Jess Cantoni

Lifestyle, Book Reviewer & Meal Plan do-er

Monday, 12 March 2018

Weekly Meal Plan | Italy + The Middle East

Good morning and welcome to Monday! I don't usually write this on a Monday as I would usually pre-write it on Sunday evening, however yesterday I was so tired and had loads of other things to do, so this could wait. 

So last week's meals were all a success! (see last week's meal plan for all the links to recipes below)

Monday's lentil veggie chilli was super tasty and filling, although I still couldn't help myself having a second helping! 

I think tagine's are becoming my new fave meal due to how simple they are so cook - just throw everything all in one pot! The chicken, lemon, date and apricot tagine was really yummy and so easy to make. I'd wished I'd made more!

We don't eat enough pasta for our evening meals, which is strange since my husband is Italian! The aubergine and mozzarella pasta though was definitely one I'll be re-making time and time again!

Thursday I tested a recipe from Andorran cuisine - see my JessEats food and travel blog for the recipe; coming out this week!


I've become really good recently at picking up reduced items when shopping, and I couldn't help pick up some sticky pork belly ribs when in Tesco last week. We'll serve it with some glutinous rice which needs to be eaten this month!


Tonight i'll be heading off to Babel in Cheltenham to have dinner with an old work colleague from way back in 2014! I haven't seen her for such a long time, so it'll be nice to catch up!


Still making the effort to eat healthier weekly meals, I thought this Chicken, Broccoli and Bulgar Wheat Salad from Searching for Spice looked like the perfect choice. 


Okay, so I know this isn't entirely healthy but since we've got a ton of pasta to use in the larder, I thought Curly's Cooking's Sausage, Mustard and Basil Pasta would be a good one to try! It looks super creamy and comforting! 


Today i'll be testing a recipe from Angolan cuisine (featuring peanuts + my slow-cooker!) I've also got my parents, as well as my sister and nephew arriving to stay, so I'm not sure if we'll eat this together or head to our local pub! I may end up making this Thursday evening and eating it for lunch on Friday instead.

What sort of meals do you have planned this week? Would love to hear in the comments!


Sunday, 11 March 2018

Let's have a chat...Kirsten Jones

I can't believe it's Sunday again! I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend so far. I spent yesterday in Cardiff with Fabio and my parents to celebrate Mother's day, which was so nice to just chill for once. Feeling a bit tired today as I didn't manage to lie-in like I wanted to! Anyone else ever find that they just simply can't lie-in?? 

Anyways, today on 'let's have a chat' we've got another one of my lovely blogger friends, lifestyle and beauty blogger, Kirsten Jones  who lives in Maidstone, Kent.  Although I've not met Kirsten (who blogs at I can just imagine she's someone who you can talk to about anything because of her friendly nature. She's so supportive of others on Twitter, which we always need more of in the blogging community! 

So as always, grab a chair (or sofa!!), preferably of the comfy kind and also your beverage of choice, ready to get to know Kirsten a little bit more!

Isn't she Beautiful! (credit- Kirsten)

First things first, how would you describe your blog?
A lifestyle and beauty blog with a random bit of fashion, food and travel.

So, how long have you been blogging for?
Two years in April. 

Quite a while then! Full time or spare time blogger?
Spare time blogger.

What was the reason for starting a blog?
I loved reading other people's blogs, I loved taking pictures of eeeeeeverything and I'm a huge lover of make up. I always wanted to share what I had bought, whenever I bought make up, so thought it would be a good idea to start a blog. I had also moved to a new place and didn't have any friends so had a lot of time on my hands. 

Sounds pretty understandable! Do you have a blogging schedule or do you write what you fancy at the time?
I always try to stick to a schedule but sometimes that goes off track, so nowadays I tend to just write stuff and post it whenever I feel like. 

I'm the same. I have a schedule but it's not rigid. Do you blog in an office or on the sofa?
I usually write at my dining room table or the sofa. 

