“I just can’t get my emotions under control” confided one of my girlfriends over an afternoon lunch. I nodded not only in compassion, but also in empathetic understanding. As women, physiological and hormonal intersections may shift our emotions and create moods that compromise our sense of well-being.
According to Psychology Today traditional theory says we “consist of both a body and a soul, and it is the soul that experiences mental states such as happiness”. In other words, it’s spiritual.
Others say emotions are related to shifts in your body such as in your heart, breathing -and yes – hormones. In my medically un-trained mind, I agree with the author of the Psychology Today article that emotions are likely a combination of several factors.
The book of Psalms is a perfect depiction of man’s battle with mind and soul.
For example, in this scripture the Psalmist says that one’s soul can be “troubled”:
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled…” (Ps 6.2-4)
Psalm 23 says that God “…restores my soul” So a soul can be “fixed” or healed.
David then says that Ps 25: “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul”.
Whatever this part of our being is, I believe we can command it and exercise authority over it. Is it easy? No, but it is possible with discipline and effort. If we do what David did and submit our “troubled” emotions to the Lord and pray for His mercy we can find help. Then, we can rest in the reliable restoration of the Holy Spirit – whether He gives it through song, worship, prayer or supernatural peace. He’s faithful.
Here are some of my ways of dealing with my emotions.
1. Get away from the chaos and quiet your thoughts. Many times, I’d go into a bathroom stall at work and just breathe and tell the Lord what I needed to bring Him glory. I’d ask: “Lord, help me handle this person with wisdom, patience and love”. Often, I’d come out relaxed and comforted. Handle your emotions through prayer and change your environment, when you can.
2. Shift your thinking toward the positive. Instead of affirming that someone doesn’t like or love you, assume better. Think “maybe she’s having a rough day” or “perhaps she has problems I don’t know about”. If it’s your mate consider this. Maybe he is loving you the best way knows how. Control your emotions by changing your thinking.
3. Speak peace. I watched a Joyce Meyer episode and a mental health professional said we can calm our spirits by simply saying “everything is ok here” when we are overwhelmed. Speaking this affirmation sends a message to your brain and may work to slow your heart rate and reassure you. These bodies are machines, aren’t they? Also, check our Dr. Carolyn Leaf’s book on the power God has put in your brain.
How do you handle your emotions?
*At times you may need medical help to manage your emotions. Again, these bodies are machines and God may bring your peace with medical intervention – and that’s ok. The blind man didn’t refuse healing just because Jesus used mud and spit did he? Trust God and get healed whatever way is necessary.