or take a university degree. We can look up old and trusted friends or make new friends.
To increase our chances of fulfillment, we need to feed our imagination and provide them with endless examples of alternative narratives, so they are more able to come up with plan Bs. We should practice to picture better ways to be.
As part of creative classes, adolescents should be asked to produce narratives like: If I lost everything and had to start up again, I will... They should be asked to make a list of 20 things that currently make life meaningful, then have to cross them all off and find ten more.
‘What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.’ - Seneca.
This dark remark gets to the heart of Stoicism, which says we get weepy and angry not on...
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.
A mind in a healthy state is continuously performing a set of manoeuvres that uphold our moods.
A healthy mind is an editing mind that filters through particular ideas and ...
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.
A healthy mind knows that there are endless problems we could worry about. It can distinguish between what could conceivably happen and what is likely to happen.
It avoids catastrophic imaginings. It is confident that terrible things will either not happen, or it could be dealt with ably enough.
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