Describe your ideal place to blog.
I'd love to have my own pretty office... I think I'd be more focused and determined to write more blog posts then.

Kirsten likes to blog on the sofa or dining room table but I can imagine she also likes to blog in bed... (credit- Kirsten)

What's your blogging daily routine? How do you manage your time?
I usually blog on a Monday which is my day off, but sometimes during the week if I have any 'spur of the moment' blog post idea I'll write them. Monday's I always feel motivational so it always helps me with blog posts. 

And I thought I was the only one who was motivation on a Monday! We've been chatting for a while, a brew or a herbal tea? 
Definitely a brew! I'm not really a fan of coffee and I drink herbal tea when I feel like my body needs a detox. 

Ahhh, another non-coffee drinker! Haha. Where do you see your blog in the next year?
I'd love for it to just keep growing as I grow. My life will obviously change with hopefully marriage and children etc so I'd love to start blogging more about that.

Exactly. I've been thinking a lot about how my blog would change through time and I totally agree. If you could develop your blog in anyway, what would you do? 
Ooooo I'd love to have my own shop, definitely. I'd probably sell make-up and lifestyle bits and bobs. I've wanted to own my own shop for years actually but haven't got a clue where I'd start. 

Same! It's mind-boggling! What do you use as inspiration to write a blog post?
Normally Pinterest, everyday life stuff and reading other blogs helps a lot. 

Pinterest is just amazing for ideas! Do you find it easy coming up with ideas then?
Normally I do, but other times I have major writers block and don't end up writing posts for weeks. Then I take a step back from blogging and go in with a fresh head a few days later.

Any advice for those who find it difficult?
To just relax and take your time. Not everyone gains inspiration straight away and that's okay. Write what is natural for you.

Lovely advice! So, how do you interact with other bloggers? 
Mostly through twitter. There are so many great people supporting each other on twitter. I'm in a whatsapp support group too which helps a lot. Definitely think its starting to grow my blog too. 

Support groups are the best and a great idea! Have you ever collaborated with another blogger? 
I've not no, I've only met one blogger in real life. I'd definitely be open to collaborate though if it fits in with my blog. 

So do you have a blogging idol??
I have a few. Zoella being an obvious one as I'm a fan of her, but I love how much of a business woman and how creative she is. I also love Jemma from Dorkface. Again, another business woman with her Etsy and blog; I absolutely love her content and how colourful her blog is. There are so many other great bloggers out there. 

Totally agree with you on those two! Do you think it's better to blog about many things, or to have a niche?
Yeah I do find I go back to blogs more which have different things going on but at the same time I do enjoy reading blogs with a niche. I think its all down to the writing at the end of the day. Good writing makes it more enjoyable to read.

Exactly! The writing has to be engaging. What do you think is the biggest cost in blogging?
For me it's been going self-hosted and all the plug-ins and extras like the theme. You can do it all for free but I definitely think the biggest cost is actually the site itself if you want to be self hosted and have a different theme. 

Being self-hosted is 100% worth it. Have you attended any blogging events? 
I haven't attended any yet but I'd definitely like to attend a beauty event, they always look very cool.

Do you feel it's difficult to be in the know about events? 
Yeah, I only ever see people tweeting about them on the day and they're mostly the ones you get invited too. I'm quite a nervous person so I wouldn't like to go to any on my own haha. 

Do you feel that there should be more acknowledgement and promotion of bloggers in the press?
Definitely! Blogging wasn't a job 10 years ago so quite a lot of people still don't understand or get what blogging is about. I think if there was more acknowledgement and promotion, people might be more understanding and accepting of what bloggers do. Lately more for the vloggers, it's all been negative, so more promotion of the good stuff bloggers/vloggers do, the more people will realise we're not all the same. 

