When we’re feeling anxiety, fear, sadness, etc, it’s good to have a pre-determined plan to deal with them. Otherwise, we let things fester.
Here’s what I do: (I am re-posting this for myself today as much as for my followers. I’ve edited the original and added some new thoughts.)
I picture a box that I place at God’s feet.
It’s called my “trouble box”. It’s my way of putting things on hold till I feel it’s “safe” to look at them. I do this when something is bothering me that I can’t just shake off and especially when I don’t know what IS bothering me. If I’m feeling particularly vulnerable I know I need to be in a safe place when I open that box and examine the contents. For me, that safe place is during my private time with God.
Sometimes, I don’t need to do this at all. I can handle the situation on the spot by confronting it, dismissing it, or forgiving it. Sometimes I can tell myself, “It’s not worth thinking about; it’s not worth getting myself all worked up about.”
But there are some situations, some feelings, etc, that need to be addressed because they will be destructive if I let them fester.
When I open that box, I pour out my concerns. Nothing held back. No pretending I’m not scared. No pretending I’m not hurt. Just me and God and total honesty.
- I talk.
- He listens.
- God “talks”.
- I listen.
Beating troubling situations, depression, and anxiety, means being honest with oneself.
That means not making mountains out of molehills but ALSO not making molehills out of mountains.
If it hurts, it hurts. It makes no difference whether we know the cause of our pain. Sometimes, we simply won’t know for a while.
We don’t have to chastise ourselves for being human, for feeling the way we do. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean everything in our lives is as we would like it to be, even our emotions. We are going to have days when we’re sad, mad, confused, hurt, etc.
What is does mean is that we learn how to deal with hurt, fear, and disappointment in a healthy way. For me, it’s my “box”. Visualizing the “box” is my way of not ignoring my feelings while at the same time realizing I’m not in a good place to handle them.
Do you have a pre-determined way to deal with troubling emotions? If not, maybe today you can create your own repertoire of healthy coping mechanisms.
(PS. You know what occurred to me? I think I will find a “real” box and see how this works. I may be on to something. Got some ideas floating around in my head as to how I could use this idea during my devotional time.)
God bless and I hope you have a good day