Welcome if you followed the link from my devotion running today with Proverbs 31 Ministries. I talked about feeling frustrated from the get-go the other day and struggling to get a grip on my emotions. That particular day it was frustration and disappointment (laced with a little selfishness I'm sure). Other days it has been guilt, or sadness, or envy, or anger, or just plain feeling emotionally hurt by someone.
In a Gallup poll a few years ago, 90% of respondents described women as "emotional." And according to the National Academy of Sciences, they're right. The Academy says, "Women's brains are wired to both feel and recall emotions more keenly than the brains of men."
Furthermore, an article in Scientific American warns that, "Women who hold back feelings of anger may end up more irate in the long run. According to new research, women experience a rebound effect when they suppress angry emotions, which can result in greater feelings of fury."
You're probably thinking, tell me something I don't know!
So what can we do when we feel our emotions getting the best of us?
Number one on my list of responses is PRAYER. Take those seemingly unruly feelings to the One who can handle them. There have been times I've grieved so deeply over the loss of my mother I could scarcely get a line of prayer out admit my uncontrollable sobbing, only to have God answer that prayer for peace and completely calm my heart in the span of a single second. He is the God of all Comfort, the Prince of Peace, and the Author of a sound mind.
Also on my list is READ the Bible. This is the one I turned to the day I wrote the "Feeling Emotional" devotion. I can renew my mind with the Words of truth, replacing my overly emotional - often irrational - thoughts with eternal reality from the Reality Maker Himself.
This next one may make some of us groan with disgust, but its proven that EXERCISE can calm our stress and get us thinking clearly again. Some time on my treadmill with upbeat music playing does me a lot of good (once I get myself there). I think Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde explained this one quite well when she said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands. They just don't." :)
Which leads me to the next one, HUMOR. Everybody needs somebody who can make them laugh out loud. Laughter not only makes us feel better, but its good for our health according to Proverbs 17:22, and it can stimulate our problem-solving abilities as well.
Sometimes I just have to WRITE. Spilling my feelings onto the page of a journal can unburden my mind. And writing a letter to someone who hurt me can unburden my heart. Most of the time I decide never to send the letter, but that's ok because it served its purpose in the moment to help me think things through and calm down. Years later I still have some of those letters saved on my computer. Somehow I feel better knowing that I could send them if I decided I really needed to.
And last but certainly not least, is STARBUCKS. There's few things better than a soy latte to steady my hormones ... except maybe a vanilla soy latte and some dark CHOCOLATE. You didn't really think I could write a post on dealing with women's emotions without mentioning food did you?
If you've got any (food or non-food) solutions for reigning in your emotions on days when they're flying - please do share. Meanwhile, here's wishing us both an emotionally peaceful day.
Now that I've had my Starbucks, I'm off to pray while walking on my treadmill (just for preventative measures) ...