Thursday, October 2, 2014

Managing Our Everyday Emotions

I love being a woman but I have to admit to occasionally questioning God's design in some parts of womanhood. Hello, emotions! However, I have a sneaking suspicion that life is designed so that we will see our deep need for God and His help as we go through life. I cannot be a woman that honors Him without Him. It's not possible. My shortcomings show how great God is. 

We are called to control our spirits (Pro. 25:28) and guard our hearts (Pro. 4:23) even with our emotions. Our spirit- which is our attitude- is to glorify God because He redeemed it (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

So how can we help ourselves do that? I know that on my own I often don't. I'm snappy and irritable. I'm short-tempered and worried. I'm frustrated and selfish.  I don't want to live life that way. It doesn't honor God and it doesn't bless my family. Here are some ideas that have helped me- not that anybody has this conquered.

1. Ask God for help. Did you know that you can tell God that you feel grumpy or angry or sad or frustrated or irritated and He won't tell on you? He won't rat you out to your friends or make you feel bad. We should not be shocked at our capacity for sin. We know we are sinners. But God can help us to live better. Tell Him that you need His help. Ask Him to help you. Who doesn't want to be needed? He has everything you need. You can tell God about your problems and He won't speak a word to anyone. Take what is burdening you to Him. 

2. Do what you are supposed to, not what you feel like. Take a deep breath and speak calmly when you want to yell. Get up off the couch and cook dinner. Do something kind for your husband when you are mad at him. Act like you are supposed to; don't act out what you feel. 

3. Be thankful. Start listing all your blessings. "Thank you God for our home, for my children, for a good report at the doctor's office, for Your help when I need it, for caring about my life, for blueberries, for my phone, for sunshine." etc, etc. Don't stop. Just keep doing that. Pray and pray with a thankful, grateful heart. 

4. Pray for others. Often when I have a consuming prayer request I could "pray" about it constantly. And it turns into a consuming worry. So I take it to God, leave it there, and start praying for others. I pray regularly for five or six missionary wives that I know personally and are in similar seasons of life. I pray for our families and the requests of my friends. I pray for people who have been a blessing to me and people whose problems deeply burden my heart. 

5. Shut up! Just don't talk so much! If your husband is irritating you, be quiet, pray for God to bless him and talk to him about it later if it still seems like a big deal. Walk away from the issue with your children and come back in five minutes when you've calmed down. You don't have to "give people a piece of your mind" or "say what you think because you're honest." Those are excuses for hurting people. 

When you start doing these five things it will take a while to retrain your mental patterns. You will have to fight to control your mind. The battle is for your mind; if you can learn to control your thoughts it will make a big difference in controlling your emotions.  Make the effort. As you do, you will be glorifying God in your daily life. And you'll feel less like a crazy person. 

What about you? How do you strive to manage your daily emotions? 

(And I'm not talking about postpartum depression or deep grief. I am speaking of our day to day hormonal emotional changes.)

No comments:

Post a Comment