The practice of mindfulness helps us learn how to separate ourselves from our thoughts and emotions, including seeing our feelings like weather and watch them drift by like dark storm clouds. This is a helpful technique for mastering our emotions instead of being mastered by them. It also helps us release our negative or unhelpful thoughts more quickly.
Holy scriptures teach that we are free “to act for [our]selves and not to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:24). When we simply react to the whims of our emotions, we are being acted upon by those emotions, which is inconsistent with becoming a free being.
The most important factor in mastering our emotions is realizing we can. Uncontrolled emotion will cause us to overreact, be defensive, or even counterattack, causing damage to relationships. We decide how to handle emotional flooding in the moments we are not flooded. We intentionally decide how we’re going to react when the pressure packed situation arises. Then, when we are in the heat of the moment, we won’t be trying to reason with a brain that is in fight or flight mode. We will already know the procedure to apply to get us through the situation.
These principles apply in every kind of human relationship including spouses, dating partners, parents and children, and even good friends. The closer I am to someone, the greater my opportunity to hurt them. Deciding in advance what I will do when fight or flight descends on me makes it far more likely that I will handle emotional flooding in a healthy way. Intentionality is the key to creating processes that are in line with your values, and commitment is the key to following them religiously when you are in fight or flight mode.
Our new video this week will help you be more intentional and committed to managing your emotions, so they don’t manage you: Who is in Charge – You or Your Feelings?
About the Author
Jeff Teichert, and his wife Cathy Butler Teichert, are the founders of “Love in Later Years,” which ministers to Latter-day Saint single adults seeking peace, healing, and more joyful relationships. They are co-authors of the Amazon bestseller Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff and Cathy each spent nearly a decade in the mid-singles community and they use that experience to provide counsel and hope to mid-singles and later married couples through written articles, podcasts, and videos. Jeff and Cathy are both Advanced Certified Life Coaches and have university degrees in Family & Human Development. They are the parents of a blended family that includes four handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter.
FEATURED THIS WEEK
LILY Pod Episode 50: Creating from Scratch (35min)
LILY Tube: Who’s in Charge, You or Your Feelings? (8min)
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Email: [email protected]