Agreed! People need to open their minds a bit more! Also, blogs are used a lot these days to raise awareness on contemporary issues such as mental health. If you could use your blog as a platform to talk about something taboo, what would talk about and why?
I published a post a few weeks ago about my mental health and the amount of response I got from that was amazing. I think I'd like to talk more about that and how I've overcome things in my life in a way to hopefully help other people. I loved that I had an impact on a few people that they felt the need to message me about it. I'm always here for anyone who have mental health issues. Talking is definitely what's needed in these situations, so I'd talk all day if it meant someone felt better at the end of our conversation. 

That's so lovely of you Kirsten. And finally, any tips for a novice blogger starting out?

Always be yourself; follow loads of bloggers on twitter and Instagram; support and read other blogs and just enjoy yourself. 

Thank you so much Kirsten! I definitely feel like I know you a tiny bit better now. And thanks for the great advice that I'm sure other bloggers will appreciate. 

I also asked Kirsten to recommend the top 3 best things to do in Wiltshire (where her parents live). I haven't properly been to Wiltshire, apart from Bath, so i'm intrigued!

Kirsten's top 3 things to do in Wiltshire

1. Bath is a beautiful, historic town with cobbled streets and so many different shops. The scenery is beautiful. You can take a bus ride around the city to see it all and there is also the Roman Baths which you can visit. Lots of places to eat and drink and at Christmas they have loads of markets. 

Beautiful Bath (credit - Kirsten)

2. Lacock is a tiny little town in the middle of Wiltshire. The Abbey in the town was used for Harry Potter 1 and 2 (Snape's potion class, the hallways and the courtyard),so if you’re a big HP fan, you’ll love that. They also used a house here as Harry’s house when he was younger. The town is so small and pretty and has a few cute, independent shops here and there. 

Stunning architecture in Lacock (credit- Kirsten)

3. Stonehenge. Essentially all it is is a few rocks but it’s pretty cool seeing them up close and personal and learning about the history behind it all. Loads of people come from all over the world to visit it, so if you're ever in the area it’s somewhere you can say you’ve been to. 

Kirsten and her family at Stonehenge. (credit-Kirsten)

I'd highly recommend you go check out Kirsten's lovely blog / you can also follow her on Twitter @kiirstenjones 

Check back next week for another blogger interview, where'll we'll be delving more into how bloggers use social media and work with brands. I finally decided to change the questions! 

If you want to take part, tweet me @fessjarmer with your email.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Weekly Meal Plan | Healthier than normal

Happy Monday guys! Welcome to my weekly meal plan! How was your weekend? I can't believe how quick the last one went (I think I always say that though!) In terms of blogging, it has been pretty productive. I actually stepped out of the house twice (one for a course, the other for a dance show) which is great because I usually get holed up at home, blogging (which I obvs enjoy) and don't get the chance to get out much! 

Another exciting thing happened this week: Fabio and I booked another holiday away, to Albania via Corfu! I'm pretty excited for it (in May) as we've both never been and it's one of those counties not many people think to travel to, so sorta feel like i'm discovering something new! 

In terms of meals, last week's were a success, however I feel my plan contained a bit too much meat. It certainly didn't feel like the healthiest of weeks, hence why this week I've planned a lot of veg-based meals.

(See last week's meal plan for all the below recipes)

The chicken adobo tacos were SO GOOD though. Such a great meal to have to use up leftover chicken. Annoyingly we ate it in a bit of rush because of the show we were going out to see. 

The pizzas were also pretty good with pretty standard toppings: ham, mozzarella, tomato and basil (also was a bit of a rush!)

The belly pork chill was so flavoursome and filling! Annoyingly I didn't have any dark chocolate (I was convinced I had some!) - yes, the chilli called for dark choc!

Fabio's salad, which consisted of lettuce, bacon, avo and black pudding, was really good! Despite it just being a salad, I was really full after! Definitely need to incorporate more salads into the plans! Roll on summer! 

The recipe testing for my around-the-world cooking mission went well (apart from one!)- look out for those next week on my food and travel blog (see link above)


As I said before, I need to eat more veggie meals and cut back on the meat a bit! This vegan lentil chilli from Searching for spice looks so wholesome and great to have for lunch the next day; something I intend to do for most of these meals. 


