Managing Emotions

Having emotions is essentially about being human and being human can be a tricky business.  Sometimes our emotions feel like they are getting the better of us and, from time to time, we all need a little help. Of course there is no one size fits all approach. However, there’s a lot that we can do to help ourselves and, for those that need something extra, help is at hand to suit various needs and budgets. This is a little guide to a range of self help activities which I have found to be beneficial.

  • Good nutrition, exercise and quality sleep – 

    Sometimes in life it’s worth stating the obvious.  We all function better on a good night’s sleep. Sleep allows our body to repair and is restorative. Therefore, in the context of  stress reduction, quality sleep is essential. The other part of the equation is to do with eating a healthy  balanced diet and  exercising several times a week. This will go a long way to helping  you achieve your optimum health, which in turn  will improve your resilience to stress.  If you don’t have the budget to either join a gym or to enroll on a regular exercise class then just walking will do. Aim for it to be a  brisk walk, maybe  on the beach or in the park. Love and connect with your environment and this will  hit the spot. If you’re single and feel uncomfortable about walking alone then you might want to consider joining a local walking group or the Rambler’s Association.  A real mover and shaker in the area of nutrition and exercise is Lesley Kenton. She’s really inspirational. Visit her on  
  • Develop good nurturing relationships –

    No budget required for this. Just commitment and focus. Everything flows more smoothly and life feels so much better when you feel loved and supported. So don’t take those around you for granted. Work at building up a good support network both at home, work and wherever you find yourself. However, before anything else, learn to love yourself. Trust me it’s the starting point and it’s not always as easy as it seems but it’s worth working on.

  • Converting negative emotions  into positive life affirming energy - 
Passionate about life? Angered by inequality, injustice, the environment? Feeling disempowered? Then getting  involved with social activism might be the solution. Join  a campaign group and meet up with other like minded people. So, whether it’s Amnesty International, Wateraid, CND,  Greenpeace,  or a local pressure group to help save a library,   follow whatever it is that sets you alight.  There’s a whole world out there. If you're not sure  which way to turn but  think that activism might help with achieving your goals, visit

  • Meditation - 
It''s interesting that meditation used to be thought of as something a bit esoteric and wacky. It's also not an activity that everyone is entirely comfortable with. However, it’s gaining popularity. I’ve been reliably informed that the CEO of the Ford motor company has attributed the success of his company, at least in part, to meditation. It's great for developing inner awareness and emotional intelligence.   Fits all budgets and does not necessarily require any specialist equipment. You just need to commit some time and focus.  Of course you can buy music suitable to accompany meditation, or join a local meditation group. If  you would like to know more about this topic visit  
  • Aromatherapy and herbs – 
Herbal remedies and aromatherapy oils have been used for thousands of years to improve health and well being. Unless you are being treated by qualified practitioner, aromatherapy oils should only be used externally. Basic oils - such as lavender, orange and t-tree -   are available over the counter from health food shops, chemists and other specialist stores such as Neal's Yard. You can also purchase oils on line. (See my aromatherapy shop.) Essential oils can be blended with a base oil to be made either into a massage blend, or into a diluted  solution for the bath to aid relaxation.

Herbal infusions can be made and taken as a soothing tea or used as an inhalation and is surprisingly uplifting. However, if you plan to introduce aromatherapy or herbs into your life in a significant way  and, particularly if you want to make up massage oils and other blends, a good handbook  is essential. 

For some people self help only gets you so far.  Sometimes you need professional assistance. If that’s the case be aware that there will be cost implications here, which will vary according to the type of therapy that is being accessed.  (More about this in my forth coming blog about complementary therapies.) Before doing anything though be clear about what you need and what you can afford. Most treatments outside the NHS will come with varying types of price tags. Also, more importantly, you want to ensure that anyone you choose is suitably qualified. Take time and care with this and a good starting point is with the relevant professional association.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the therapies out there that might help with your emotional life.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – to my mind EFT is one of the best and simplest tools around for dealing with the emotions that get in the way of living life to the full and will always come top of the list for me. EFT is a meridian energy therapy developed by Gary Craig. It is great to use for core issues that need to be addressed over a period of time. However,  EFT is equally good to  use as a first aid measure to dissolve any emotionally intense issue that prevents functioning effectively.  For that reason it is particularly useful for singers and other performers who experience performance related anxiety.  EFT is essentially a self help tool and there’s actually   masses of stuff out there on the internet that’s all free. It’s possible to learn the skills required on line but most would benefit from a little professional guidance from an approved practitioner.  A good starting point might be the association for the advancement of meridian energy techniques at:  for an approved list of practitioners or for articles of interest. If you live in the north east of England check out Andy Hunt at Practical Wellbeing. A leading light in southern England is Sejual Shah. 
  • Counselling - not for everyone and there are different types depending on the issues being addressed. In the UK there is limited availability on the NHS  via the GP. However, the waiting lists can be lengthy.  Most types of counselling can be accessed directly. However, depending on the type of counselling, it  can come with a hefty price tag  For details  of interest visit - or
  • Life coaching -  lots on line. Visit  for details of what it is and who is out there. I like life coaching because it's practical and enabling. It can be good for helping with gaining clarity and for assisting with goal setting and seeking solutions. However, whether it's training you want or some sessions with a life coach be prepared for a hefty price tag and only you can decide whether it's an investment worth making.
What ever you do Good luck!  I hope some of this is helpful.  Would be great to have some feedback. Also, please  remember if you have significant mental/physical  health issues none of the above is a substitute for taking the conventional route, seeing your GP and receiving the appropriate prescription treatment.  That said some of the activities listed might just help with symptom relief. However, you might want to run it by your GP first.

Here’s to a life that is everything that you want it to be! - my website for singers, musicians, actors & other performers to help them overcome stage fright & performance anxiety.