I’m not so good at getting my car’s check engine light . . . well, checked. The car is still running and nothing appears to be wrong so it’s easy to assume that it can wait another day. I believe our negative emotions are similar to a car’s check engine light and many of us choose to ignore them as well.
Here’s 5 tips in dealing with your negative emotions and using them to your benefit:
1. Don’t always try to remove the emotion as quickly as possible.
Whether it is by sleeping, eating, medicating, watching TV, getting online, using drugs or alcohol, or diving into a relationship; don’t be so quick to remove the feeling by any means necessary without taking time to evaluate it first.
2. Understand that for the most part, thoughts cause feelings.
3. When you realize you’re feeling depressed, anxious, angry, lonely, hurt, etc. take a step back to reflect. Focus on your thoughts in the last hour and see if you can pinpoint some of your thoughts that might have caused the emotion.
4. Write those thoughts down.
5. Combat those thoughts with truth. Truth from the Scripture is a great place to start.
6. Understand that saying the truth once will not change your feelings. However, thinking, repeating, and meditating on the truth just as much as we were thinking, repeating, and meditating on the negative thoughts will cause a shift in our emotions.
Emotions are a gift from God; even the negative ones. They can be used to your advantage. They can be your check engine light that reminds you to take a step back and check your thoughts, identify negative thoughts, and replace them with truth.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.