Social media emoji’s sum up almost every emotion we could possibly feel, and as you look through all the different options you can easily see that our emotions are very complex. If only dealing with our real emotions was as easy as picking the right emoji to send in a text.
Have you ever been aware of your bad mood, tried to control it, but still feel like a fire-breathing dragon every time you open your mouth? I work hard on a lot of my internal health dimensions – emotional and social being at the top for me right now. It’s easy to become more aware of your emotions, it’s a lot harder to learn how to keep them under control when the emotions of anger or sadness takes hold of us like a title wave pulling us out to sea and taking control of every thought and action inside of us.
The wave our emotions create leaves us living in a state of reaction instead of intentional, purposeful, and rational action. When we let our negative emotions take hold, our responses to situations typically cause us to say and think things we don’t mean and feeling foolish once things calm a bit. Have you ever found your self-thinking and reacting to these: “how could he/she” or “the never of that person” or how about “They always take me for granted” “how can he/she give me correction when they are worse than I am”… These thoughts create an attitude, typically one that is obvious to everyone around us. To be emotionally healthy we need to be able to sort through our feelings and come at them with control vs. being controlled by them. Our feelings deceive us and control us – we need to overpower them and be strength under control.
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. – Proverbs 28:26
Being emotionally healthy means that you are in control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. That you are aware of how your emotions are all connected to the way you feel about yourself and the health for all your relationships. Emotional wellness will help you learn how to cope with stress and challenges that are a normal part of life and keep things in perspective as you bounce back from setbacks. We all encounter things in life that make us feel sad, angry, disappointed, frustrated…. and as your health in this area improves you’ll be more aware of each emotion, what caused it and how to deal with any of them in a positive and productive way.
For me, working on my emotional health has been recognizing the things that make me feel happy and confident and doing them more often. It’s also been about recognizing what causes my negative emotions and when I feel the wave of negativity effecting my internal dialog. I’m learning to step away or turn to positive outlets like my Bible, music or a long walk to try and turn around my emotional wave. My goal, and I encourage it to be yours too, is to improve emotional wellness by studying our emotions, learn how to sort through them and approach every situation with an attitude to understand ourselves and others. As you study your emotions and how they impact you, find tricks the help you stay in control of them. It’s not easy, but the reward you’ll feel when you begin to grow will significantly outweigh the challenge it took to learn.
Emotions have many benefits; they help us make decisions, keep us away from danger, inspire others, develop resiliency and many others. Being emotionally healthy has been proven to improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and help you attain/maintain a healthy weight. There are many ways to improve your emotional health:
Be aware of how your emotions make you react to things. If you’re sad, frustrated, angry…how does that make you act toward others
Express your feelings in productive ways. Let others know when you bothered, and be sure to stay calm and not let the emotions come out – but speak in truth/fact
Think before you act. Our emotions are very powerful, give yourself time to think and calm down before you speak.
Manage stress by learning ways to relax finding what works best for you
Find a balance between work and play and activity and rest. Making time for the things you’ve identified that brings you joy will help you stay focused on positive things.
Take care of your physical health – if we don’t feel good about ourselves physically – we won’t be able to have a positive outlook and our emotions will easily take hold of us.
Find purpose and meaning and what is important to you in your life.
Stay positive and focus on the good. Learn to forgive yourself and spend time with healthy and positive people.
Just because you become more emotionally healthy, doesn’t mean you won’t still have emotional setbacks and that you won’t struggle with your emotions. It’s a constant opportunity for more growth and personal development. You’ll see the impact on your health each time you grow in your emotional wellness even a little bit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control; against such things, there is no law