Balancing Our Emotions

As we all attempt to manage our mental wellness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine, it has become increasingly more important for each and every one of us to seek out positive ways to find our peace, stay grounded and move in a mindful direction. As higher rates of joblessness, domestic violence and divorce have become more common, so have depression and anxiety. In order to give some perspective on how we all can balance our emotions; we must first understand the symptoms that accompany them. For the sake of this article, lets first explore how we can detect if we do, in fact, have significant enough mood changes that would require us to get medical attention. Here are a few symptoms to look for:

· Easy fatigue ability,

· Difficulty concentrating,

· Irritability,

· Insomnia/early awakening,

· Worry,

· Fear,

· Loss of interest,

· Panic attacks

· Changes in your eating habits

· Thoughts of suicide or attempts

Have you noticed any of these symptoms lately? If you can say that you have more than 4 or 5 of these symptoms, it is highly likely that you are experiencing anxiety, depression or both. In order to successfully balance emotions, it will be especially important to consider the three steps below. Not only will they bring clarity, but it will allow you to acknowledge and manage your emotions in a structured way.

First, identify your emotion. Once you identify what the emotion is, then pinpoint exactly what trigger has brought it on. Sometimes its a person, a place, a smell, or a familiar situation from your past? Regardless of the trigger, identifying your emotions gives you a direction in which to move. Without a doubt, this is the most important step. Be sure to have a pen and pad near when reflecting upon your emotions and triggers so that you can write them down and refer to them later.

Second, control the behaviors brought on by your emotions by asking yourself how the emotions affect you. Reflecting upon your response to the emotion will be key in determining what to do next. It is important not to allow the emotion to control you, but to find a space where there is calm and self.

The third and final step in balancing your emotions is to choose your response. Contemplate intentionally upon your next decision once the emotion sets in. Are you entertaining good or bad decisions? For example, do you respond by stress eating or do you take a nature walk? Choosing positive responses allows for you to focus on healing and not the pain of the emotion.

As you master these 3 steps upon experiencing an emotional response, you will become the master of your own universe. No one and no situation will be able to overtake you emotionally. You will then be able to pray with appropriate intentions and speak specifically to God about your immediate and long-term needs.

So, while navigating through life’s maze, remember God already designed your beginning and your end. We must do all we can to manage them without going into denial, withdrawal, isolation or self-medication. Although, life’s experiences come whether we are ready or not, it is very possible to use the above 3-step approach to walk yourself through various emotions and arrive not only at good decisions, but controlled behavior. When perseverating upon negative emotions, we miss out on life’s beautiful landscape along the way.

So slow down, take a deep breath and exhale. You are now equipped with a tool to self-identify whether your emotions are in balance. You also have a list of symptoms to pay attention to that will nudge you to seek medical attention if necessary.

In the meantime, be good to yourself.

~Tonya Gilbert

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