Three things to do to declutter your emotional life


Dr. Randy Carlson

As adults, many of us struggle with emotions today because we grew up in homes where we did not learn how to deal with our emotions. We were not taught how to express them.  We did not learn how to manage them.  We did not know how to handle life when our emotions were hijacked. When you were feeling something, you may have been told to be quiet, go to your room or maybe in some other way encouraged to shut down whatever you were experiencing at that moment.


God’s intention is not only for us to know how we feel, but also to understand how we are thinking, and to be able to take that and move it in a direction that could be transformational in our lives.


Here are three things to do to help you develop a plan to declutter your emotional life.


  1. Identify your emotional triggers.

What are the things that can set you off emotionally? Here are emotional triggers others have identified:

  • People make an appointment with you but don’t show up.
  • A lack of common sense.
  • Things you don’t have control over.


We live in a world where we focus on things we have no control over instead of focusing on the things we do have control over.


  1. Become aware of your emotions.

Can you label what you feel?  Do you know the range of emotions that you experience? Emotions are given to us to drive change in our lives.  I believe that is what Paul is saying – Be angry; do something, but don’t be sinful in the process (Ephesians 4:26 paraphrase).


What happens to many of us, especially those of us who tend to live more in our heads, we tend to take the range of potential emotions we are experiencing and label them under one emotion, like frustration or anger. For some of us, it’s not acceptable for us to say, “I’m really fearful or anxious,” so we become angry instead. So, it’s important in a healthy way, to be able to identify our feelings and then develop a way to take that emotional fuel and drive change in our lives.


  1. Change your thinking.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (NKJV).  And if you and I continue to think in ways that our emotions are driving us to think, that is how we will become. As you bring your thinking into alignment with God’s intention to know how we feel, and understand how you’re thinking, He will help you experience His transformational power in your life.


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