Recently I came home from an extended business trip. While the trip was successful and good, I was incredibly tired and desperately needed some rest. My wife was simply incredible by welcoming me with a kiss and putting me right to bed to try and catch up on some much-needed sleep. Early the next morning my son had an opportunity to showcase his band skills in competition at a local college. So, we were up early and out the door. He did great but my exhaustion was still present in my soul. Then a work email came through and not the pleasant kind. Suddenly I was rushed back to the struggle of its contents and that, matched with my tiredness, almost got me. Until my wife said “We love you, please don’t be angry. We want to spend time with you.” and just like that, I knew I had a decision to make. I could be angry at a situation for the remainder of the weekend or set aside the frustration and spend quality time with my family. Fortunately, my wife was on point and reminded me of letting go. I would not be able to do anything about the email until Monday, anyway. I learned to not ruin a date of love over a message of hate or frustration.
We all face hard seasons where our bodies, minds, and spirits are deeply tired or where a difficult thing presents itself from somewhere out of left field. The main questions to ask are “what do we do with it?” and “what actions give us the best results?”
If I were to ask you what is the most challenging area to overcome, what would you say? In life, we are far too often set back by a part of our personalities that is one of the most difficult to master, and that is our Emotional State. Emotions play a huge role in our life and are the cause of some of our most challenging conflicts and hurdles in life. A lot of times we are either magnified or dismantled by the quality in which we master our emotional state. So how do you deal with your emotions? Do they rise up and take over or do you hold them accountable to the situations you find yourself in?
In reality we all tend to focus our lives from the inside out, allowing for the ‘how we feel’ to dictate ‘how we respond’. It is our responses that elicit our actions and lead to our outcomes, no matter if they are positive or negative. If we were to ask our friends and family about how we deal with emotional stress, what would they say? Would they say you are a hot head, push over, a reflector or Ostrich, hiding your head in the sand? A stressful emotional reaction leads to a stressful life.
As you are learning to mature in your emotional pillar, consider a few things that I have discovered to be major influencers along the way. Here are a few key areas to master in order to move you forward.
- Focus – Nothing amplifies how you feel than how you focus and what you focus on. What we focus on, we find and what we find, we feel. Consider focusing on what you can learn rather than asking why you are being victimized or how you have been wronged. Again, if you feel what you focus on, then you can accidentally intensify negative feelings by focusing on the wrong thing.
- Communication – Become aware of how you are communicating with others and yourself. Negative talk can be an overwhelming force, preventing healthy emotional development. You want your emotions to be manageable in times of stress and blessings. Watch what you say to yourselves and others. What you say about yourself and others is your truth applied. There is a saying that every man is right in his own eyes, and it should come as no surprise that we may not have all of the correct perspectives.
- Self-regulation – Most of us don’t believe we have the power to control each of our emotional outburst, even if they are good. In reality we all control two very Important items: our actions and our attitudes. If we cultivate a positive attitude in our lives regularly, then our emotional responses will follow. Always avoid sending an email, taking a call, or having a meeting when you are angry and upset. A wise person is aware of the dangers that “blowing up” out of anger can cause. The quickest way to not saying “I am sorry”, is to never take the offense.
- Rest – I used to underestimate its power, a healthy rest can make a great day better and a hard day bearable. On the other hand, not being able to replenish quickly can have the polar opposite effect. Believe it or not replenishment can come in many forms and functions, the goal is to find out how you truly REST. Just like in my real-life example, not resting can lead towards a painful result. Ask yourself where you feel the most at peace? What are you doing or not doing? Then the next trick is to simply incorporate that place or thing into your life on a weekly basis. Make sure you do something each week that allows you to truly rest and replenish.
In short if we will focus on the cultivation and growth of how we handle our daily emotions, we will also hear the truth of the circumstance and apply a reliable action. Our emotions can be made stronger and more secure as we simply slow down, take a breath, gain perspective and make a choice to find the healthiest outcome possible. Also make sure that resting is part of your process, and that process breathes new life into your soul. When we don’t rest we set ourselves up for all kinds of mistakes.
If you can watch how and what you focus on, communicate in a healthy fashion, and have regular awareness of how you feel and how it impacts others, you will be well on your way to enjoying more of the life you were meant to live.
In your service,