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Emotions Anonymous

Updated on September 11, 2011

EA Bear

We admitted we were powerless over our emotions - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Emotions Anonymous (EA) is a Twelve Step Program, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), for those seeking emotional health. Just as the only requirement for membership in AA is a desire for sobriety; the only requirement for membership in EA is a desire to become well emotionally and to cope better with the stresses of daily living. EA uses the same Twelve Steps as AA with one variation in the wording of the first step; “We admitted we were powerless over our emotions,” rather than over alcohol. Just as in AA, there are meetings, sponsors, a Big Book, slogans, steps, traditions, promises, Helpful Concepts, the Serenity Prayer, EA literature, and “Just For Today” meditations. The biggest difference between EA and AA is that there are far fewer EA meetings available. However, there are phone in meetings and online meetings.

The purpose of EA is to help anyone with any emotional problem get their emotions back under control, so they can make healthy choices in life. The goal is to provide a warm and caring atmosphere where people can feel free to share their concerns, and to hear from others who have had similar struggles make progress toward getting better. Members suffer from and recover from a number of problems to include: depression, anger, relationships, grief, anxiety, low self esteem, panic, abnormal fears, resentment, jealousy, guilt, despair, fatigue, tension, boredom, loneliness, withdrawal, obsessive and negative thinking, worry, compulsive behavior, suicidal thoughts and feelings, love and intimacy, indecision, perfectionism, forgiveness, grief, shame, stress, guilt, failure, shyness, family problems, frustrations, finances, trauma, feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, and a variety of other emotional issues.

Often negative thoughts about stressors and emotions can worsen the situation or intensify the emotions. Negative self talk or beliefs about self and others can prevent a person from getting better, can worsen symptoms that are already debilitating, and can make a bad situation worse. Using the recovery tools of EA such as slogans and meditations, can help a person develop more effective coping mechanisms that can decrease negative thoughts and feelings and improve problem-solving and decision-making. EA is not a substitute for therapy or medications, but can be used to enhance the effects of therapy and medication. EA is not affiliated with religious organizations, but is a spiritual program that uses the “Higher Power” concept to refer to any power larger than oneself that can be used to provide “Good Orderly Direction.”


Let go and let God.

You are not alone.

One day at a time.

Live and let live.

First things first.

Look for the good.

By the grace of God.

Know yourself – be honest.

This too shall pass.

I need people.

Keep it simple.

I have a choice.


The Choice is Mine

  1. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not tackling all of my problems at once. I can do something at this moment that would discourage me if I had to continue it for a lifetime.
  2. Just for today I will try to be happy, realizing my happiness does not depend on what others do or say or what happens around me. Happiness is a result of being at peace with myself.
  3. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is and not force everything to adjust to my own desires. I will accept my family, my friends, my business, and my circumstances as they come.
  4. Just for today I will take care of my physical health; I will exercise my mind; I will read something spiritual.
  5. Just for today I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anyone knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least one thing I don’t want to do, and I will perform some small act of love for my neighbor.
  6. Just for today I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet. I will be considerate, talk low, and look as good as I can. I will not engage in unnecessary criticism or finding fault, nor try to improve or regulate anybody except for myself.
  7. Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests – hurry and indecision.
  8. Just for today I will stop saying, “if I had time.” I never will find time for anything. If I want time, I must take it.
  9. Just for today I will have a quiet time of meditation wherein I shall think of my Higher Power, of myself, and of my neighbor. I shall relax and seek truth.
  10. Just for today I shall be unafraid. Particularly, I shall be unafraid to be happy, to enjoy what is good, what is beautiful and what is lovely in life.
  11. Just for today I will not compare myself with others. I will accept myself and live to the best of my ability.
  12. Just for today I choose to believe that I can live this one day.

Below are links to the Emotions Anonymous website and some recovery stories from the EA Big Book. The EA link can be used to access a meeting locator, information about how to contact EA, information about upcoming conferences, and an online store where products, books and publications can be ordered.

Understanding and Coping with Emotions


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    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      That's right, Kristen. The goal is to identify, accept and communicate them appropriately. It helps to think of feelings as clouds passing or, in the case of intense feelings, riding a wave like a surfer until the feelings pass. It can be helpful to learn ways to de-intensify very intense emotions....see more about that in my hub on thoughts, feelings and actions. Generally, identifying, accepting and expressing them (verbally or in writing) helps us cope with feelings and reduces the intensity.

    • profile image

      Kristen 6 years ago

      So the goal isn't to get rid of emotions?

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thanks Dr Bill. I would love to see EA grow to be as available as AA. I like that "....with a soft voice of permission." :)

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      What an enlightening and empowering HUB. EA is new for me even thought I have worked in the field of mental health for many, many years. Your writing is so clear with a soft voice of permission. I am sure this will help a lot of people to prepare them to face out of control emotions. Good job.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      thanks, exotichippiequeen:) my favs are "look for the good" and "i have a choice".