I know I just said I'd cut back on meat but we have some frozen diced chicken in the freezer which I bought reduced last week. I'll replace the chicken legs and thighs in this recipe with that. I adore Middle Eastern food and savoury recipes that include fruit, so this chicken tagine with lemon, dates and apricots from Calm Eats sounds perfect. 


We haven't eaten a lot of pasta dishes recently which is strange because we have an abundance of pasta in the larder! The aubergine and mozzarella pasta from Easy Peasie Foodie is just what I'm looking for. The only thing is that Tesco were out of aubergines on the weekend due to the snow crisis, so I'll have to ask Fabio to pick one up on the way home from work!


Today is a day for testing a recipe from Andorran cuisine (Andorra is a small country between France and Spain, in the mountains). All I can say is that it's going to be a potato-related side dish and we'll have it with some Cumberland sausages. 


Haven't planned anything for Friday as we may end up going out! 

Do you sometimes get stuck in a rut of eating lots of meat? Or do you enjoy that? There's no right answer; you should only eat what you enjoy!



Let's have a chat... Christina Marie (A.K.A Navigation to Happiness)

It's Sundaaaay; it's blogger interview time! I urge you to:

1. Go find your comfiest, softest blanket.
2. Go make a cup of something hot (hot choc, herbal tea - you know the drill!)
3. Get your bum on a comfy chair or sofa.
4. Brace yourself for another interview with another lovely blogger!

We've got the wonderful Christina Lynch from Maine, USA on the blog today! You may know Christina from the lifestyle blog Navigation To Happiness. Christina is such a lovely person, always supporting others on Twitter - i'm so happy I could have her on this series of Let's have a chat! Also it's great to have bloggers from other nationalities too! 

The gorgeous Christina!

Are you comfy and ready? Here's what I learnt about Christina -

First things first, how would you describe your blog?
I would describe my blog as lifestyle. I like to be able to post about my life; not matter what the topic is. My most common types of posts have to do with living with anxiety, personal growth and parenting.

So, how long have you been blogging for?
I've been blogging for about two or so years now. However I recently started over so I could be on a platform that was a better fit. It has been a couple of months for this particular journey.

Full time or spare time blogger?
I would say that I'm a full-time blogger. I used to just post, share and call it a day but now there's a lot more work to do with it. I have to create my title pictures; get my name out there; connect with others, and when I get my hands on my camera, I'll be incorporating pictures as well. Being a blogger isn't as easy as people make it appear. I know I'm not making money with it, but it's still full-time!

I believe you're our first full-time blogger on this series! What was your main reason for starting your blog then?
I started a blog to give me a safe place to talk about how I was feeling or the thoughts I was having. I also wanted to document my life and use it as a tool to see my growth. 

Blogging is perfect for doing just that! Do you have a blogging schedule or do you write what you fancy at the time?
My blogging schedule consists of making posts on weekdays but I do something related to blogging everyday (finding new friends, supporting others, planning posts - it's hard work!)

Totally agree! Are you a sofa blogger or do you prefer to sit in an office?
I do most of my blogging on my desk in my bedroom, as it's one of my fave rooms in my apartment that actually has a window. I only have two windows in my whole apartment!  

Christina's desk where she spends her time blogging

Wow! I can see why you'd gravitate towards the light! Describe your ideal place to blog.
I would love to blog outside in the sun as the warmth and sounds of summertime are really comforting to me. I used to sit outside on a lawn chair back at my parent's house, long before the blogging days; I would write there as it was peaceful.

