The Deal With Emotions

April 11th, 2012   •   1 comment   

When emotions are ignored, dismissed, avoided, or buried, they can make you sick.  Disrupted sleep patterns, stomach or chest pain, teeth grinding, elevated blood pressure, and even increased risk to shingles or heart attack are some of the possible symptoms.

We often minimize it by saying, “I’m just stressed out.” In reality, it’s serious stuff when it’s the pattern for months and years.

I’ve had more than a few people say, “I don’t do emotions.” What? Emotions aren’t optional. It’s like saying, “I don’t do breathing.” It doesn’t work that way.

Emotions come with the package of being human. People-pleasing, temper outbursts, tears, over-working, indifference, and isolation are common emotional response behaviors.

For most, it eventually becomes more uncomfortable to avoid emotions than to deal with them. When that happens, it’s time to be intentional to give those emotions a voice.

There are several methods, but one I have found most helpful is writing. Many people just groaned. Relax. You don’t have to let anyone read it. The process, and it’s a process, is more effective when you know it’s just for you.

The goal is to create a direct connection between your hand and your thoughts. Whatever you think, you write. Unedited. Unscripted. Profanity allowed. Whatever is going through your head comes out of the hand onto paper.

I don’t recommend electronic writing simply because it’s too easy to copy, paste, and send. Yikes!

Accept thoughts and feelings for what they are. They exist. They’re present. Let them out of your head or out of the knot in your stomach or heaviness in your chest.

Most things aren’t nearly as scary when you can see them. Get used to acknowledging their existence.

Deal with your emotions so they don’t deal with you.

One comment

  1. Donna says:

    Kathy…this is so true. Problem is, the physical signs are all there of the “stuffing” factor. Reality of it is that I have been so successful at it, no matter how hard I try to bring them to the surface to address them…they stay hidden. Maybe there is a bit of a fear of what would happen if they all surfaced…I don’t know. After having a long period of time of a cycle of “events,” you sort of enter a “survivor mode,” “turn the other cheek mode,” “pull up your bootstraps and move forward mode.” All of these things are things that I controlled. I have taken control of my emotions in efforts to survive it all. Problem is, I should have put it in God’s hands, prayed more about it and dived right into His Word to get through it. Now, I need to address them before they continue to effect my health. I will follow your suggestions along with taking my committment that I took with my baptism this past weekend to have more faith and to trust Him and remind myself that I am not the one in control.