7 Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Worked Up

7 Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Worked Up

Angry ManIt’s a rare person who never gets emotionally flustered. And I’m not sure such a person truly exists. Some people get worked up over the smallest things – the coffee maker didn’t start on time, or your coworker pulled into your favorite parking spot just as you were about to grab it. But there are plenty of big things that can cause even the toughest person to temporarily lose their emotional footing, such as a serious illness, a major financial loss, the death of a loved one, or a friend’s betrayal.

Reacting out of your emotions when you’re worked up is natural. And we each have our favorite ways of doing so: withdrawing into isolation, lashing out in anger, or dissolving into tears or anxiety. Strong emotions affect our decision-making ability, and it’s easy to say or do things out of those emotions that we will later regret. One of the first steps in emotional maturity is understanding yourself well enough to know when you need to slow down long enough for your rational mind to catch up.

When you feel the heat of being emotionally worked up churning in your being, press PAUSE. Here are several mistakes to avoid at those high-temperature times.

  1. Don’t make big decisions. Making wise decisions that will have long-lasting consequences requires a clear mind. Most of us can’t do that when we’re worked up. Quitting your job or your marriage, throwing away a friendship, selling or buying something expensive, moving to a new church or city, bailing out on a challenging project – none of those decisions can wisely be made out of fear, anger, disappointment, frustration, or any other strong emotion. Wait until your mental temperature cools somewhat, and include your rational mind in the decision-making process.
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40 Safe and Healthy Ways to Feel Better

40 Safe and Healthy Ways to Feel Better

Have you ever felt like you’re stuck down in the dumps and can’t think of a way to get out? That happens to all of us sometimes. Your “usual” way of coping when you’re in a funk may have been to veg in front of the TV, grab some unhealthy snack, or even worse drown your feelings in booze or some other illicit activity.

What you need are some safe and healthy ways to feel better.

Here are a bunch of suggestions. Have you tried these out?

  1. Go for a 20 minute walk
  2. Call a friend who will listen to you talk
  3. Take a long hot shower
  4. Think of something you can truly be grateful for
  5. Stand outside and feel the sun – or the rain – on your face
  6. Enjoy a juicy piece of fruit
  7. Sit down with a good book
  8. Turn on your favorite music
  9. Enjoy a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of lemonade
  10. Stop everything and take a 15 minute nap
  11. Wash your face with cold water – or warm water
  12. Do stretching exercises for 10 minutes
  13. Make a list of 5 things you have a choice about
  14. Look at pictures on your phone of people you love
  15. Walk barefoot in the grass
  16. Book lunch with a good friend – and then turn off your cellphone
  17. Try out a new healthy recipe
  18. Take a drive down a road you haven’t been on before
  19. Read the Verse of the Day from your favorite app (such as the Bible app)
  20. Give someone a sincere Thank You
  21. Take your dog for a walk, or go to the dog park
  22. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, and clean your fingernails
  23. Feed the ducks, or the pigeons, or some other animals
  24. Dig in your garden or flowerbed
  25. Get your car washed
  26. Lie on your back and watch the clouds
  27. Dangle your feet in the water at the lake
  28. Do something nice for someone who will never know it
  29. Talk to God about what you’re feeling, and then listen
  30. Find a church or chapel that’s open, and just sit there
  31. Write an email or call someone who needs encouragement
  32. Give someone a hug
  33. Spend an hour with a child
  34. Light some candles
  35. Draw or write or sing about something you care about
  36. Enjoy your favorite fragrance – perfume, flowers, nature
  37. Join a support group for people with problems like yours
  38. Wash your sheets, blankets, and pillows – and enjoy them clean tonight
  39. Write a letter letting someone you care about know how much they mean to you
  40. Decide to let something go that you cannot change

These activities are all free of side effects – except that you won’t be able to feel sorry for yourself much longer. Even on your really bad days, one or more of these steps will help you feel better and pull through.

What’s your favorite “feel better” tip?

Your Turn: Do you have something safe and healthy that you do to feel better? What is it? Leave a comment below. 

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  • 40 Guilt-free and (mostly) Calorie-free ways to feel better.          Tweet that.

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5 Ways to Better Sleep When You’re Stressed

5 Ways to Better Sleep When You’re Stressed

Have you ever struggled to get a good night’s sleep? If so you’re not alone. And you may have contributed to the more than $30 billion dollars spent each year on sleep aids. But what you really need are ways to get better sleep that don’t break your bank account – or your health.

Most adults know they feel better when they get enough sleep. But more than that, getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights will actually help you live longer, according to a consensus of 16 studies including more than 1 million participants.

Adequate sleep helps you handle stress better. Both your body and your mind need those hours to repair themselves physically and mentally. Regularly losing sleep impairs your judgment, makes you more susceptible to certain illnesses, and leaves you emotionally vulnerable. I seriously wonder about either the truthfulness or the mental health of those who say they need only three or four hours of sleep a night.

There are many things that may be contributing to your lack of sleep.

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How to Trust God when Everything’s NOT Alright

How to Trust God when Everything’s NOT Alright

Perhaps you’ve heard this old gospel song. It talks about the Bible stories of Moses, David, and Jesus, times when it looked as though all was lost. Then at the last possible moment God comes through with a miracle. The Red Sea parts. David kills Goliath with a single slingshot. Jesus is raised from the dead.

And the chorus goes:

  • I’ve got a feeling everything’s gonna be alright,
  • I’ve got a feeling everything’s gonna be alright,
  • I’ve got a feeling everything’s gonna be alright
  • Be alright, Be alright, Be alright.

Don’t you wish you were that certain?

And yet there are many times when everything is not at all alright! I’ve been there too. Perhaps you’re in that place right now, like the woman who wrote to me just days ago, worn out from living in a marriage without any affection or intimacy for more than ten years. Or the friend who had to drastically cut back on her ministry work and find her own secular job after her husband was unexpectedly laid off from his. Or the missionary who lost his wife after a long battle with cancer.

If you’re not in that place right now it’s easy to look at someone struggling and say, “Just trust God. He’ll take care of it. Think positively. It will all work out for the best.”

But what happens when your mentally ill son does take his own life? Or your house gets repossessed? Or your marriage ends? Or your church is split by scandal?

What does it mean to trust God when everything is not alright?

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The Key to Filling Your Empty Soul

The Key to Filling Your Empty Soul

What do you do when you feel empty inside? Do you retreat into a hole, waiting for someone to pull you out? Do you deteriorate into a TV junkie/couch potato/Facebook addict? Do you lash out at anyone and everyone who dares to enter your space, including the dog? Do you keep pressing forward, struggling with what feels like running through waist-deep water?

Busy-ness, parenting pressures, financial stress, illness, difficult people, or any of the other normal pressures of life can poke holes in your internal bucket and leave you with an empty soul. And if your internal level of reserve is already low, a larger-than-normal leak in your soul can quickly drain any remaining resilience you have. Your creativity evaporates, you don’t handle even minor stresses well, and you struggle to see anything positive in the world.

I’ve learned the warning signs that indicate I’m running on empty. I let small things really upset me, sometimes to the point of tears. I’m always embarrassed when I get to that point, but I’ve learned to see it as a warning sign that I need to get intentional about filling up.

When your stomach is empty you find something to eat. Sometimes it’s a quick snack – the healthier the better. Sometimes it’s a gourmet meal. Your body does best when you regularly eat a variety of good quality food.

But what you don’t do when you’re hungry is sit down and wait for someone else to feed you.

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