Sunlight and warmth is always needed! I can't wait for summer actually! What's your blogging daily routine? How do you manage your time?
After I take a minute to myself, and curse for not liking coffee, I will snag my laptop and check to see what I'd planned for the day. I do my plans for the week on Sunday. I'll open up my browser and first go to my graphic maker. I use Fotojet and depending how fancy I get with it, It takes me about five to ten minutes. I'll then open up Wordpress and start creating my post. I'm trying to get into a rift with proofreading my posts before clicking publish. Once it's published, I'll share it on social media. After this is done, I usually work on finding other bloggers to interact with and show my support since I wish people did that for me. 

As for managing my time, I just set time aside for my blog. My husband works in the afternoon, so I usually have time aside for me to work on my post. If I end up getting agitated with my post, I'll take a break but always come back to it. 

Thanks for the detailed answer! There certainly is a lot that goes into blog work! We've been chatting for a while now... do you want a cup of coffee (perhaps not!), a brew or something herbal? 
Actually neither. I'm not a fan of hot beverages and I really wish I was! I never really cared for iced tea either... something about the flavour never really interested me. Why am I so weird?!

Haha, don't worry; I'm weird too! So let's talk about future plans. Where do you see your blog in the next few years?
I'm hoping it will build a community of people who care how I'm feeling or what I'm talking about. I grew up with the mindset that nobody cared about me or what my thoughts were. I want to continue this journey of blogging because it has brought happiness into my life and helped with self-discovery. I would love to inspire others to be confident with the person they are. Plus, it would be nice to be able to help financially support my family doing something that I love to do.

We all care about you Christina, don't you worry about that. If you could develop your blog in anyway, what would you do? 
Hm, I'm really not sure on this one as it has never crossed my mind before. I would probably produce some merchandise to help others seek who they were meant to be and remind them that happiness is possible. Whether that's stationary, jewellery or a journal. 

Sounds like a lovely idea. Where do you find inspo to write a blog post?
A majority of my post ideas come to my mind randomly and I jot them down in my blogging notebook. Occasionally, I get ideas from social media or other bloggers in the community. 

Social media is such a good place for ideas, I agree! Do you always find it easy to come up with ideas?
For the most part, yes! A lot of my day is spent with random post ideas; what's difficult is remembering them all when I get to write them down. When I first started blogging, it was really hard and I would be staring at a blank page for a long time. Eventually I'd start planning my posts ahead of time, so I could just sit and blog; it has definitely helped make the process smooth. 

Christina doing the thing she loves best - blogging!

Any advice for those who find it difficult to get inspiration?
Take some time to sit with your thoughts and jot down a list of topics you'd like to cover. You can always look back on this list if you're having writer's block and need some ideas. 

Great advice.Jotting ideas down as soon as you think of them worth it. So how do you interact with other bloggers? 

I like to reach out to other bloggers which has been hard with my anxiety. I definitely prefer to use Twitter to meet others but Instagram has some awesome people too. I just find it easier to get to the posts on Twitter. I like to read and give them some love (liking and commenting). I like the thought of making someone feel good about their blog. Yes, it has definitely helped grow my blog since making friends with other bloggers.

It's great than you take the time to show the love to others! Have you ever collaborated with another blogger? How would approach another person to collaborate?
Well, here I am! I have been recently approached to do some guest posts and I'm always open to helping and working together. If I see another blogger looking for people who match the person I am, then i'll offer my support. I haven't actually asked someone if they are interested collaborating, to tell you the truth. I'm still learning how to do this. I would love to collaborate with other bloggers and i'm always open to learning more about it. 

That's a good way to think. Do you have a blogging idol?
I don't have a particular blogging idol but almost everyone in this community are supportive and inspiring that I idolise them all. I have learnt a lot while blogging and connecting these past two months. 

That's so lovely! Do you think it's better to blog about everything and anything or to focus on a niche?
I personally like blogging about many things and prefer reading those who do the same but I can understand why people have a niche! I would just get bored easily doing it myself since I have a wide variety of things I enjoy talking about. 

