In times of anxiety and insecurity, the ways in which we are encouraged to care for our emotional and mental health can become mere trends that come and go in waves, taking with them our money, time, and hope—and sometimes leaving us in a state which is at least as bad as what we were in originally.
Imagine yourself entering a shopping mall with your sunglasses on. Even though the lights are shining brightly, you cannot see them. Everything around you is dark and cold. But as soon as you remove your glasses, the world comes alive: the windows of the shops shine attractively, you see the brightly-coloured clothes, and the dazzling screen of the phone blinks with an incoming message.
In a psalm that is worth reading on our coldest mornings and in our darkest nights, King David asked some rhetorical questions—“Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”— questions which our contemporaries would not dare to answer.
When confronted with someone else’s strong emotions—intense joy or heartbreaking pain—we often do not know how to react. In the case of joy, the other person usually doesn't mind, because his feelings console him. But in the case of pain, things are completely different. Misunderstood suffering can make the sufferer isolate himself from the very people who could help him. So, how can we really help someone who is suffering?
Five decades ago, when the World Organization for Social Psychiatry was established, many thought it was a joke. Others, being more analytical, tried to prove that mental illness can only be an individual experience; that the problem always exists only in an individual and never in a group.
The concept of self care—defined as the entirety of ways in which a person understands how to solve their emotional problems and manage their anxieties—has become a real movement in the past two years with an entire industry ready to make our lives easier and more comfortable. For Christians, however, this trend has proven to be quite problematic: making our lives easier is in conflict with the biblical instruction to carry our cross every day. But the need to somehow manage stress and anxiety is real.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
There have now been over 12 million cases of COVID-19 infection globally, and half a million deaths. Researchers are constantly looking for new and better information to reduce the uncertainty around the virus.
A smooth sea never gave a skilled sailor, said Franklin D. Roosevelt, suggesting that without hardship, challenges and even failures, we cannot become our best selves.
The American Economic Review recently published the results of the largest randomized study ever conducted to measure the impact on the quality of life that deactivation ones Facebook account might have.
Many years have passed since I last lived with my brother. Recently, I decided to go and stay with him for a while. One day we both decided to visit a place in nature that neither of us had been to before. When we got there, it started to rain—while not very heavy, rain was not what either of us had wanted. But even so, a feeling of well-being came over me, and my soul was flooded with joy.
Courage is not the opposite of fear, nor of caution. True courage is what you do right in the midst of fear.
Life in lockdown had an atypical rhythm and texture. While for some this upset their daily lives, for others it was an unexpected response to an unspoken need.
Live every day like it is your our last! Many use these phrase as a prop for their riskiest decision, or simply to justify a recklessly extravagant lifestyle. But what would our lives look like if we were to really live each day fully aware that it might be our last?
I open the window and breathe in the air, trying to guess the weather. Floating around, mixed, are scents and miasms alike; it's hard to decipher these intricate clues.