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 6 years ago

      Great slogans! Great hub! Voted up and useful!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      that's great francisco quintas. feel free to comment more about how it helps or what it does for you exactly. thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      francisco quintas 6 years ago

      I need this... a lot. It really does me gooood!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 7 years ago

      well thanks jantamaya. I think the slogans and just for today's are helpful for anyone who has feelings... which is all of us. They are especially helpful for people who struggle with intense and unstable emotions. I'm glad you stopped by to check it out.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 7 years ago from UK

      EA? I've never heard about it but surprisingly I live like I would follow EA's directions or slogans. It was very interesting to read your hub. Thank you.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 7 years ago

      Thanks RNMSN! I love Just For Today! Right now, though, just for today I would like to get to bed on time! Thanks for stopping by to read and comment...just for today....RNMSN. Have a good night.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      what a great article Kim!! this is much needed/I added it to my favourites because I need the just for today daily!!!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 7 years ago

      my pleasure. Thanks for reading and commenting Denise....even though I eliminated your entire birthday month!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Lovely Hub, Kim. Thanks for sharing info about such an important group.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 7 years ago

      Thanks Litl John E. I clicked on your name and found some good links and information about how to contact you for info re EA meetings and literature. I found this too:

    • profile image

      Litl John E 7 years ago EA vs. "100,000's vs. 10,000's of Web-Site, hit per-Day... The, need to the Still-Suffering: "Starter-Kit's & getting our EA book's into the "public" Libary's + Phamplet-rack's with Local Contact #'s info & e-mail.... Las Vegas-Strip, "InterGroup of EA & Southern Nevada sub-region of

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 7 years ago

      No. Thank you Katie Wells! When I read your post, it occurred to me to look for the EA books at Amazon. They are available through the EA website link above, but a person might not think to look there. Since there aren't many meetings, it might be helpful to start working from the books; and the books explain how it works, how to start a meeting in your area, etc. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I did update the book selection, and appreciate you coming along to inspire a good idea!

    • Katie Wells profile image

      Katie Wells 7 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thanks for the info on this 12-step group! I've heard of the group but knew very little about it. Looks like everyone I know could benefit from it! Thanks again!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      Great! Glad you enjoyed it Polly. Thanks for stopping to comment.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      Very good I will bookmark and follow you! Welcome, Polly

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      thanks e'man. maybe you should see a dr about that. laughing that long must hurt! I intend to get to some of your hubs soon - haven't done as much reading lately. I'll see if I can work up another funny one for you too.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 8 years ago

      my emotions are not anonymous when I read your hubtastic writing - I am still laughing at 'Two Hubbers' - priceless.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      It's just a click away! Thanks Faybe.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Where do I sign up? Thank you Kimh039. I am bookmarking this one. I wish I could print it, sadly no ink!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      Kind of you to say so, Micky Dee. I enjoy being here. Love my fellow hubbers.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      Great hub again Kim. I'm very glad you're hubbing. Your stuff if needed and excellent. Thank you Dear!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      I wish they were on every corner like drug stores and convenient stores, and people walked in to them as casually and comfortably as they would a store! Thanks for stopping by MFBIII. I just saw the Hubber to Hubber write up about you, "Jen's Solitude interviews MFB III." Congrats on that. I feel like I got to know you even better.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 8 years ago from United States

      This sounds like a much needed and very well thought out program. People who are in emotional distress feel so alone and uncared for, and a group such as this is the perfect remedy. great hub~~~MFB III

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      LOL. Thanks for stopping by here to comment and for the fan mail Winsome. I really appreciate your sense of humor. Especially as I'm managing my frustration with being able to publish an elaborate table I created to illustrate some points for my next hub. I think I'll try again tomorrow when it's just for today!

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hey Kim, thank you for introducing me to this group--I know someone who might like to know about it. Just for today I am going to try to remember the "Just for today's" but in case I can't I will try again tomorrow when it will be again--just for today. =:)

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      Thanks for stopping to comment, James. I don't think very many people have heard of's a quiet group:)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for educating me about this. I had never heard of this fine group. Now I have, thanks to you. :-)

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      Thank you nikki1! I appreciate your stopping by and checking it out. Happy Hubbing!

    • nikki1 profile image

      nikki1 8 years ago

      Nicely done. Serious topic.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      I just saw your hub on coping, billy. nice hub. thanks for linking. They do go together, don't they? Glad you thought of it. I was actually thinking about or as I was reading yours! As always, thanks for stopping by!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 8 years ago

      Great hub Kim - I had never heard of emotions anonymous before. This is a perfect companion to my hub on coping when you can't solve a problem - I will add the link to it Kim - great job!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      Fantastic Deborah. Glad it was helpful. The actual 12 steps and info about meetings, etc can be found by clicking on the link to the EA website. I love "just for today"!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 8 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      I love these steps. The best part is "just for today". Big changes are so much easier when you choose just for today. It releases the burden of worrying about tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is exactly what I need today.


    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 8 years ago

      thanks (:v. I like the "Just for Today" thoughts the most, but the slogans are good too.

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Gosh, almost anyone could benefit from that group. I have heard of it, before, of course, but have not thought about it for a good long while. Good write up, and something many need to know about. (: v


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