How to Control Your Emotions When Everything Feels Out of Control
In our world, nothing is 100% stable; politics, family, school, food, sleep, etc. But that doesn't mean that you have to be unstable. How can we control our emotions instead of our emotions controlling us?
Good news! Emotions are something that you can control and you do it with God, never alone. To me, knowing that I am not alone and don’t have to burden my feelings by myself gives me hope and encourages me that it is possible for my emotions to not rule my life. I have struggled in the past with letting my emotions control me instead of the other way around. The first thing I do when I feel out of control is drink water (a lovely tip from my mom for you all). Studies show that the more water you drink, the more calm, content and less tense you become. Taking a drink of water when you are feeling emotional, or if you are not feeling any emotions because you’ve pushed them down, will help you to feel in control because you made a conscious decision to help yourself. And drinking water is so easy! You don’t even have to think about it.
Next, just simply talk to God. It can feel like such a hard task because we make it a hard task in our heads but it is simple. And don’t feel bad if you feel this way, we have all felt like we can’t talk to God. But he wants to hear us, he wants to help. If you have a hard time asking God for help, start with this,
“Father God, I am struggling. You know better than I do what I am feeling and why. Please help me to control my emotions with you, Holy Spirit reminds me where you are in this moment. Jesus help comfort me. God help me to recognize why I feel this way and help me to heal from it. Amen.”
Very simple, and God will hear you.
Another easy way to help is keeping the area around you clean. Tidy your room for 5 minutes before you leave, make your bed, do your dishes right after eating, etc. Having a clean space around me makes me feel less out of control.
When you’re ready to dig deeper into your emotions and why they may be controlling you, look at the impact it is having. Intense emotions are not all bad, but they can be dangerous. In this circumstance, learning to regulate your emotions instead of repressing them is very important. For me personally, breathing exercises help a lot more than I ever thought they would to control my emotions. Once I can see what area of my life they are impacting, I can ask God to help me find the root of that emotion. Ex. If I am having a problem with a friend it may not really be about that friend but rather a trauma response to something that happened in the past that is triggering. Finding the root cause of emotions is very important for healing and growth. In a garden, if you just pick the top of a weed it will be gone for a day or two, if you’re lucky maybe a whole week. But if you don’t dig the root of the weed out it will keep coming back and it will be bigger every time. If you are struggling to understand how to find the root of your emotion that is controlling you, there are people you can talk to that can help. Counsellors are a great resource to help with this. At Ambrose University, we have counsellors on hand or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are uncomfortable with talking to a counsellor but would still like help. We have resources we want to share with you!
Once you find the root of your emotion, it becomes a practice to not let it rule your life. For a long time in my life, I was discouraged to try new things because I wasn’t perfect at it (which is ridiculous because nobody is perfect at anything the first time they try it). But I was stuck in my trauma from that and I couldn’t try anything new without feeling anxious or crying. So now, as a person who has found the root of this emotion, I have to remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect, that nobody cares if I’m not perfect. You have to combat those lies you’ve been believing for so long with truth from God.
Song of the week: Remember by Bryan and Katie Torwalt