Nobody wants to get sick. We don’t want food poisoning, the flu, or COVID-19. This is why we protect our immune system, wash our hands, and take care of ourselves. Good. Health is important. But what about, as the great Phoebe Bridgers put it, emotional motion sickness?
What is an emotional sickness
It’s not quite the same as a virus, but it overwhelms our lives just the same. One day we’re angry, the next we’re elated. We’re frustrated, excited, worried, relieved, paranoid, entitled, swooning, and then depressed. We’re obsessed and then annoyed. Fascinated, then bored. Mad as hell and then overcome with gratitude. We love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, hate, hate, love.
Sometimes we’re all these things in a single day, even a single hour. It makes us crazy. It can kill us if we’re not careful. So we need to take precautions.
Mental and emotional health are both important.
How to avoid emotional sickness
The Bible says in Colossians 3:15 to be led by peace in making decisions. Don’t let your emotions make your decisions. A good statement to remember is this: “Wisdom says wait; emotions say hurry.”
Some time ago I stumbled upon the advice of the Forbes Coaches Council about ways to process your emotions before making decisions. Basically, they confirmed why we need to wait for wisdom instead of rushing into emotions and this advice goes beyond the business environment. We can also apply it in our personal lives.
Learn to pause your emotions and get curious about them. Ask, “What exactly is happening with me?” by recognizing your emotions and finding the source, you’re able to be honest about it and let assertiveness take control. Everyone wins.
Marry your heart and mind. Emotions have to play a part in our day by day, we’re humans. But our best decisions are made when we experience emotional stability in concert with a healthy dose of mental clarity. It’s ok to have feelings, but pausing and assessing the situation, will always allow assertiveness and empathy the opportunity to modulate your response for the good of all.
After all, emotions are feelings and not facts. As my friend Scott Cain said once in our podcast, “always be respectful and attack the issues, not the person.”
Build up your immune system
There are going to be times we catch something, of course, but if we’ve built up an immune system, we’ll be able to prevent ourselves from being overrun by them. Grief, anger, fear, frustration—these things happen. What matters is that we don’t whipsaw between them, that we use our faith, God’s Word, and our training to process them.
This is how we avoid emotional motion sickness. You can pause a bit, and take the vitamin that will help you overcome what may hurt you:
Let the peace of Christ, to which you were indeed called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful.Colossians 3:15
What do you do when you feel your emotional health is at risk? do you have any other approach you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about that in the comments.
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