The emotional spectrum is wide ranging, encompassing all sorts of subtleties of feeling which we don’t give much thought to as we go through the day. But there are three main groups which I would like to outline here because we can find ourselves suffering with them without realizing it.

I call them the 3A emotions – Anxiety, Anger and Anguish.

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Ask yourself this question: How many people are likely to want your attention today? Ten? Twenty? Fifty, maybe? That might be all the people you encounter face to face, but in truth it barely scratches the surface.
When you leave the house you will be swamped. Are you driving? Think about all the pedestrian crossings, other cars, road signs, traffic at junctions and roundabouts, indicators, brake lights, traffic lights? As soon as you get in your car the demands on your attention are changing second by second.

What about the shops? Bright signs wanting to grab your attention so they can tell you who they are, what they’ve got, why you need it and what it costs.

After all, “Your life will be emptier than a hermit’s address book without a PO490 Techno Bloaterburger! Get royally stuffed with a delicious cheesy topping for £49.99!”

And this is just the stuff you’re walking or driving past. Go on the internet for an hour and you’ll see another hundred or so ads. Sidebar ads. Popup ads. Little boxes wanting you to sign up so they can invade your inbox with some more. Read more

Thoughts can be very habit forming. We go over them (or versions of them) again and again. Thoughts about work, home life, relationships past events and traumas. These thought habits are not healthy but we get stuck in them all the time.
And all thoughts come with emotions. Whenever we think, we feel. There’s no getting away from it. Try thinking about something. Anything you like. Your shoes, for example. Do you like them? Joy. Do they need cleaning? You might feel disgust at the state of them or annoyance at yet another job to do.
Thinking about the things in front of us is one thing, but habitual thoughts are usually about something else. Something not in the Here and Now, but in the There and Then. In Gestalt Therapy we call these repeated thought scripts ‘Fixed Gestalts’. The term can also apply to patterns of behaviour and interaction, but for now we’ll stay with our thoughts and how they affect us emotionally.
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