The Chimp Paradox – A Very Helpful Book About Mind Management

A couple of people recommended this book to me called ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Steve Peters. They had gotten the book for various reasons such as helping them to cope with depression or just to find a confidence boost; Apparently it really helped them. I often struggle to deal with my own storm of emotions, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give this book a go.

I can be a bit wary because some books can promise too much and people are often drawn to quick solutions. ‘The Chimp Paradox’ is not one of these books however. In fact it is probably one of the better ones I’ve tried. It admits that the ideas it suggests may take several months to work if at all. Building our confidence isn’t a sprint, but a marathon where we have to monitor our behaviour and catch ourselves from time to time. It’s normal to slip up sometimes too. ‘The Chimp Paradox’ helps to explain how the different parts of our mind works and in turn how to manage them. There’s the logical part that is us and then there’s the chimp that manages our emotions and sometimes causes us to act inappropriately. Since reading this I have found myself putting it down to chimp behaviour whenever I’ve had an off encounter with another person; Thinking in this way seems to really help me to deal with these situations better.

I would also suggest that this book could be of use to anybody, not just those of us that are struggling with low confidence or anxiety/depression. We tend to wait until out self-esteem has taken a knock before considering learning about these things, but we’re all effected by our emotions from time to time. Improving our ability to manage our minds can help us in many ways. The book covers topics such as how to connect with others, dealing with stress and making plans to reach our goals. There are also suggested exercises at the end of each chapter to help you to follow along.

A major problem that I tend to have with these books is that while some of the advice seems pretty solid, I can’t always apply it to my own situation. My mind has a way of finding loopholes and arguing with certain suggestions. It did happen a few times during ‘The Chimp Paradox,’ but overall I still feel like I’ve taken a lot from it. It also gives example situations to explain how to apply some fo the concepts. Since finishing the book I have continued to follow what I’ve learnt from it. It could just be a placebo like effect (sometimes after reading help articles It’ll give me a temporary boost,) but so far its advice has been helpful.


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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

7 responses to “The Chimp Paradox – A Very Helpful Book About Mind Management”

  1. Pasduil says :

    That book’s been on my “sounds interesting, maybe I’ll read it sometime” list for a while. But that is a very long list! 🙂

  2. lexacain says :

    You’re absolutely right about improving outlook and changing behaviors – it’s definitely a marathon. Yay for being helped by the book! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • wallcat says :

      Thanks. Yeah, I’ve been given a lot of advice on how to stop harmful thoughts coming to me, but it’s kind of automatic and I’m not always successful in preventing them. Since reading this though I have been trying more things that I’d normally just avoid.

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