Let’s talk this week about this psychiatrist and psychotherapist born in Montpellier (France) in 1956, for his contribution to the field of emotional well-being, especially for people who suffer from depressive disorders and anxiety.
He is, according to Le Nouvel Observateur, an authority of Positive Psychology in France, well known for his books, which describe how the practice of mindfulness (the awareness of the here and now) and meditation has very positive effects on mental and physical health.
In fact, for fifteen years he worked as a doctor at the Sainte Anne Hospital in Paris, where he applied these therapies in behavioural and cognitive cases, while also teaching at the Paris X University. He helped patients to improve and control emotional disorders, something that he would extend to society through his works, which are renowned and have been translated into several languages.
Among these books, we can mention ‘Leading a Happy Life’, ‘Self Esteem’, ‘Don’t Forget to Be Happy’ or ‘Meditate’. From them, we can note quotes and ideas such as:
Psychology has cured anxiety and depression to an extent, but not anger, criticism or bitterness, which are great destroyers of mankind.
As with resentment, people get to hurt themselves because they cannot forgive either themselves or others. Forgiveness is a liberation.
Negative moods make us focus much on the details and positive ones allow us to see things in perspective. For example, if we are sad or stressed out or angry and talk to a friend for an hour, and our friend just say one negative thing, interestingly we will care only about that detail. But if we are in a good mood we can keep away from it; we will think that the person who has told us is our friend and we will believe it not to be important.
Some people notice negative moods because of a genetic inheritance, but if within their families or in their life experiences thay are taught to use these moods for the better, they can transform them into poetic capacity, reflectivity, in sensibility, receptivity, without letting them depress themselves, feel anxious or suffer from illnesses. Genetic proposes a destination, but the person ends up being the master of their own life.
If my happiness depends on the absence of unhappiness in my environment I will never be happy. If I say to myself: you have no right to be happy while there are unhappy people around me, it is impossible and it is a mistake, because if I am unhappy I cannot beat unhappiness around me. Instead, the happier I am, the more power I have to help others. We have always thought that happiness made us selfish and it is actually the opposite.
If we have concerns, we can imagine that by thinking and brooding, we can find the solution, but often when we start to think it over, the best solution is to go walk and breathe. Cannot I stop my mind? Then I walk.
The psychological balance is a mixture of positive and negative states of mind. In this mixture the positive have to prevail over the negative, but the negative moods are important, too. Guilt is very important for the person and society. Someone who never feels guilty never questions themselves and may harm others. Boredom is also required. In boredom, self-awareness is found, and instead of running away from problems, one starts to think.
Silence is to noise what shadow is to light, or sleep to wakefulness: the other essential part.
I wish you a happy and a conscious week,
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