Education, education, education
With luck and curiosity, we spend our whole lives learning about ourselves and the world. Of course we are crammed full of learning in our formative years at home and at school. Those of us well into our adulthood now, however, are unlikely to have had much in the way of education about the emotional world. Schools today include Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) as part of the curriculum which includes the issue of mental health and shows just how much our attitudes have changed. There seems to be much more ready acknowledgement of the importance of human emotion.
Perhaps the rest of us have some catching up to do! But how? There is a plethora of resources out there on the internet and self-help books abound. You may well find something to suit you but you'll probably have to go through a lot of trial and error - be patient! There are so many different ideas - ditch the ones you don't like and keep looking for the ones that make sense to you or bring you joy.
Starting a conversation with someone else might get you started - what have they read? What did they find useful? Yes, this involves opening up about some of what's troubling you - you know that I encourage this every time but it may not be what you want to do. So, if you have found a book, say, that helped and you want to continue your journey, check out the bibliography or list of suggested further reading.
Find a possible book on Amazon and have a look at the other suggestions that the site throws up - follow your nose. Maybe try an adult education class - yoga or philosophy, perhaps. On the web, you could start with sites like the Counselling Directory, BACP or MIND. All have articles and resources to browse. Then there's YouTube and TED talks...I could go on.
The main point is that, if you're interested in how you feel and why you feel it or if you feel dissatisfied or uncomfortable in some way, there is help out there for you. Counselling is one option but there are plenty of others and surely the most exciting learning you can do is finding out more about you, however you go about it.
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Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
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