chapter 5. Calm

On Trying to Control the Future

The temptation, when we are worried, is to direct our determined intelligence to trying fully to anticipate whatever may be coming for us down the line. We try to strip the…

chapter 5. Calm

Simplicity & Anxiety

It is well understood by good parents that life should only ever get so exciting for a baby: after friends have come around and brought presents and made animated faces, after…

chapter 5. Calm

A Way Through Panic Attacks

During a panic attack, the pervasive worry that we normally carry within us and that is typically content merely gently to corrode away our lives promptly changes tack and decides it…

chapter 4. Sociability

What Can Stop the Loneliness?

There are plenty of people who look like good friends – but are not; and therefore many of us who don’t feel we should be lonely – but deep down very…

chapter 5. Calm

Self-Hatred & Anxiety

The temptation, with dealing with anxiety, is always and invariably to focus on the ostensible cause of our worry: the journey to the airport, the forthcoming speech, the letter one is…

chapter 5. Calm

There is No Happily Ever After

What most of us long for above all else is ‘security’, the sense that we are – at last – safe on the earth. We pin our hopes for security on…

chapter 3. Self-Knowledge

How Badly Adapted We Are to Life on Earth

We’re used to singing the praises of the human mind and body: these are, from many perspectives, truly astonishing pieces of engineering. We have brains capable of doing fractal equations, translating…

chapter 5. Calm

How to Stop Being Scared All the Time

Every human worries on occasion, but for some of us, the suffering is on a quite different and more life-destroying scale: we are, without wishing to be ungrateful or absurd, more…

chapter 5. Calm

The Catastrophe You Fear Will Happen has Already Happened

Many of us are daily tortured by a feeling of imminent catastrophe. Something terrible seems about to happen to us: – We’re going to be abandoned – We’re going to be…

chapter 5. Calm

The Question We Should Ask Ourselves When Anxious

One of the most difficult features of anxiety is that it tends to be all-consuming. It squats in the middle of our minds and refuses to let anything else in or…

chapter 2. Work

The Importance of Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

One of the most legendary ideas in the history of psychology is located in an unassuming triangle divided into five sections referred to universally simply as ‘Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs’.This profoundly…

chapter 1. Relationships

Why We Need to Feel Heard

One of our deepest longings – deeper than we even perhaps recognise day to to day – is that other people should acknowledge certain of our feelings. We want that –…

chapter 5. Calm

Spirituality for People who Hate Spirituality

The word spirituality has a capacity to divide people like few others. For some, it’s an innately beautiful touchstone, the designator of a special kind of experience that is so valuable,…

chapter 3. Self-Knowledge

When Do You Know You Are Emotionally Mature? 26 Suggestions

You realise that most of the bad behaviour of other people really comes down to fear and anxiety – rather than, as it is generally easier to presume, nastiness or idiocy.…

chapter 1. Relationships

The Problem of Sexual Shame

We have collectively grown highly attuned to the problems associated with a lack of shame around sex: with a decadent culture in which it seems that everything goes, where the atmosphere…