Emotional Awareness includes recognizing our own emotions as well as the emotions of others. We learn to discern those emotions that guide our thoughts and our actions. Emotional awareness helps us build a bridge from negative emotions to positive thoughts and emotions. This helps us cope with the demands of missionary work and the demands of life. Emotional Awareness leads to more joyful, complete, productive, and healthy lives. These learnable skills help us create self-awareness, self-management, and self-direction. Emotional Awareness helps us build bridges to cross from the negative side to the positive side no matter what situation we face in life.

We are not without emotion. We are not robots. We still feel a range of emotions including anxiety, depression, grief, guilt, anger, and fear. But those emotions no longer overwhelm us. They no longer keep us from achieving our hopes, dreams, and goals in life. Everyone is in control of their own emotions.  If we feel sad, depressed, ashamed, fearful, frustrated, upset, or any negative emotion, we can challenge and change the negative thoughts into positive, productive ones.  We become aware of things that trigger our negative emotions so we know how to build bridges to the positive side. We can also consider medication if needed.

Adjusting to Missionary Life, pages 29-34, includes several suggestions to manage emotional demands:

  • Feeling Depressed or Discouraged:
    • Review your patriarchal blessing for guidance.
    • Set realistic goals and make specific plans for how to accomplish them.
  • Feeling Self-Critical:
    • Focus on what you do right and avoid comparing to others.
    • Talk positively to yourself.
  • Feeling Anxious or Inadequate
    • Cheerfully do what you can, and let God make up the difference.
    • Serve
  • Feeling Easily Irritated or Angry
    • Give your brain time to override your emotions.
    • Resist the tendency to blame or shame others or yourself.
  • Feeling Exhausted or Unmotivated
    • Focus on your strengths
    • Take one step at a time
  • Worrying About Loved Ones at Home
    • Call, write or email your family every week
    • Expect some challenges to come to your loved ones

The “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance …” (Galatians 5:22-23)

The Lord promises: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:17)

May the Lord bless us to trust His promises, to feel of His spirit, and to find peace in Him.

[Note: The ideas and suggestions contained in these articles are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a qualified mental health professional. In addition, if you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek medical or mental health assistance immediately.  In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or use the Lifeline Chat at 988lifeline.org/chat/. Services are free and confidential.]