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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

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PhiloQuests: the day of worry

12. Nighttime Notebook

The peaceful place


ObjectiveTo reflect on your incredible Philoquester experience to identify its key moments!

Duration: 10 to 20 minutes


  • A sheet of paper
  • Pencils, eraser 


  1. Think back on today. Think about the different thinking and creative activities you completed today.
  2. Answer the following reflection questions:

    • How did you live worry today? 
    • What was your highlight today?
    • What challenge did you face today? 
    • What lesson did you learn today?
    • What is your gratitude today?


Bonus: In ancient Greece, some philosophers used to do daily "spiritual exercises" to live wiser lives. Try out this one: imagining your peaceful place. Close your eyes and breathe softly. In your head, begin to imagine a place where you can completely relax. Is that place indoors? Is it outdoors? Is it big or small? Visualize the details of this peaceful place: Are you alone or are there other people with you? Are there animals? Plants? What sounds do you hear? What sensations do you feel? Take a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet. Then gradually open your eyes. How does it feel? As you continue to slowly breathe in and out, here are some last questions to wonder about: Is it possible to be peaceful under any circumstances? Can being peaceful sometimes be a bad thing? Is peacefulness synonymous with happiness? Why or why not?

Bonus plus: Another spiritual exercise that you can try to practice when you feel worried is decomposition, a process described by the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. When something worries you, break it down into its most basic parts: an exam is just a series of shapes drawn in ink on a flattened and whitened piece of tree; an insult is just a vibration in the air that momentarily shakes a piece of skin in your ear. Is worry just a matter of perception? Why or why not?

Is it possible to live true tranquility?

Tricks for tots: Have you ever tried to imagine something in your head in order to relax? Maybe you imagine a big blue sky with lots of sunshine. Or you picture your toy box impatiently waiting for you to play with it. Or perhaps a big bear-hug from your parents that makes you feel loved. Try to imagine that or something else you find relaxing. Next time you're a little worried, experiment with imagining these nice things to make you feel better. Finally ask yourself: Can imagination make worries go away? If so, how? If not... can another concept take up the challenge?
Tips for teens: How has your understanding of worry evolved over the course of this fantastical philosophical quest? Can you identify the specific experiences that have changed your view of worry? Has thinking about worry in a relaxed way helped you understand it better? You can use your answers to the questions above to reflect on your experience.

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!

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