One of the dangers of emotional life is that we find that we don’t feel ‘in the moment’: we’re at a funeral, but we don’t feel sad. We’re making love, but our minds are elsewhere. It’s our birthday, but we’re not jolly. Why is it sometimes so hard for our true inner feelings to keep pace with events in the outer world? An investigation into the psychology of feeling in the moment – or to the left or right of it.
Sign up to our new newsletter and get 10% off your first online order of a book, product or class:
For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop:
Our website has classes, articles and products to help you think and grow:
Download our App:


You can read more on this and other subjects on our blog, here:

“Life is full of moments where we are meant to feel certain things. The demand starts in early childhood: it’s our birthday – and we are meant to feel happy. Dad is going away for two weeks – and we should feel sad. Our school has won at team sports – and we should want to join in with a celebratory song. Adulthood continues the injunctions: we should feel devastated at funerals, touched and hopeful at weddings, enthused and moved by our families, carefree on holiday – and, in bed with someone we like, exclusively focused on the act and its pleasures.”


Visit us in person at our London HQ:

Watch more films on SELF in our playlist:

You can submit translations and transcripts on all of our videos here:
Find out how more here:


Feel free to follow us at the links below:

Download our App:


Produced in collaboration with:

Deanca Rensyta Mihardj