Sample Handout – Session 7


Tips for improving your emotional wellbeing


We are all emotional as well as rational beings – women and men.

Emotions are the foundation of your ability to understand yourself and relate to others. When you are aware and in control of your emotions, you can think clearly and creatively; manage stress and challenges; communicate well with others; and display trust, empathy and confidence.

However, if you ignore or push away your emotions, you are likely to become confused, isolated and lose confidence.

Many women feel they are ’too emotional’ – often they have been told this by partners or colleagues, or may have grown up in homes where feelings were kept hidden and considered ‘weak’ or self-indulgent. Most of us have been encouraged to express the ‘welcome’ emotions (eg. happiness, joy, excitement) and to conceal the ‘unwelcome’ ones (eg. anger, fear, sadness).

Unfortunately what most of us find is that when we try to shut out the unwelcome feelings we also shut out our chance to experience the very much needed welcome feelings!

Try to remember there are no ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ feelings – all feelings are valid even if they are communicating something we might not want to hear at times or might feel is irrational! Some feelings may cause us to feel guilty or ashamed - try to give yourself the understanding you would give a loved one or close friend and not judge yourself harshly.

For example feeling irritable whilst caring for a confused elderly loved one with poor health does not mean you are a ‘bad person’ or that you don’t love them.

Take time to reflect on what is going on for you and perhaps talk to a trusted friend about how you feel – and remember superwoman was not a real woman!

Increasing awareness of our emotions can be challenging at times. Some women worry that expressing their innermost feelings will cause them to ‘fall apart’. or that if they start crying they ‘might never stop’. This is not the case – strong feelings tend to be short-lived if we can freely express them. It is when we try to stifle them that they linger and take energy to suppress.

Of course we all have times when we have to contain our feelings – for example when our opinion is being over-ruled by a manager in front of other colleagues it may be inappropriate to express your anger, but afterwards it will help to name and express how you felt to yourself and someone you trust rather than sweep it under the carpet.

Suggested sources of support

Most women will get through their menopause without professional help however if you feel that counselling may help you talk to your GP to see if the surgery employs a counsellor or can put you in touch with any voluntary agencies offering counselling such as MIND, Cruse etc.

If you want to seek counselling privately go to the website for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and click on the ‘Find a therapist’ link  Some counsellors offer reduced rates if you are on low income.


The internet can be a useful source of information and help.

Take a look at the following:
Menopause matters -
No More Panic – for help with anxiety and panic -
Cruse – bereavement issues -
Parenting issues with teenagers -
Midlife and menopause –


Suggested reading

‘Dorothy Rowe’s Guide to Life’ by Dorothy Rowe published by Harper Collins


‘Depression: The way Out of Your Prison’ by Dorothy Rowe, published by Routledge

‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers, published by Vermillion

There are many good books on self esteem - so it’s worth browsing in a good bookshop or on the internet.


Some Quotes

‘We don’t have to let anger control us, but it surely will if we prevent ourselves from feeling it‘ 



‘If the heartbeat is a vital sign of physical life, anger is the vital sign of an emotional life’. 

Sue Parker Hall, 2009


‘Anger as soon as fed is dead – ‘tis starving makes it fat’
From Emily Dickenson’s Poems 1891


‘Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul, if either your sails or your rudder is broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas,
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining, and passion unattended is a flame that burns to its own destruction’. 

From Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ 1964