Living Intentionally: Nourishing the soul part 3: Emotions
Emotions = Any strong feeling such as joy, hate, love, fear, etc..A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort in response to something else. A feeling.
As women, our emotions can run the gammet, all within a matter of minutes, so how in the world are we supposed to nourish them, be intentional with them? Especially when the definition says they arise spontaneously. But, it is so vital to take good care of our emotions and learn to be the powerful person that we are and manage them well. It's equally important if we have children to teach them how to manage their own emotions. Because, while yes, they can arise spontaneously, and yes, our emotions are important and need to be validated, what would the world look like if we had a bunch of people running around with emotions spewing out uncontrollably. Yikes. Remember the guy I mentioned a post or two ago? Danny Silk? He talks a lot about emotion too.
Emotions are valid. Joy, sadness, fear, anger, frustration, grief, etc all have their rightful place in our lives. If we didn't express them, I'd question if we were a living human being. So how do we take care of them? How do we recognize if our emotions are getting a little crazy? Of course, I don't think we can have too much joy or happiness, I guess unless we are living in denial of something else that needs our attention, but for the most part, these aren't detrimental to our overall health. However emotions like sadness, fear, anger, frustration, grief, while equally valid and needed, can also have a negative affect on our emotional and physical health if we let them get out of control and consume our lives.
I had a frustrating day yesterday at work. I work for an older lady and she lost power to part of her house. She is house bound, and I became frustrated when I couldn't seem to get anyone to come out to resolve the problem. I wanted to
All emotions can be positive or negative depending on how we manage them. So for example, fear can be positive if it motivates us to "move" or make a change, but it can be negative if it paralyzes us and keeps us from our potential or from trying something new. I am afraid of heights...it is a real fear, but it can also keep me from some great adventures because I refuse to push myself to get over that fear. I can also be a "stuffer", not always expressing my emotions, which can be negative, or it could simply be holding my tongue because sometimes that is more appropriate than flying off the handle. At the same time, I am very laid back, easy going and laugh easily. I'm a pretty happy and positive person.
So, what's a person to do?
1. Think about your emotions. Maybe write down the ones that make their appearances more often, then think of the context and way you express them. Do you fly off the handle leaving a tornado in your wake, or do you respond calmly and even if frustrated or angry, you handle the situation well.
2. Recognize your triggers. What might get you up in a dander, doesn't bother someone else. So what are your triggers? An example for me...I get easily irritated by other drivers sometimes. That's a trigger for me and I know it.
3. There are certain times when our emotions need special care:
*During our monthly cycle
*If we are going through menopause
*stresses at work
*Divorce, death or loss of relationships
*Feeling lonely and left out
*Bouts of depression or anxiety
*Add your own ________________
4. Realize that not caring for our emotions can affect our physical health:
*high blood pressure
*lack of sleep
5. Make an appointment with a naturapath if you need to. Supplements and a healthy diet can do wonders for our emotional health because sometimes things can get a little out of balance. I say naturapath because I'm not a fan of big pharmaceuticals and I feel like most of what ails us can be taken care of naturally. I realized this a few years ago when I was noticing my emotions were getting kind of whacked out around that time of the month..I didn't like it. I've taken bio-identical hormones and since we ended our particular insurance switched to herbal supplements to manage things. Wow, what a difference!
6. Partake in activities away from "screens" or known triggers. Get outside and walk, get in the kitchen and cook, do something that brings you peace and joy.
7. Pray, and read motivational books that encourage healthy emotions.
8. Listen to songs, podcasts, anything that builds you up.
9. Clean up your social media feeds. If you are always seeing and reading things that do nothing good for your emotions, get rid of those things. If you are posting things when you're worked up and people feed off that, thus feeding your rant, stop! Save those things for a close friend or family member.
10. Eat well. Discover the foods that are beneficial for our mental and emotional health and eat those. limit or get rid of all others that are known to be a detriment.
11. Stop stuffing and acknowledge your emotions.
12. Create a peaceful atmosphere at home, whatever that means for you. Make time for yourself to recharge and get refreshed. If you have to take an hour long bath or go for a walk, or light 50 candles, do it.
Here are some other great links:
Focus on the Family
There is so much to be said about emotions. Just google it and you will find hundreds of websites. I know I'm not sharing anything new under the sun, but maybe it triggered something in you.
Tomorrow we'll start hitting on being intentional with our spirit as we close out the week.
With Joy Unquenchable,