Feelings and Moods
November 2012, Polity
Happiness, sadness, compassion, resentment, despair: just some of the feelings and moods that characterize the lives of each one of us. They are part and parcel of our everyday lives and they affect everything we do, like a kind of mental climate that surrounds and permeates our activities and thoughts. But what exactly are these ever-present feelings and moods?
Here the leading psychiatrist Christophe André analyses feelings and moods as the contents of consciousness that mix together emotions and thoughts, the background sensations and impressions that are less intense than primary emotions like anger but longer lasting and more influential – a slight feeling of guilt can poison the entire day. Their impact is more comprehensive because they owe their existence not to a particular situation or event that triggers them but rather to our relationship with the world in general.
Drawing on his own practice as a psychiatrist, André explores some of the most important feelings and moods and shows how, by understanding them better, we can achieve a calmer, happier and more fulfilling life.
Written in the fresh and accessible style that has won him a large international following, Feelings and Moods will appeal to a wide readership.
A little girl falls over
Chapter 1 - Feelings and moods: towards understanding
Chapter 2 - Feelings and moods: the pain and the pleasure
Chapter 3 - Rumination and losing control
Chapter 4 - Introspection
Chapter 5 - Painful feelings and moods
Chapter 6 - Anxieties
Chapter 7 - Resentment
Chapter 8 - Sadness
Chapter 9 - Despair
Chapter 10 - Fragility
Chapter 11 - Calm and energy
Chapter 12 - Regulating feelings and moods
Chapter 13 - Curing ourselves of the disease of materialism
Chapter 14 - Living mindfully
Chapter 15 - Compassion, self-compassion and the power of gentleness
Chapter 16 - Happiness
Chapter 17 - Wisdom
Conclusion - See you tomorrow, life
Christophe André is a Medical Psychiatrist at the University of Paris X, Nanterre.
- A highly readable and illuminating account of the feelings and moods that govern so much of our lives, written by a leading psychiatrist.
- André characterizes feelings and moods as the contents of consciousness that mix together emotions and thoughts, the background sensations and impressions that are less intense than primary emotions like anger but longer lasting and more influential - a slight feeling of guilt can poison the entire day.
- He argues that understanding our feelings and moods enables us to understand ourselves better and to achieve a calmer, happier and more fulfilling life.
- André’s fresh and accessible style of writing has won him a large following. An international bestseller, Feelings and Moods will appeal to a wide readership, as well as to students of courses in psychology and psychiatry.
'No one I know except for Christophe André can write in such a rhapsodic, poetic, poignant and personally honest way about such quintessentially human experiences as feelings and moods – energies which, while evanescent and subtle, run our lives in ways it is very easy to ignore. This book illuminates the very real possibility of authentic well-being and happiness for each of us, right here and now, without anything having to change, however astonishing and improbable that proposition may seem.'
Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness for Beginners and Coming to Our Senses
'Moods establish the inner "weather" of the mind – perhaps bright and sunny, or overcast and troubled – and with his rare combination of head and heart, Christophe André shows what creates this weather and how we can change it for the better.'
Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
'Christophe André leads us through a heartfelt encounter with the ubiquity and complexity of emotional life. Take your time reading his evocative prose and find yourself rewarded with a new appreciation for how thoughts and feelings are foundational in achieving greater satisfaction and purposefulness in your life.'
Zindel Segal, University of Toronto