May 5, 2016

How to Cultivate Productive Emotions




Some of us are skilled at keeping our emotions under control. Others seem to be in a constant battle to keep any feelings, good or bad, from boiling over. The result, if taken to the extreme, is an unbalanced, unrealistic life of euphoria alternating with depression. Needless to say, such an unbridled existence does not promote stability and mental health.

Our steadiness won’t be the only aspect of our lives to be affected. We must consider the long-term personal, financial, and legal repercussions. We have to think beyond the immediate satisfaction of venting our feelings:

  • A shoe sales associate who yelled at me and disrespected me was promptly fired.

  • A cashier at a grocery store who told me his lane was closed, and then helped the next person in line after me, got dismissed.

  • The police officer who screamed at me and wouldn’t let me talk was censured by his superior officer. A negative report was put on his permanent record.

  • I will never again trust the unstable former friend who mainly told lies about me and ruined many relationships. I don’t keep in touch with her at all. I talk when she calls on rare occasions, but I make no effort to initiate communication.

The Benefit of Emotional Stability

We are likely to save ourselves from tons of grief. For example, I recently stopped myself from instantly reacting in anger to a frustrating situation. (Please see the related article here.) My forbearance probably saved my pride and several crucial relationships.

Tony Robbins

He is one of the most prominent motivational speakers in the US.  He has also 
published numerous books and videos. I recently came across a 6-minute video called “How to Pull Yourself out of a Funk.”  Here are a few of his major points:

  • Emotions become a habit, for better or for worse.

  • We must identify our emotions.

  • People shouldn’t accept negative feelings, or weaknesses.

  • Individuals need to believe in something higher than themselves.



My Conclusion

Our feelings can be misguided, confusing, and counterproductive. Emotions are a necessary part of life, yet it’s not difficult to allow them to overwhelm us.  It’s always more comfortable to give in to emotions, good or bad, than to reign them in.

Any of us can see more victory in our lives if we work on self-control. Such people probably won’t need to be concerned about creating life-altering, dire consequences. This is the Bible’s advice when we feel overwhelmed by pessimism: “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”—I Peter 5:9 (NIV)

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How well do you control your emotions?