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Feelings  need need exercise to keep them in shape, and management to keep them under control. Think about exercise:

The more you do something the better you get at doing it. This is as true of mental activity as it is with a physical one. If you rehearse feeling good by practicing positive feelings, you’ll experience those more often. On the other hand, if you constantly practice negative feelings it gets easier to call them up, and before long they can become constant companions.

Many people think that feelings cannot be managed. They can, if you go about it the right way. Its true that emotions can be tricky because they spring up automatically, so the knack is to learn to manage the thoughts that either trigger, or are triggered by, an emotion. For example, if you think positive things about somebody or a situation, your feelings towards them or it will start to change as well. Making conscious choices about managing feelings also means you get better at it.

We all know how to do this stuff, the trick is remembering to. The parallel with physical exercise is apt here too; it is easiest when you have make it part of your regular routine.

If you want to know more, or if the idea of managing your feelings provokes a negative response in you, here’s a book I recommend:

The Chimp Paradox, by Steve Peters


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