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. Eating a balanced diet that is as good as your budget will allow and exercising several times a week will keep the metabolic rate going and provide us with the energy we need. If you don’t have the budget to either join a gym or to enrol on a regular exercise class then just walking will do. A brisk walk on the beach or in the park 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.

  • Get aligned with your passions – feeling frustrated? Not doing what you want and feeling emotional about it? Then it sounds as if you need to get aligned with your passions. I’ve recently become aware of Aline Boundy - a teacher in the north east of England, who is pretty grounded in reality.  She has a strong on line presence and has now thrown her net out internationally.  She has started doing an interesting series of telewebinars.  In her series “Align with your purpose” she presents some useful practical steps that should  help  get your life more in tune with who you really are. Visit her on line at and get inspired.

  • Passionate about life? Angered by inequality, injustice, the environment? Feeling disempowered? Sounds like you need to channel your emotions into something really positive and fruitful.  Get involved – join a campaign group. 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 full of other like-minded people. For those not already involved with activism -  or if you’re unsure which way to turn and you think that activism might help with achieving your goals -  you might want to visit

  • Meditation - used to be thought of as something a bit esoteric and wacky. Also, not an activity that everyone is entirely comfortable with. However, it’s gaining popularity and 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.   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 – 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. There are some basic oils - such as lavender, orange and t-tree -   that are available over the counter from most good chemists and other specialist stores such as Neal's Yard. You can also purchase oils on line – more details about that in my specialist blog about complementary therapies. (See home page.) Herbal infusions can be made and taken as a tea or used as an inhalation. Certain culinary herbs can also be used in cooking. Masses of stuff out there on line. However, if you plan to introduce aromatherapy or herbs into your life in a significant way,   a good handbook  is well worth  investing in. Looking for inspiration? In the UK visit Neal’s Yard.

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 financial issues to take into account and this will vary according to the type of therapy that is being accessed.  (More about this in my 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.

Talking therapies –
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – to my mind 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. Great to use for core issues that need to be addressed over a period of time. However,  equally good to  use as a first aid measure when dealing with an emotionally intense issue that might be preventing you from being able to get on with the moment. Particularly useful for singers and other performers who experience   anxiety issues associated with performance.  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. 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
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!