Let's talk about money now. What do you think is the biggest cost in blogging?
Setting it up, probably. I'm scared to buy a domain and create my own place because there's so much to getting it ready for your audience. Not only do you have to buy your site but purchase add-ons, themes, hosting, logos and so forth. Plus, if you want to take decent pictures then cameras can be pricey too! 

Tell me about it! So, have you attended any blogging events?
I haven't but I'd love to someday! I didn't really know these existed until recently but I'd love to do some more research and participate. My state is hardly included in events so I'd have to travel to them.

I would imagine there's quite a few around the US; you'd just need to dig them out. Do you feel it's difficult to be in know about events?
Yes, I find it difficult because I never knew about them before and I've been blogging for a bit. To be fair, I'm still new at the socialising and researching aspect of being a blogger. 

They're worth looking more into when you feel comfortable! Do you feel that there should be more acknowledgement and promotion of bloggers in the press?
Probably! There's much hatred for content creators but I find it important to start understanding 
that since the internet is popular, so are careers that involve it. I find it important to acknowledge and give praise where it belongs. Bloggers work hard and should be 'awarded' for their work and time and not criticised every single day. I see horror stories all the time that some company didn't follow through their part of the deal. 

There are so many of those stories, you're right unfortunately.  Blogs are used a lot these days to talk about issues such as mental health. If you could use your blog as a platform to talk about something perhaps taboo, what would you talk about and why?
I'm actually one of those bloggers who regularly talk about mental health! I live with anxiety and want to document how my life is. I never really talk about other disorders but that's because I cannot speak from experience like I do with anxiety. It's important to talk about these 'taboo' topics. So, i'll still talk about mental health because I want to stop being embarrassed for having anxiety - end the stigma! 

You go girl! Any tips for a novice blogger starting out?
One of my biggest tips for a blogger is to be yourself and try your best not to compare. Readers can often tell if you're not being yourself or if you're not passionate about what you're writing about. Also, don't compare your progress to others because we're all in this together, and getting caught up in stats and followers will drive you crazy! Be patient and have fun because this experience is amazing. 

Thank you so much Christina for such an open and honest interview! 

I also asked Christina if she'd give us some tips for travelling in her home state of Maine. If you love US travel, read on!

Christina's top 3 things to do in Maine -

1. Check out Lake Region. I was born and raised in Bridgton (Maine) and there's so much to do in the area, from swimming in the summer to ice-fishing in the winter. Not to mention, the many shops and restaurants available. It's beautiful and a tourist area but well worth it!

2. Visit a lighthouse. Maine has 65 different lighthouses. My favourite lighthouse is Spring Point Ledge Light and is located in South Portland. It's a bit of a walk out there (a lot of rock jumping) but well worth it when you get there.

3. Go to Funtown/Splashtown USA (Saco, ME). If you like amusements and water parks, then check this one out. There are a decent amount of different theme parks but Funtown/Splashtown has a good variety of slides and rides for people of all ages. I went there a few times growing up and actually went for our honeymoon as well!

You can follow Christina on Twitter @navig8happiness and her blog Navigation to Happiness - go show her some BIG LOVE! 

Next week you'll hear from a lovely lifestyle/beauty blogger who will also be sharing her top 3 places to visit in Wiltshire! Subscribe so you don't miss out!

If you want to join in, tweet me with your email @fessjarmer


Friday, 2 March 2018

Overcoming my interview anxiety | A talk with Hilary Jacobs Hendel

Photo by Namphuong Van on Unsplash

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing face-to-face (on Skype!), Hilary Jacobs Hendel, the author of It's Not Always Depression; a very interesting book I had reviewed the week before about how we must listen to our core emotions and learn to not bury them.

In case you missed my review, I'll just briefly explain: Hilary has adopted the method of 'The Change Triangle' where each corner of the triangle represents a different aspect of the mind: core emotions, inhibitory emotions and defences. Hilary uses this triangle to help people re-connect with their emotions rather than burying them - more will be explained below.

