Have you noticed one of the most difficult areas of life to manage is your emotions? I know it is for me. I can’t tell if it’s because of my personality or just how I’m designed as a woman. What do you think?
I know I’m not the only one who struggles to keep their emotions under control. In fact, just the other day, a friend said to me: “I just can’t get my emotions under control.”
I nodded, not only in compassion but also in empathetic, deep-seated understanding. I get it. Oh boy, do I get it. How about you? Can you relate to the battle of the emotional self?
Is it a woman thing or “naw”?
As women, physiological and hormonal intersections may shift our emotions like a ship on a stormy sea. As a woman in her 50’s, I can tell you sometimes my moods make me feel like a cuckoo bird!
For instance, I was watching this television commercial and it featured a little girl communicating with her elderly neighbor by showing sweet hand-written signs from window to window. The elderly neighbor hadn’t shown any signs for a bit and the little girl was visibly concerned.
Then one day the girl looks over and the woman is smiling back from her window! She’s wearing a hospital tag on her wrist. When I tell you this commercial made me bawl, it is not an over-exaggeration by any stretch! From my emotional response not only would you have thought the story was true, but you would also have thought I knew them people! Emotions are a “thing” for sure!
According to Psychology Today traditional theory says that we human beings “consist of both a body and a soul. The soul is the part of us that experiences mental states such as happiness and sadness. It makes you wonder. Maybe our emotions are 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.
In the Bible, the book of Psalms is a perfect depiction of man’s battle with the 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…”
Have you ever felt your soul “troubled” by something? I have. I’d almost rather have physical discomfort than spiritual. It’s a heaviness I usually can’t get rid of without prayer, trusting God and time.
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25
Isn’t that terrific news? My soul can be replenished. Think about that for a moment and think about what it takes to replenish your soul. Do you have a process for replenishing your soul? I don’t really, but I want one. If you manage your emotions, you will be best able to manage your emotions. That’s what I think.
All I know to do is run to Jesus and beg for help! Usually, tears are involved. Sometimes, chocolate is too – lots of chocolate
I love David and I love the Psalms! Being an emotional person, I can relate to so much of what David says.
He even knows what it means to be at the “chocolate” point of breakdown. In Psalms 25:1, He declares to the Lord: “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul”. In those times, we need the Lord so much, don’t we? We need replenishment, comfort, protection, and grace.
Whatever this part of our being is – soul, spirit – whatever… I believe we can command it and exercise authority over it.
It doesn’t have to control us. Manage your emotions so they don’t manage you!
One of the worse bondage to be in is bondage to your own emotions! I so hated when my emotions ran my life and influenced my decisions. That is NOT walking in the spirit; that’s walking in the flesh! No good comes from that walk. None. You can overcome it.
Seriously, we can gain an upper hand over our emotional selves.
If we do exactly what David did and submit our “troubled” emotions to the Lord and pray for His mercy, we will find help.
After that surrender, we will find peace. The Holy Spirit will replenish and restore our souls.
He may use song, worship, prayer, encouraging people, or supernatural peace. All I know is He’s faithful.
Here are some ways I deal with my emotions.
1. I get away from the chaos and quiet my thoughts.
Maybe I’d go into a bathroom stall at work and just breathe. I’d tell the Lord what I needed to bring Him glory in whatever situation is taxing me.
I’d ask: “Lord, help me handle this person with wisdom, patience, and love”. Often, I’d come out of that stall relaxed and comforted. Quickly, I’d run to my desk and pop in my earbuds loaded with worship music!
Hey, handle your emotions through prayer and change your environment, when you can.
2. Shift your thinking toward the positive.
Maybe you have “stinky” thinking and it’s messing with your emotions. Instead of affirming that someone doesn’t like or love you, assume better.
Replace the negative imagination with something more praiseworthy and positive like: “maybe she’s having a rough day” or “perhaps she has problems I don’t know about”. Very often, that’s actually the case.
If you’re married to a lackluster spouse, could it be he is loving you the best way he knows how? Most men really don’t know any better. They do the best they can, but their attempts are frequently so cognitive and action-motivated, they fall short.
Have you ever said to your husband or boyfriend: “don’t solve the problem, just listen”?
I see you nodding in the affirmative.
Men usually want to “act” or fix the issue, and they want to think about everything with their own brand of logic.
Tip: Control your emotions by changing your thinking and being more positive, Girl! It will save you so much stress.
3. Speak peace over your emotions.
I watched a Joyce Meyer episode and a mental health professional said we can calm our overwhelmed spirits by simply saying: “everything is ok here.”
For years and years, I’ve been doing this and it really does make a difference. It calms me down and gives me perspective. Try it!
Speaking an affirmation of some sort sends a message to your brain. I think I heard Dr. Carolyn Leaf say such actions may work to slow your heart rate and reassure you. Wild, right????
These bodies are machines, aren’t they? One thing impacts another.
Also, check out Dr. Carolyn Leaf’s book on the power God has put in your brain.
I own this book by Dr. Leaf and I have re-visited it often throughout my life. My version is on my iPad, but I wish I had purchased it in hard copy so I could make notes in it!
How do you handle your emotions?
*At times you may need medical help to manage your emotions. Again, these bodies are complicated machines.
God may bring your peace through medical intervention – and that’s ok. The blind man didn’t refuse healing just because Jesus used mud and spit did he? Who cares “how” it happens as long as it happens, Christian lady!
Trust God and get healed in whatever way is necessary.