Troubled Souls and Sad Hearts Learning to Be at Peace Publication date : September 1, 2011
Christophe André is a medical psychiatrist at Hôpital Sainte-Anne, in Paris. All his works have met with great success, most notably Imparfaits, libres et heureux. Pratique de l’estime de soi (2006), Psychologie de la peur. Craintes, angoisses et phobies (2004), Vivre heureux. Psychologie du bonheur (2003) and La peur des autres (2000).
There is more to life than sweeping passions and serious problems, despair and elation. Not all our moods, activities and relationships are ruled, positively or negatively, by profound character traits. We are also subject to unpredictable moods, to an ever-changing current of affects that reflect what we are experiencing, what we have known, and what we should like to experience in the future. But usually, we are too busy to pay much attention to any of this.
Yet our moods shape our reactions and attitudes and the way we deal with daily life. And although psychiatry has traditionally shown little interest in them, literature has much to teach us about our inner moods.
It seems that the emotional current that flows through us never has serious consequences, although it gives life its emotional texture. But what happens when minor sorrows turn into melancholy, when petty annoyances and irritations are transformed into despair? The author argues that knowing how to accept, adjust and assimilate our moods — instead of being their helpless slave — is the key to feeling good.
Christophe André continues his quest for mental and emotional states that facilitate happiness. His innovative approach reaches that part of our emotional life that is closest to what we experience, to what makes us happy or sad.
Happiness is perhaps determined by the intimate moods that constitute our delicate, subtle relationship with the rest of the world and with ourselves. The author teaches us to listen more closely to our own needs — the prelude to a pacified openness toward others.