When I approached Hilary about doing the interview, she was immediately up for it. I was honestly so honoured she had agreed, so we set a date. However I explained to Hilary that I wasn't really used to Skype interviews, having never done one before. I usually conduct all blogger interviews on here, via email, and the only other way I had done one was over the phone, and that was a good 5 years ago! I explained this to Hilary and she insisted she was the best person to start with, what with being a psychotherapist! I agreed as I believe you should always take up opportunities, even if they may scare you a little. And anyway, I felt strangely at ease with Hilary before I had even met her.

The time for the interview was nearing and surprisingly I wasn't too nervous. I felt a tiny bit jittery but apart from that, I was good to go! Hilary greeted me warmly and decided to start off by going through some breathing exercises with me to help the anxiety. She explained that we needed to come to the present and just breathe. I instantly felt a lot calmer and so the interview began.


Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

We started off by taking about why people have lost that vital connection with their emotions. Hilary mentioned the 'stiff upper lip' culture that we have in the UK and US; we're always trying to cover up our feelings by controlling them. This is a major problem.

Our core emotions, as Hilary explains are 'hardwired, biological, in-born programs that have evolved over millions of years to help us survive'.

This survival instinct is still VERY strong within us. A good analogy that Hilary gave was that if a wild animal ran into your room right now, you would not stop and think about what to do next, you'd RUN. These are your core emotions working on your behalf.

'Emotions just are' - the most important thing that the change triangle teaches.

This makes total sense to me, as i'm sure it does to you. We cannot control our emotions as they are completely natural. They arise in situations in response to certain environmental elements, and the decision to use the emotion is not something we consciously decide. All we can do is decide how to manage and react once we've had the emotional feeling. Hilary states that it's wrong to simply judge someone for having certain reactions as, like I said, it's NATURAL. This was something that was hugely relieving for Hilary, which I can completely see why; once you realise this, it's like your free to not worry about your emotions ever again.


The next thing which was very interesting to hear and something which I'd heard before during my own therapy sessions, is that emotions are physical. We're often taught that emotions are 'all in our heads' and it's simply not true. We FEEL them, therefore they're physical.


Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Now, I suffer from anxiety in certain situations, as do a lot of people. Hilary explains that there's always a reason for that anxiety and it always comes down to emotions; emotions that are overwhelming or conflicting that our brains have not yet had the chance to fully understand. This is where Hilary's change triangle comes into play. 

'It's not about wearing your emotions on your sleeve because sometimes it's not always appropriate to show your emotions, for example, crying at work...It's about bringing a balance between mind and emotion.'

As most anxiety, depression and OCD sufferers will know, our thoughts lie to us. When our thoughts lie to us, Hilary mentions that our emotions are 'running the show'. We disconnect with ourselves which in turn inhibits us to fully connect with others. How can we expect to make these connections when we can't connect with ourselves?


Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

It's pretty simple to use the change triangle. Hilary explains that when we have an emotion, we've got two choices:

1. Block them and move up the triangle, which is not a good thing as this will then bring inhibitory emotions such as anxiety.

2. Actually listen to our emotions and make a connection as to why you're having it. Did something happen recently to upset you? 

I think you can guess which is the better option! 

Listening to your emotions and channelling them can help release the negative energy. One example of doing this, for example to release anger, which Hilary mentions, is to imagine the person you're angry at and say what you would want to say to them. The act of doing this can actually trick the brain into thinking you did it in real life. 

Of course this is just the tip of the ice berg in terms of advice for connecting with your emotions. To fully understand each one separately, I'd recommend buying Hilary's book, It's Not Always Depression which has just been released by Penguin UK. You can buy a copy on Amazon UK* for only £10.11.

It was so lovely to interview Hilary and get to speak to her; she really is inspiring. I really do hope you all go over and check our her book! You can also find her on Twitter @hilaryjhendel and Facebook: @Authorhilaryjacobshendel

Is this a method you would consider adopting? Let me know in the comments.

*this is an affiliate link meaning i'l receive a small profit if you click on it. 


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