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GIRL TALK: What Do I Do When I Feel Like My Emotions are Controlling Me?



This one is for the girls.


Around the same time every month, I start to get very emotional and irritable. Everything makes me angry, and everything feels so big. I recently had a rollercoaster day, where some moments I was happy and perfectly fine and other moments I was not. My feelings are so fleeting, so inconsistent, that it starts to make me feel overwhelmed, and then I'm really in trouble. My emotions seem to control me, make me into someone I don't want to be, and I hate that.


Anyone else?


That particular night I came to the Lord asking for His grace and forgiveness. I knew that my emotions had gotten the best of me, and the words I was saying and thoughts I were thinking were not honoring Him. It honestly feels like quite a cycle, and I just laid it all out there for Him.


The Lord so gently and kindly reminded me that I become the most vulnerable and susceptible to having these rough days when I'm not deeply and intentionally filling my mind with Christ.


That morning, I did not wake up at 5:30 like I meant to. I chose to sleep, and that's okay on occasion, but I woke up feeling slightly cranky and off. Not the day to skip my morning Bible study. Throughout the day, instead of choosing to pray, I filled my mind with other things, like my to-do list, what was going on around me, what would be happening over the weekend, etc, when I really should have been more intentional about fixing my eyes on things above. None of those things were bad, but none of them were helping my already off mood. As the long day rolled on, the more drained I started to feel, and the bigger my emotions began to get.


You would think that I would know and recognize this pattern in the moment to fix it, but I don't. I instead make the mistake of sitting in those feelings a little too long, and that's when I feel like they start to control me.


It doesn't have to be that way though.


Jesus reminded me that Scripture and prayer need to be at the forefront of my mind, ready to be on guard against those big feelings that often aren't the complete truth. He met me so lovingly, but also convicted me with where I was placing my energy and thoughts. That truthfully affects us so so so much, and we have to be incredibly intentional about what's happening in our mind and in our heart.


If we let a couple things slide into our mind, stop resisting the distractions, and take our eyes off of the things from above, then we are allowing an opportunity for our emotions to take over. We give the devil a foothold, even a small one, to tell us that our feelings are the truth and we need to act on them. But they aren't the truth, and more often than not, we don't need to act on them (and probably shouldn't).


The thing is, God created emotions. We have big feelings, yes, but God isn't scared of them. He wants to meet us in that place in whatever we're feeling and work through them together. He desires for us to not only take control of our emotions, but work through them in a healthy, productive way. Psalms is a book full of big feelings, difficult prayers, and crying out to God - but that's the point. The authors of Psalms brought it before God, and in doing that, they denied the devil access to tempt them and their emotions the power to control them.


Girls, it's okay to have big emotions. It's normal to feel overwhelmed by them sometimes. But we have to learn to acknowledge them and give them to God. I know this isn't easy - this is something I have to battle with too - but we have to practice this and be intentional with where we're placing our thoughts. This doesn't have to be an impossible feat; there are smaller, practical things that we can do every day to fix our thoughts on eternal things and take back control of our emotions. Maybe in your life, you can try:

  • Practice stating what you're feeling and what's triggering that emotion.

  • Try journaling. Release it all to God, including the situation surrounding that feeling, and then write out steps you can take to walk in joy instead.

  • Pray the Psalms. Use the words of those authors to talk to the Lord about what's going on in your heart.

  • Sit in silence with the Lord and breathe in deeply, inhaling truths about who God is and exhaling lies about yourself and the situation. (For example, take a deep breath in, inhaling the truth that you are made in the image of God, and take a deep breath out, exhaling the insecurities. Take a deep breath in and inhale grace, then exhale deeply, releasing bitterness and unforgiveness. You can repeat this process with all your feelings and the opposite truths.)

  • Start memorizing Scripture to lean on and ground you when your emotions begin to get overwhelming.

  • Lean on a godly, wise Christian who isn't directly involved in the situation and seek them for truth and guidance.

  • Completely take a break from the situation and find a healthy outlet, like running (or another form of exercising), some sort of art form, singing, journaling, cooking, etc. I know that physically moving your body can be a great way to get rid of some of those negative feelings, but find what works for you.

  • Keep a godly perspective. Remember that "following your heart" isn't the same thing as obeying the Lord, that your emotions aren't always true, and that God is good, no matter how you feel.

 

These are only a few practical ways that we can practice taking control of our emotions and setting our thoughts on the Lord, but I want to emphasize how vital it is that we learn how we can, in our everyday lives, continue to lean into the Lord, even when our emotions get big. The truth is, our feelings have the power to turn us into someone we don't necessarily want to be, but through the help of the Holy Spirit, we can take that power back. This is a battle that most of us girls will face, but when we come together and bring it to the Lord, we are reminded that we aren't alone and that the Lord is greater than all of our feelings.


What are some ways that you can take control of your emotions and refocus on the Lord? What has your journey been like with this? Let me know down below!

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