Like most of the world, Instagram is where I spend some of my spare time (well, according to my iPhone screen time, I spend 4 hours of my day on there). My following has shifted tremendously as I now follow all things positive as well as phenomenal bloggers. I’m very intentional on keeping as much positivity in my forefront as possible. Recently, I ran across a post that stated, “An unhealed person can find offense in pretty much anything someone does; a healed person understands that the actions of others have absolutely nothing to do with them. Each day you get to decide which one you will be.” I read this over and over and debated whether I was going to reshare it because it is so accurate, or was I going to let it be one of thousands that I was going to just keep in my saved archive. But it was something about this message that stood out. I realized later that its essence was simple― I was once the unhealed person with absolutely no emotional stability or control who, honestly, didn’t even know what that was. I did know I cried a lot over small things, overanalyzed everything, other people’s decisions made me doubt myself and a list of countless other things I don’t care to name could follow. So yeah… there it was. I could relate. This post hit home. This post was me—unhealed and a whole mess and a half, dangling from a piece of thread! I had some major emotional housekeeping to do!
Reacting to everything that someone does that can trigger your emotions because of their own emotional instability or maybe even yours is draining. It will chew you up and spit you out, while at the same time have you feeling hopeless. It robs you of your day-to-day happiness. It will make you feel emotions you never knew existed, and, if you’re not careful, it is a definite trigger of anxiety, sadness, anger, irrational decisions and sometimes irreversible damage to your soul and mental health. Reacting does not always mean you’re explosive when things do not work in your favor or when having to deal with disappointments or conflicts. Reacting can manifest in the form of worrying, doubt, fear, jumping to conclusions and the pointless P―pettiness. I have done no research, but from my social media observations while scrolling and “minding my business” and the actions of people that I know well, most people who respond out of “being petty” lack emotional stability or maturity simply because they let the behavior of someone else trigger unnecessary and unhealthy behaviors. And if you are truly honest with yourself, if other people’s behaviors trigger you enough to react, stoop low and air all of your emotions on social media in order to beat someone at their game or to indirectly get your point across, there could be some areas in your life that may still need some healing and housekeeping, and that is okay! We all have areas that need some work, baby! Being aware is what matters the most. No judgment here.
Being emotionally unstable does not add balance to your life, and an unbalanced life is an unstable life in terms of trying to live happy, healthy and whole.
“We all have areas that need some work, baby! Being aware is what matters the most.”
Being emotionally unstable is not necessarily the worst thing in the world to be because, sadly, unpredictable traumas, people’s toxic behaviors and unfortunate situations can make you this way. Nevertheless, you can work on fixing it. Yes, it takes tons of work to become an emotionally mature and stable person. There is a level of discipline and boundaries you must have along with a willingness to want to have inner peace when conflict arises that all come into play. However, nothing is impossible if you want to grow, if you desire peace and if you long to be happy.
Here are a few things that helped me become emotionally mature.
- Clarity: Don’t assume anything. When you have questions about something that triggers you emotionally, instead of trying to figure it out yourself, in your own time, ask questions so that you can have clarity. This can clear up any assumptions, made up stories or unclear chaos that causes you to respond irrationally and out of character. Our emotions often cloud a clear understanding when they are rattled. To be honest, sometimes it ain’t as deep as you make it!
- Be patient: Avoid rash responses in moments of tension. Patience demonstrates the strength of self-control and the wisdom demonstrated in waiting. Taking your time to respond to things that rattle your emotions is one of the smartest things you can do. Taking the time to contemplate situations in order to make important, soundful and peaceful decisions in your own timing usually yields better results and a peace of mind.
- Stay positive: When dealing with something that stirs up our emotions to the point of no return, the first thing that we lean on to is the negative without thinking of other positive narratives or outcomes. It is okay to let your emotions and feelings move through you, but never let anything negative take hold until you have everything you need in order to respond. Sometimes by simply seeing the good in uncomfortable situations and adjusting your perspective, you can adjust your feelings almost instantly as you try to calm down and make a rational decision.
- Make your emotions your best friend. Understanding your emotions and what triggers those emotions are very important! Just like you know everything that makes your best friend smile, cry and laugh, you should know the same things about your emotions. Treat your emotions with the same delicate care. It will truly be rewarding.
- Talk it out/through: Listening to other people’s perspectives that you trust can help with making rational decisions. That is why it is important to think before you react. Think about who you can ask to help guide you through what your emotions are telling you and how you feel. Be very mindful of their emotional maturity, and if they don’t handle situations the best, I would not seek perspective from them. Therapists are very helpful with tons of things and helping you see things from several lenses is one of their specialties. I will call mine in a heartbeat when something is just too heavy for my emotions and I don’t know how to go about getting the results I am desiring.
- Be mindful: Every action has a reaction, and it is so common to react outrageously when something has triggered our emotions. However, just stopping and being mindful of the outcome you really want can transform every moment of every day decision-making.
- Log off of social media immediately: I encourage everyone to write when something is troubling their emotions and not on Facebook and Instagram. Our emotions should be treated with precious care in my opinion, and sharing every piece of them when we are not at our best is just not healthy. It lets too many people into our emotional housekeeping and, to be honest, most people don’t care. The best emotional housekeeping is done in solitude with the help of people who genuinely care not the ones who want something to gossip about with others.
- Trust yourself: You know yourself and you know your heart, so train them both to take care of one another. After talking with friends you trust and even your therapist, you still have to listen to that quiet voice that will guide you to making the decisions that are best for you and that will generate the best results when emotions have gotten the best of you. Still confused? Just ask yourself, “Is this what’s best for me right now?”
- Have faith: Sometimes, if not more than often, you have to just leave everything in God’s hand when people get the best of you, leaving you emotionally drained. You have to breathe, get out of your mind and give it all to GOD! He is dedicated to making sure you will be okay no matter what! God is always is control.
“Don’t react to your emotions. Instead, respond, which means that you stop, think and try to operate from a place of peace and good judgment.”
As we learn to observe and respond to our emotions with grace, empathy and maturity it will become easier to respond in the future. Don’t react to your emotions. Instead, respond, which means that you stop, think and try to operate from a place of peace and good judgment. You can’t control everything. You can’t even control half of everything, but you can control how you respond when your emotions are triggered. Paying attention to when you are emotionally conflicted, and what triggers the overflow of it all, is how to practice working yourself back to being stable. Over time, you will become emotionally stable in how you operate daily when situations arise. We must learn to respond the right way.
If you are still responding to the same triggers the same way that you did a year ago, it’s time for some emotional housekeeping and some emotional healing. I can admit that my emotional housekeeping still needs work. I practice my own suggestions listed above daily; however, having the desire to grow in this area has made all the difference in my life.
Now, go be happy!