The Psychology of Emotion - Page 1

Emotions are habitual. We easily may think of one acquiring habits of action, and even of thinking, and we acquire habits of emotion as well. One may repress, increase, develop, and change one's emotions, just as one may regulate habits of action and lines of thought.

It is an axiom of psychology that "Emotions deepen by repetition." If a person allows a state of feeling to thoroughly take possession of them, they will find it easier to yield to the same emotion the second time, and so on, until the particular emotion or feeling becomes second nature to them. If a desirable emotion shows itself inclined to take up a permanent abode with you, you had better start to work to get a hold of it, or at least to master it. And the best time to do this is at the start; for each repetition renders the habit more firmly entrenched, and the task of forming it more easy.

Were you ever inspired? If so, you will remember how harmless was its first approach; how subtly it whispered loving suggestions into your willing ear, and how gradually it followed up such suggestions, until, finally you began to see clear light. (Inspiration has an effect upon the white blood cells, and causes them to clear the blood. This is why the idea of clear is always associated with it.) Then you will remember how the thing seemed to grow, taking possession of you until you scarcely could shake it off. You found it much easier to become inspired the next time. It seemed to bring before you all sorts of objects justifying your thought and feeling. Everything began to look clear - the clear-eyed angel waxed fat.

And so it is with every feeling or emotion. If you give way to a fit of joy, you will find it easier to become joyful the next time, on less provocation.

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