How to Manage Your Emotions
Our emotional lives are driven by what we think. There is plenty of scripture instructing us how to think –taking captive every thought out of obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Many times in scripture, we are reminded our head has to be in alignment with God’s intentions for our lives.
If you want to have freedom from hijacked emotions, then it’s important to understand a secret in these five bold moves that are important for your emotional life.
- Decide who is in charge of your emotions.
As Christians, it’s important to understand anger, fear, guilt and other negative emotions are common to humanity. We all experience them, but we can only be truly free from hijacked emotions if we are willing to ask who is in charge of our emotions, and then make the decision to be in charge of them.
Your emotions are a choice. You can decide what emotions to have. When emotions occur, you can decide to change them. The first step to freedom from hijacked emotions is to decide who is in charge of your emotions.
- Declare who is in charge of your emotions.
If you really wrestle with managing your emotions, declare who is in charge of your emotions. It’s important to hear yourself say aloud, “God, I choose today, with your help, to take ownership for what I’m feeling. It is not anyone else’s fault. Whatever I choose to feel today, I’m declaring ownership of it. I am responsible for it.”
The Bible says, Whatever things are true, whatever things are right, whatever things are admirable, whatever things are of good report to think on those things (Philippians 4:8).
- Develop a plan.
If you have an emotional challenge and you know your emotions sometimes get hijacked, have a plan.
- Declutter your emotions.
Our emotions can become cluttered with so much stuff, carrying all these feelings around. We become raw, and it’s easy for us to see that these emotions start to overtake our lives.
Hijacked emotions begin like emotional ooze. As you shove all your feelings inside, that emotional ooze starts to come out, and eventually, it will explode. If you have buried emotions, it’s vital to deal with them, otherwise they can become destructive.
- Act on it.
Do something. Ask yourself, “What one thing could I do with my emotional life over the next 30 days that would make the single biggest difference in my relationships, marriage or health.
If you are at the extreme end of bearing your emotions, I really encourage you to begin to make these five bold moves toward freedom from hijacked emotions today.
As adults, many of us struggle with emotions today because we grew up in homes where we did not learn how to deal with our emotions. We were not taught how to express them. We did not learn how to manage them. We did not know how to handle life when our emotions were hijacked. When you were feeling something, you may have been told to be quiet, go to your room or maybe in some other way encouraged to shut down whatever you were experiencing at that moment.
God’s intention is not only for us to know how we feel, but also to understand how we are thinking, and to be able to take that and move it in a direction that could be transformational in our lives.
Here are three things to do to help you develop a plan to declutter your emotional life.
- Identify your emotional triggers.
What are the things that can set you off emotionally? Here are emotional triggers others have identified:
- People make an appointment with you but don’t show up.
- A lack of common sense.
- Things you don’t have control over.
We live in a world where we focus on things we have no control over instead of focusing on the things we do have control over.
- Become aware of your emotions.
Can you label what you feel? Do you know the range of emotions that you experience? Emotions are given to us to drive change in our lives. I believe that is what Paul is saying – Be angry; do something, but don’t be sinful in the process (Ephesians 4:26 paraphrase).
What happens to many of us, especially those of us who tend to live more in our heads, we tend to take the range of potential emotions we are experiencing and label them under one emotion, like frustration or anger. For some of us, it’s not acceptable for us to say, “I’m really fearful or anxious,” so we become angry instead. So, it’s important in a healthy way, to be able to identify our feelings and then develop a way to take that emotional fuel and drive change in our lives.
- Change your thinking.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (NKJV). And if you and I continue to think in ways that our emotions are driving us to think, that is how we will become. As you bring your thinking into alignment with God’s intention to know how we feel, and understand how you’re thinking, He will help you experience His transformational power in your life.
www.theintentonallife.com. Used by permission of the author.