Ministry Resources

Deal With How You Feel

Author: Dave Beroth

What makes some people flourish more in work and life than others?

Intellect? Work ethic?

Those are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. Our emotional intelligence – the way we manage emotions – determines how well we are able to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks.

Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, tells The Huffington Post. “Life goes much more smoothly if you have good emotional intelligence.”

Conversely, when we allow ourselves to become emotionally unhealthy, it’s almost impossible for all the other areas of your life not to suffer tremendous harm.

Just this morning, I read a news brief about a college student who didn’t want her family to know she had dropped out of school and wouldn’t be graduating. She called in two bomb threats to Quinnipiac University on Sunday in an effort to get the ceremony canceled so her parents wouldn’t see the ceremony on TV.

What do you do with those stubborn and unwanted emotions that cause harm? Here is what I am learning to do and encourage you to do the same:

  1. Understand that being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional struggles. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. And while these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress.
  2. You must name it to tame it. The ability to recognize your emotions and express them appropriately helps you avoid getting stuck in anxiety or negativity.
  3.  Challenge what you’re feeling. Don’t just automatically accept what you’re feeling. Don’t automatically assume that it’s accurate. Are things really as bad as I feel they are?
  4. Regroup your emotions. Some emotions are so destructive, so damaging, so hurtful, so non-effective you need to change it. Still, every now and then, you can even take a negative emotion that you’re feeling and, rather than change it, channel it. Use it for good.
  5. Begin every day by asking God to fill you up with His Spirit. Self-control is God-control. When you take a tube of toothpaste and squeeze it, what comes out? Toothpaste. Whatever is in you comes out when you’re under pressure. When I’m full of myself almost anything can tick me off. When I’m full of God, I’m filled with love and joy, and peace.

In light of these five applications, I leave you with this:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
– Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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